With only a handful of games left in the regular season, both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators played a passionate ballgame on Friday night that resembled a postseason contest. Florida came out with a 4-3 victory, after battling back from multiple deficits.
Georgia falls to 28-19, (11-14) on the season with the loss. The Bulldogs showed a valiant effort led by Josh McAllister, one of the most consistent hitters on the team. However, Florida’s late rally in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference.
McAllister had four hits on the day, which marked a career-high for him in a game. The “JUCO bandit” made some spectacular hustle plays that gave the Bulldogs a chance to win the game. In the fifth inning, McAllister beat out an infield single on a grounder that looked like it would be a routine out. He then stole second base and later scored on an RBI single from Connor Tate to give Georgia a 3-2 lead at the time.
Tate’s RBI gives him a chance to be the triple crown winner for the Bulldogs, meaning he would have to lead the team in batting average, home runs, and RBIs. He now has a 27-game on-base streak and a 10-game hitting streak.
After Florida scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, the Bulldogs had a real chance to tie the game in the ninth. Chaney Rogers and Fernando Gonzalez both singled to give Georgia runners on first and second with one out. Ben Anderson and Josh McAllister both ended up striking out after that, which ended the game and McAllister’s perfect day.
Both starting pitchers performed well, which was very important for Georgia’s Liam Sullivan after the strong outing he had last week against Arkansas. Sullivan threw five innings, giving up three runs to go with seven strikeouts. Florida starter Tommy Mace struck out 10 Georgia batters in 6.2 innings while also giving up three runs.
Game two of the series will also start at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday with Jaden Woods getting the start for the Bulldogs. It will be considered a “must-win” if Georgia does not want to drop a third straight SEC series.