BASEBALL: Georgia Wins on Walk-Off Walk

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BASEBALL: Georgia Wins on Walk-Off Walk

Georgia infielder Patrick Sullivan (14) hits the ball during an NCAA baseball game between Georgia and Lipscomb University at Foley Field in Athens, Ga. on Friday, Mar. 11, 2016. (Photo by David Barnes)

The Bulldogs (10-5) won a dramatic game 9-8 game in extra innings over Lipscomb (9-5) on a walk-off walk on Friday evening at Foley Field.
Georgia drew three walks in the 11th inning, including the deciding one to sophomore Mitchell Webb, to claim the victory. Overall, the Bulldogs’ offense drew 12 walks and added eight hits to come from behind late and defeat the Bison.
The Bulldogs’ scored four runs in the first inning to jump out to an early lead, but the Bison broke through with a six-run fifth inning – including an Adam Lee grand slam – to earn the 6-4 advantage.
After each team traded two runs apiece in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, the Bison held an 8-6 edge heading into the bottom of the ninth.
A one-out single by junior Stephen Wrenn started the ninth-inning rally followed by consecutive walks to Daniel Nichols and Michael Curry. Keegan McGovern provided the lift the Bulldogs needed with a sharp single to right, scoring two and knotting the score at 8-8. The two RBIs were McGovern’s second and third of the game after hitting a solo homerun in the sixth inning.
In extra innings, sophomore Bo Tucker (2-1) posted two perfect innings of work with three strikeouts to set up Georgia’s victory in the bottom of the 11th. Tucker earned the win, while Gibson (0-2) was credited with the loss after walking a batter and hitting a batter with a pitch in 0.2 innings.
The walk-off victory was Georgia’s second of the year, and the team moves to 3-1 overall in extra innings this season.
Dawg Tracks

– The walk-off win was Georgia’s first since defeating Cincinnati 7-6 in 10 innings on February 27. Georgia moves to 3-1 in extra innings this year.

– Skyler Weber’s leadoff single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. The junior reached base twice and played both right field and catcher during the game.

– Stephen Wrenn’s RBI double in the first inning also added to his hitting streak of eight straight games, three shy of his career high of 11 games last spring. His three-hit game was his third of the season and propelled him to a .385 batting average, tops on the team.

– Georgia’s four runs in the first inning were its most in the first inning this season. Before tonight’s game, the Bulldogs had five runs in the first inning all year.

– Lipscomb’s Adam Lee hit a grand slam in the fifth inning, the first grand slam by an opponent at Foley Field since Kentucky’s Matt Reida hit one on May 17, 2014. Georgia won that game, 11-10.

– Robert Tyler tallied five strikeouts on the day, increasing his total to (33). He came into the day fourth in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings at 14.82 and has thrown more innings than anyone else in the top 10. His 28 total strikeouts coming into the game ranked seventh in the nation.

– Keegan McGovern notched his fourth home run and RBI Nos. 15, 16 & 17 of the season in the game. McGovern leads the team in both categories and is one of three position players to have started every game this season.
Stricklin Says

Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin

On the game…

“We had a great first inning. We had a great ninth inning. In between, the second through eighth, we weren’t very good. Their pitcher, Weller, was outstanding. We didn’t do much to help ourselves in there. We had a lead, we let it get away. With that being said we fought back and we found a way to win. At the end of the day that’s what’s most important. We didn’t play particularly great, especially in the second through the eighth inning. After that I thought our bullpen did a great job. Drew Moody, Blake Cairnes and Bo Tucker were all really good. Our defense played well for the most part. We just found a way to win.”

On the team’s ability to win close games…

“We could’ve quit when all of a sudden you’re winning 4-0 then you’re losing 6-4. It’s tough to bounce back from that. That happened to us last Tuesday. We had a lead, then we lost the lead, and we had a chance to score some runs at Charlotte in the game that we lost and we let a couple opportunities go by. I thought we had really good at-bats in the ninth and we had really good at-bats in the 11th to win the game. Our guys didn’t quit. They could’ve easily quit when it was 6-4. These guys have some fight in them, and I am proud of them.”

On what he hopes to see the rest of the series…

“We’ve got to be ready to play. Their goal is to come in here and win a series from a SEC team. They certainly have the ability to do it. They’ve got some guys who can swing the bat. We’re going to see their two best pitchers now, numbers wise, are throwing games two and three. We’ve got to be ready to be better offensively to beat this club.”
Players’ Perspective
Sophomore INF Mitchell Webb

On his approach in the final at-bat…

“I was looking for a good pitch to hit and hopefully come out with a W. Luckily, I could’ve gone up there without a bat. (Lipscomb) kind of gave it to us.”

On handling the pressure of extra innings…

“I just think of it as any other at-bat. It’s just a normal at-bat, something I’ve been doing since I was 5 years old. It’s just another day at the ballpark for me.”
Sophomore P Bo Tucker

On his approach to pitching in extras…

“Just get after it. There’s no time to think about pressure. You just have to go out there and try to help your team win a ballgame. You’ve got to have a lot of confidence in your stuff and trust in your pitches and you’ll be alright.”

On Georgia’s ability to prevail in close games…

“Coach Stricklin preaches to us to keep battling and never give up. That’s our mindset. Never give up. You saw what can happen. They were down four runs and came back, then we were down and came back. You can’t quit battling. Baseball’s a funny game. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Up Next

Georgia will take on Lipscomb in the second game of the series at Foley Field in Athens on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m.

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Greg is closing in on 15 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.