Baseball: Stricklin,”..They were just the better team tonight”

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Baseball: Stricklin,”..They were just the better team tonight”

Mason Meadows (30) Georgia vs. Georgia Southern 2020 - Game One - March 03, 2020
Mason Meadows (30) Georgia vs. Georgia Southern 2020 – Game One – March 03, 2020

The Georgia Southern Eagles upset the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs Tuesday night 6-3 in game one of a three game series that will span over the next week. 

Georgia Southern’s pitching staff posted an impressive performance limiting the Bulldogs to just seven hits. Eagles’ starting pitcher Tyler Owens went 6 ⅔ innings allowing just one earned run on three hits, as he struck out three and walked two. Reliever Hayden Harris finished off the game pitching 2 1/3 innings and striking out five in his short appearance.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 11-2 on the season. In those two losses, Georgia has committed two or more errors in a game, and that is something that is inexcusable to head coach Scott Stricklin

“…There’s no question, because you have got to make easy plays,” said Stricklin when asked about his team’s three errors in the loss. “There were a couple of routine plays that we couldn’t make. So, they made the plays and we didn’t.”

Redshirt freshman Garrett Brown got his third start of the season Tuesday, and it was going well until a long fourth inning left the Bulldogs trailing 3-0. The Eagles were able to score those three runs on four hits, as the Bulldogs committed their second error of the game, at that point.

Freshman right-hander Will Childers came in to replace Brown in the top of the fifth. Brown finished the day throwing four complete innings giving up two earned runs on six hits, and striking out two. Childers was able to hold off the Eagles off in the fifth, but they added an unearned run in the sixth giving them a 4-0 lead. 

Childers was then replaced by freshman Brandon Smith in the seventh, but Smith left the game abruptly after three pitches, due to an injury. Fellow freshman Cain Tatum entered the game to replace Smith. With one out, the Eagles scored two more on a Christian Avant single extending their to 6-0. 

The Bulldogs were able to secure a run in the seventh as junior Garrett Blaylock scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Cole Tate. At that point, Georgia trailed 6-1. 

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In the ninth, junior Kaden Fowler led off with a double, then proceeded to score on a single from Cole Tate. That cut Georgia’s deficit to 6-2, and they weren’t done yet as Tate reached second, then scored on a Chaney Rogers’ single. The Eagles’ lead was cut to three, but a Kale Ledford strikeout ended the game. 

“..They outplayed us. They were the better team tonight,” said Stricklin. “We certainly played really well this weekend, and tip of the cap to them. They outplayed us tonight. We certainly weren’t the best team on the field tonight.” 

Georgia has a chance for revenge on Wednesday as the two teams meet again in Augusta, Georgia at SRP Park at 6:35 p.m. EST. 

Things you know should know:

….One of those seven hits was from leadoff hitter Ben Anderson, who extended his hitting streak to eight games. Anderson led off the game with a double in the first inning. 

Tucker Bradley was robbed of a two-run home run in the first inning but reached base taking a walk in the fourth. Bradley has now successfully reached base safely in all 13 games this season. 

..Georgia was led by Cole Tate as he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and scored one run. Those two hits tonight boost Tate to 12 total on the season, and fourth-highest on the team. 

..In Georgia’s two losses, they have committed five total errors. The team has 15 total errors in 13 games. 

Riley King made his first start of the year at third base, and that’s the fourth different position he’s played this year.

Here is the video from Scott Stricklin’s post-game interview:

Scott Stricklin’s postgame interview after the loss to Georgia Southern.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.