Georgia displays toughness in opening series against Evansville

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Georgia displays toughness in opening series against Evansville

Luke Wagner
Luke Wagner

The Georgia Bulldogs’ baseball squad finished a four-game series on Sunday against the Evansville Purple Aces with a 4-1 win at Foley Field. Following an opening day loss on Friday, the Bulldogs bounced back to sweep a doubleheader on Saturday before winning the series on Sunday. 

Georgia relied heavily on its freshman in this series, especially on Sunday when four of the team’s five pitchers were freshman. Prior to the series, Georgia’s head coach Scott Stricklin talked about the importance of seeing toughness from his team because of Evansville’s experience. 

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“When you lose opening day the way that we did, it’s really tough to handle,” said Stricklin. “We could’ve folded right there… I thought our guys handled the adversity well. It was not a perfect weekend by any stretch and we have a long way to go and a lot to improve on, but overall we could have folded and we didn’t.”

The Bulldogs only allowed one hit and one run, which would appear on the box score as a dominant performance. However, 10 walks by the Georgia pitching staff led Evansville to many chances with runners on base. Georgia’s young pitchers settled in nicely though, only allowing the single run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. The Purple Aces left 10 runners on base and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. 

The bats were relatively quiet on Sunday, but the Bulldogs found unconventional ways like bunting, infield hits, and sacrifice flies to help them get on the scoreboard. Connor Tate was the only Georgia player with multiple hits on Sunday, one of which was an RBI single to give the Bulldogs an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tate is hitting .562 at the conclusion of the opening series.

Georgia scored its first run of the day in the third inning on a wild sequence highlighted by two Evansville errors.  Cole Tate bunted with runners on first and second base, but was safe on a throwing error from the pitcher. Buddy Floyd saw that and decided to book it home to try and score. The second baseman’s throw was also way off, resulting in another error which allowed Floyd to score. Corey Collins then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Bulldogs a lead they never lost. 

“We always focus on doing your job, said Connor Tate. “Once you’ve got people in scoring position, we don’t want to leave them out there. So whenever we can bunt, we’ll bunt and move them over and have trust in the people behind us to score them.”

Georgia now improves to 3-1 on the season and will travel to Atlanta to face Georgia State for a single game on Wednesday. The first pitch is set for 3 p.m. Stricklin has not yet named a starter, but said Virginia transfer Ben Harris is in consideration.

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