Coming of a disappointing effort on Saturday night where Florida overpowered Georgia with four home runs, the Bulldogs played their most important game of the season on Sunday. A Florida sweep would have severely dented Georgia’s postseason hopes.
UGA recognized that early, scoring three runs off the bat of Garrett Blaylock in the top of the first inning on the way to a 6-1 victory over the ninth-ranked Gators. Blaylock sent a high drive to right center field that just barely cleared the fence, giving Georgia the momentum it needed.
“This was a really good team win for us,” said Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin in a press release.
Jonathan Cannon got the start for Georgia and gave the Bulldogs a crucial lengthy outing. Cannon improved his record on the season to 3-2, picking up his first win since pitching on April 10 at Vanderbilt.
He finished 5.2 innings while striking out four batters and only allowing one earned run. Cannon struggled with his command at times, walking four batters and putting two runners on through hit by pitches, but found ways to work out of jams on multiple occasions.
“Jonathan (Cannon) was really big for us,” said Stricklin. We needed a quality start. The bullpen has been stressed out the last few weeks. We hoped to get to the seventh with him, and he got us almost through six. I thought he toughed it out and did a good job.”
Chaney Rogers hit his fourth home run of the season to lead off the second inning, giving the Bulldogs a commanding 4-0 lead that they never lost. The Bulldogs forced Florida to strand 12 runners on base with Michael Polk, Luke Wagner and Ben Harris all excelling out of the bullpen.
Georgia now heads into the final week of the regular season with a 29-20 (12-15) record. The Bulldogs will next try to even the season series with Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Atlanta. Georgia will then head back to Athens for the final series of the season against No. 18 Ole Miss starting on Thursday.
If the Bulldogs can pull together a .500 week or better, they should be in a good position to make the NCAA Tournament.