ATHENS, Ga. – Low 80-degree weather and clear skies made for a brisk 14-inning exhibition in which Georgia defeated North Georgia 4-2 in front of a crowd of 550 at Foley Field on Sunday afternoon.
Georgia’s junior shortstop, Cam Shepherd, provided the first rise in the crowd with a home run that hit off the center-field batter’s eye in the fourth inning.
The Bulldogs made it 2-0 in the eighth inning with an RBI single by Patrick Sullivan that scored C.J. Smith who led off the frame with a single and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
The Night Hawks pushed across a run in the ninth inning as Jake Howard singled and scored on a base hit by Chase Sudduth.
In the 11th inning, Georgia upped the score to 3-1 when Cole Tate drove in Sullivan on a single. Later in the 13th inning, Smith reached on his second hit of the afternoon and collected his second stolen base and eventually scored on a Connor Tate sacrifice fly. The Night Hawks scored an unearned run in the 14th inning as Justin Bailey picked up a RBI on a groundout.
Georgia used 11 pitchers on the afternoon, while North Georgia employed eight on the hill. Georgia’s Tony Locey started for the Bulldogs and tossed two scoreless frames with two strikeouts. Parker Morrison started for UNG and also pitched two innings.
The next exhibition is October 14th against UNC-Asheville at 2 p.m. at Foley Field.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the benefit of the new fall exhibitions…
“Just to play somebody else. When you intersquad every single day you get tired of playing guys in the same color uniform. North Georgia is a really good team and they came in here and competed. It was nice to get that adrenaline flowing. It’s tough to replicate that in intersquad games, but our players woke up today excited to come out here and play another team. I think it is a great thing that we are allowed to play two of these games. We have two weeks to get better before the next one.”
On individual impressions…
“It was great to see Chaney Rogers out there. He hasn’t pitched in nearly two years. He had an arm injury in high school so it was great to see him back out there. I thought everybody threw the ball really well. Tony Locey and Emerson Hancock both went two innings. Great to see Justin Glover and Adam Goodman combine to go a little bit longer.”
“I thought it was really good. We played 19 position players. We split the game in half, seven and seven (innings). We had a couple misplays, but for only two missed balls in 14 innings that is pretty good. We played four different catchers back there and I think they all showed positive signs.”
Junior Shortstop Cam Shepherd
On playing in the new fall exhibitions…
“It’s about seeing new arms. Fall can get repetitive seeing our own guys throw over and over again, so it is nice to see new arms and play other teams.”
On home run…
“You know it’s early so I’m just trying to see as many pitches as I can. In that at-bat, I got up 2-0 and got a pitch that I elevated on and put a good swing on it.”