When senior pitcher Ryan Webb is on the mound, it is not just Georgia fans that are excited to see the Roswell product go to work. There were also a handful of scouts from MLB organizations at Foley Field on Saturday to see the 6-foot-1, left-hander pitch. They did not leave disappointed and neither did Georgia fans. Webb cruised through six solid innings in Georgia’s 7-0 win over the Lipscomb Bisons.
Webb did not allow a hit in his outing, while also striking out seven batters. Webb gave up three walks, but those runners never threatened to score. He hit 93 miles per hour on his fastball and also effectively used his breaking pitches and slider to mix things up. Webb was on a pitch count and worked up to 84 pitches. However, Webb still felt that he had a bit more in the tank.
“[Webb] came and just stood next to me and was really quiet,” said Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin. “Finally, I kind of looked over and he goes, “coach, really?”” He’s looking at the scoreboard, I know what he’s looking at. And I go, “yeah if you don’t walk those three guys, you’ve got another inning in you.””
Webb jokingly acknowledged the exchange in a postgame interview but said he is ready to be Georgia’s go-to ace this season. Webb had the ability to learn from Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox last season, who were both pitchers picked in the 2021 MLB Draft. It is still non-conference play, but Webb has looked very sharp in his three appearances this season after battling with COVID. He now moves to 2-0 on the season with a .000 ERA.
“Ever since I got here, I envisioned myself being the go-to guy,” said Webb. “I’ve had a great mentor in Emerson and I’ve watched him. Coming back this year, I was ready to be the guy Emerson and Cole were. I’m just trying to do my job as my Saturday starter.”
Georgia scored all seven runs in two combined innings. Corey Collins homered for the second time in as many days. Collins sent a three-run shot halfway up the trees in right center field to put the Bulldogs on the board in the third inning. Collins has been an impact player hitting third in the lineup all season. He now leads the team in home runs with four, breaking a tie with Chaney Rogers, and has improved his batting average to .373.
Collins’ freshman roommate Parks Harber decided he also wanted to get in on the action in the eighth inning. Harber hit his first career home run off of the top of the Foley Field scoreboard in right field. That made the score 7-0 and eliminated any hope of a Lipscomb rally. The third baseman had been nursing a wrist injury but is finally back in the lineup for good.
“I’m not gonna lie, it’s always nervous, just coming in as a freshman and getting some playing time,” said Harber.” “But getting out there with everyone kind of calms you down… they’re all great teammates and they’ll back you up.”
Georgia now wins another weekend series, moving its record to 12-3 on the season. The Bulldogs will go for the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Lipscomb. Jonathan Cannon will take the mound for Georgia with a pitch count of about 50-55 pitches. Stricklin says he hopes to get four innings from Cannon.