The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs baseball season has not lacked drama. For the sixth time this season, Georgia won a walk-off hit. Tuesday night it was the product of a Parks Harber home run that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 win over Kennesaw State. It took the Bulldogs plenty of time to get going on the offensive end, but the bats came through when it mattered, while the bullpen dominated.
Harber started his seventh game of the season and is starting to establish his presence in the lineup. He batted third again, where he also was on Sunday against Tennessee. The freshman from Atlanta was previously 0-4 on the night before stepping to the plate in the bottom of the 10th.
“The mental part of the game is huge,” said Harber. “If you think you’re going to get the hit, if you think you’re going to make the play, you’re going to make the play. If you don’t think that way, you might not be as successful. This will be a big boost heading into the weekend.”
Harber must have thought he was going to get the hit because he launched a no-doubter over the left field wall to win the game. Georgia coach Scott Daeley said Harber being able to overcome in-game struggles was important for the team as well.
“We need Parks Harber to be a presence in the middle of the lineup, for sure,” said Daeley. “When Corey [Collins] comes back, having those two guys somewhere in the middle is huge for us.”
Georgia trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, looking as if they might lose to the Owls for a second time this season. Kennesaw State beat Georgia 6-4 at home on March 2. However, Riley King stroked a double off of the right center field wall that brought in a run, tying the game at 2. King had three hits tonight, which ties his career-high. It’s the fifth time he has accomplished that mark.
Georgia once again gave up runs in the first inning, something that happened in all three games of the Tennessee series this past weekend. Normally, if a team uses eight pitchers in a game it is not a good sign. Starter Charlie Goldstein struggled, only getting through 0.2 innings before being pulled. The relievers after that dominated though, one after the other.
Nolan Crisp received the win after pitching two scoreless innings. Crisp struggled to start the season after transferring from Florida, but has lowered his ERA to 3.97. Crisp retired all six batters he faced in order. Some freshman that struggled this weekend like Liam Sullivan, Will Pearson and Luke Wagner also threw scoreless frames.
“They kept us in it when we had absolutely nothing going offensively,” said Daeley. “So, you have to give those guys a lot of credit. After maybe having a rough weekend… going out there and finding some success is all people need.”
Georgia’s pitchers did this while having to also battle with a very loud Kennesaw State heckler who was seated behind the Owls dugout. The fan appeared to have printed out notes in his hand of things to yell at the pitchers. He recited lines from a TikTok that Will Pearson posted when the two teams met the first time, which criticized KSU’s bullpen. It was a fascinating performance by the fan who was alone, giving everyone some entertainment while the game slowed.
Georgia now improves to 15-5 (1-2) and will head to Texas A&M to face the Aggies for the first weekend series of the season on the road. Daeley said Collins could make his return this weekend, which would significantly help the lineup.