Baseball: Georgia Needs School Record 20 Innings to Sweep Clemson

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Baseball: Georgia Needs School Record 20 Innings to Sweep Clemson

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The longest game in school history ended after six hours and 33 minutes with fifth-ranked Georgia outlasting No. 24 Clemson 3-2 in a school record 20 innings in front of a Foley Field crowd of 3,419.

In the bottom of the 20thinning, with the game tied at two, the stage was set for freshman right fielder Connor Tate. With walks to junior center fielder Tucker Maxwell, and senior second baseman LJ Talley, as well as a single from sophomore right fielder Riley King, the Bulldogs had the bases loaded. Tate delivered with a walk-off single to left field, scoring Maxwell, and ending the marathon. The previous longest game for Georgia was 5:02 in 13 innings against Alabama last year, and the most innings ever played before Tuesday was 17 against Gardner Webb in 2007. Clemson’s previous longest game was 19 innings.

Georgia improved to 30-8 and swept the two-game series for the second year in a row while the Tigers fell to 25-12. Clemson led 2-0 in the sixth and Georgia tied it with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh. It remained tied for the next 12 innings.

Patrick Sullivan
Patrick Sullivan can’t get the runner

Bulldog sophomore right-hander Darryn Pasqua (1-0) earned his first career, pitching five innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just two hits, and striking out seven.  Senior Luke Sommerfeld took the loss, pitching the final 4.2 innings for the Tigers.

After five scoreless innings, the Tigers broke through with two runs in the sixth inning.  After sophomore Sam Hall singled to begin the inning, junior Kyle Wilkie singled up the middle, scoring Hall. The next batter, freshman Bryar Hawkins, tripled which scored Wilkie, and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Junior LHP Justin Glover was brought in relief of starter Tim Elliott, and he kept it a two-run contest.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Georgia responded. Junior designated hitter Austin Biggar got on base with a walk, and was then replaced with a pinch runner, freshman Steven Minter. Junior shortstop Cam Shepherd then delivered, doubling down the left-field line. The Clemson left fielder had a throwing error, and not only was Minter able to score, but Shepherd as well, as Georgia pulled even 2-2. 

Elliott had a quality outing for the Bulldogs. He tossed five and two-thirds innings, while yielding two runs on five hits. He also tied a career high of seven strikeouts, which he has now done five times. 

Mason Meadows
Mason Meadows

In relief, Glover got the final out of the sixth inning, pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and junior RHP Zac Kristofak pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Then, junior RHP/third baseman Aaron Schunk pitched a scoreless ninth, tenth, and 11thinning.  For the next four innings, Logan Moody had the finest outing of his career, setting new career highs with four innings pitched, and striking out eight batters, all while keeping Clemson off the scoreboard. 

Dawg Tracks 
–      With a single in the second inning, junior Patrick Sullivan now has a five game hitting streak – the longest of his career. He has also hit safely in every game since returning from a concussion injury. 
–      Junior RHP Tim Elliot matched his career high for the fifth time with seven strikeouts.
–      In the seventh inning, junior Cam Shepherd hit his eighth double of the year. 
–      In the first inning, junior Aaron Schunk walked, extending his consecutive on base streak to 11 games. In the game he also pitched for three innings, tying a career high. 
–      Junior Logan Moody set new a new career high of four innings pitched. He also set a career high with eight strikeouts. 
–      This is Georgia’s longest game since the 2018 SEC opener against Alabama. Alabama won that game 10-9 in 13 innings. That game took 5 hours and two minutes to play.
–      This is also the longest game in Georgia’s history. 
–      Georgia set a school record of striking out 26 batters. 

Tim Elliott

Coach’s Corner
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game…
“We have a tough team and that was a big win. To go that long it absolutely stinks to lose it but one team had to lose. Our bats were getting slow and our guys were getting fatigued. We used just about everyone on the bench tonight, we had four pitchers get an at bat today and that’s not something you see very often. But we found a way to win and it was a lot of fun. By the 15th the guys were slap happy, they were wearing motorcycle helmets and playing ping pong in the dugout which is something I have never seen before. Our student section came in during the 19th and sat directly behind home plate and that was awesome. It was just a really fun game.”

Player’s Perspective 

Freshman RF Connor Tate
On what’s going through his mind in the last at bat in the bottom of the 20th…
“I mean it’s really the same. You have to keep each at bat the same. Same mindset. Don’t try to get too nervous. Try to make something happen.”

On rounding first after his walk off hit…
“It felt really good. I haven’t felt like that in a while.”

Up Next 
Georgia will host No. 21 ranked Missouri in Athens for an SEC series that begins Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. 

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.