BASEBALL: Georgia Unable to Overcome Early Deficit, Falls 14-6

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BASEBALL: Georgia Unable to Overcome Early Deficit, Falls 14-6

Adam Sasser at first base as Connor Jones attempts pickoff
Adam Sasser at first base as Connor Jones attempts pickoff
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated

After falling behind 7-1 in the early running, a five-run fourth inning brought Georgia back into the game but the Bulldogs (14-7, 1-2) never could draw even and ultimately fell to Kentucky (14-5, 2-1) by a 14-6 final score on Sunday afternoon at Foley Field.
Daniel Nichols’ home run in the second inning tied the game at one run apiece, but Kentucky surged for six runs over the next two innings. Georgia responded in the bottom of the fourth with a five-run rally, all with two outs, to draw within striking distance. Kentucky responded with seven unanswered runs to take the series.

Georgia vs. Kentucky Photo Gallery by Greg Poole
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[foogallery id=”79484″]  
Kentucky wasted no time in the Sunday matinee, striking for a run in the first courtesy of a two-out double to the right field corner to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.
Nichols responded in the second, launching a solo shot to right to lead off the frame and tie the game at one run apiece. The tie did not last long, though, as the Wildcats punched back with a three-run homer courtesy of JaVon Shelby in the top of the third to seize a three-run lead.
The visiting squad added on in the fourth, taking advantage of a wild pitch and passed ball after a leadoff single as Kentucky drove the run in with a one-out double to left to take a 5-1 lead. Shelby then added a two-run, two-out triple to extend the advantage to 7-1 for the Wildcats.
Georgia rallied in the bottom of the inning as Adam Sasser roped a single to left to bring in Nichols, drawing back to within 7-2. Two batters later, Skyler Weber stung a fastball to center for a single to bring in two runs and get Georgia back into it with a three-run deficit. Stephen Wrenn then topped off the rally with a two-run single, getting Georgia within striking distance down 7-6.
Kentucky answered immediately, getting a run thanks to a two-out RBI single up the middle to push the lead back to two. Shelby struck once again for Kentucky in the sixth, adding a two-run homer to give the visitors a 10-6 advantage.
The offenses went quiet until the ninth when the Wildcats added four runs to take the 14-6 win.
Dawg Tracks
– Daniel Nichols’ solo shot to right in the second inning was his fourth home run of the season.
– Adam Sasser’s RBI single to left in the fourth inning brought his RBI count to three for the year.
– Skyler Weber’s two-RBI single in the fourth pushed him to double-digit RBI on the year with 11.
– Stephen Wrenn’s two-RBI single in the fourth brought his RBI count to 12 on the season.
– The Bulldogs rallied for five runs with two outs in the fourth inning to come back from down 7-1 to within striking distance.

Stricklin Says


Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin

On today’s game…
“It was disappointing overall. We lost the series on our home field. We had a chance to win it on Sunday, and all in all had a really bad day at the ballpark. We didn’t play well, we didn’t pitch well, we didn’t catch the baseball. We had one good inning. I thought we played really well in the bottom of the fourth inning. Other than that we got out-competed by a really good baseball team. It’s not acceptable. I’m not happy about it. We’re 1-2, it’s the first weekend, we’re not going to push the panic button. We’ve got to get better, there’s no question about it. We can’t go out and compete like that in the SEC and expect to have success.”

On the pitching…
“Our pitching was not very good this weekend. We walked way too many guys. We gave them way too many opportunities. We made eight errors on the weekend. We walked 20 guys and made eight errors on the weekend. We’re fortunate to win a game. We’re fortunate to salvage a game and be 1-2 in this situation. We just did not play well. We didn’t deserve to win the series. They outplayed us. We’ve got to regroup and get ready to play on Tuesday.”

On his message to the team…
“Our talk out in right field was it’s the upperclassmen. They have to take ownership of their team. I can’t be the only voice. That’s what I said. We’re not going to push the panic button because it’s the first weekend. We’re 1-2. There’s going to be a couple of teams that I think are going to be 0-3 after this weekend. So we’re not going to push the panic button. The bottom line is we didn’t play well, and they have to be accountable for it too, be responsible for it. That’s what I told the upperclassmen. `This can’t be your team. This can’t be how your team performs and how your team comes out here and competes with a chance to win the series on a Sunday.’ It’s unacceptable. That’s what I’m hoping, and they were out there a little longer, so I’m hoping the upper classmen take charge a little bit.”

Players’ Perspective


Jr. OF Skyler Weber

On his approach for his RBI single…
“Our approach pretty much stays the same – have a good at bat, see pitches, drill balls up. When pitchers are struggling, normally we tend to be more aggressive. But at the same time, we don’t want to get away from our approach.”

On swinging on the first pitch…
“Every hitter likes to be aggressive and swing at the first-pitch fastball. That’s pretty much the best pitch you’re going to see in the at-bat if it’s a strike. I like swinging at the first pitch.”

Jr. OF Stephen Wrenn

On Coach Stricklin’s message to the team…
“We had a couple guys speak up, and essentially the message is `guys, we’re going to bow our necks.’ We’re three games into the SEC, we’re not going to panic, but we do need to make adjustments. We’ll light that fire in our belly and we’re going to go try to shock some people down in Starkville.”

On adjustments the team has to make…
“It’s simple. It’s close. We need to play cleaner baseball, that’s for sure. We need to make more timely hits and more timely pitches. It’s simple. I don’t think we’re far at all. I think guys are swinging the bats pretty well. I think guys can throw the ball fairly well. We just need to fine-tune some stuff, clean it up.”

Up Next

Georgia will play host to Mercer on Tuesday at 6 p.m. as the Bulldogs look to finish off the season sweep of their in-state opponent.

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