Seventh-ranked Georgia swept a doubleheader from Gardner-Webb Saturday at Foley Field, winning 3-2 and 5-1 to extend its winning streak to six games.
In game one, redshirt junior Josh McAllister smashed his first career home run to give Georgia a 3-2 walk-off over Gardner-Webb. Junior Jack Gowen notched his first career victory while Lenny Washington dropped to 0-1. In the nightcap, Georgia continued its winning ways behind strong pitching from Ryan Webb, Luke Wagner, Darryn Pasqua and Collin Caldwell. With the two victories, the Bulldogs improved to 6-1.
In game one, Gardner-Webb (1-3) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Keji Parkhurst and Dom Peroni. Right-hander Mason Miller held Georgia to one hit heading to the sixth when Cole Tate reached with a one-out single. Then, freshman Corey Collins tied the game with a run-scoring double for his team-high fifth RBI on the year. In the bottom of the seventh, freshman catcher Fernando Gonzalez led off with a double off reliever Kyle Skidmore to extend his hitting streak to five games. Pinch-runner Randon Jernigan took third on a flyout and then Wagner delivered a pinch-hit RBI-double to score Jernigan for a 2-1 lead.
Georgia senior left-hander C.J. Smith matched his career high going seven innings but got a no decision. Freshman Will Pearson and the Bulldogs got out of jam in the eighth as Gardner-Webb put a runner at third with one out. With the infield in, Pearson struck out Joe Simone. After a walk to Parkhurst, he retired Peroni to maintain the lead. With one out and runner at second in the top of the ninth, Georgia looked to Gowen. Gardner-Webb shortstop Ben Laspaluto tied the game with an RBI-single.
Then in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, two strikes and nobody on, McAllister launched a drive over the left field wall as Mitch McClendon jumped up to try and make the catch and came up empty. This was the second walk-off for the Bulldogs this season, and the first by a home run since Tucker Bradley last year over Santa Clara to end game one of a doubleheader in the 12th.
In game two Saturday, a pitcher’s duel ensued. Georgia broke through in the fifth with a two-out rally to take a 1-0 lead. Chaney Rogers reached on a walk, took second on a base hit by Shane Marshall and scored on a single from Randon Jernigan.
Bulldog senior left-hander Ryan Webb made his season debut and was on a pitch count. He provided three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, no walks and four strikeouts. Wagner started the fourth and went 2.2 innings before Gardner-Webb put a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs in the sixth. Georgia called on Pasqua, and he extinguished the threat with a strikeout. In the bottom of the sixth, Cole Tate made it 2-0 when he smacked his first home run of the season. For the second time in his career, Caldwell inherited a two-out, bases-loaded situation, and he delivered. On Saturday, he kept it a 2-0 contest with a strikeout of Joe Simone.
Georgia added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh as Tate and Collins collected RBI for a 4-0 advantage and Marshall’s RBI-groundout in the eighth provided the final run. Gardner-Webb avoided a shutout with a run in the ninth on a RBI-single from Cam Pearcey. Wagner improved to 2-0 while Caldwell got his second save.
The series concludes Sunday with first pitch at 1:02 p.m (SECN+).