It was uncomfortably quiet at Foley Field following the conclusion of Georgia’s Tuesday evening matchup against Georgia Southern. Georgia’s fans were quiet leaving the game, the press box was quiet and most noticeably Georgia’s players were awfully quiet.
The only audible sounds were the cheers coming from the Georgia Southern dugout. The Eagles defeated the Bulldogs 2-1 behind a pair of solo home runs. This was the third loss in a row for Georgia following their win on Friday night against South Carolina.
Once again the Bulldogs’ offense started slow, with no runs being scored in the first four innings. After Nolan Crisp pitched the top of the fifth inning, Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin appeared to huddle his whole team together for a mid-game speech, something that is not exactly a common occurrence.
“I was just trying to get them jump-started,” said Stricklin. “It was just kind of a splash in the face with some water, let’s go, let’s wake up… I prefer not to have to do that but I just felt it was a time that needed to try to get a bit of energy going.”
Georgia did get going in the bottom of the fifth. Both Chaney Rogers and Ben Anderson worked two-out walks to give the Bulldogs a scoring opportunity. Cole Tate then came through with an RBI single to right field, which gave Georgia a 1-0 lead. Parks Harber was then hit by a pitch leading to a Connor Tate at-bat with the bases loaded. Tate grounded out to third though, ending the best opportunity the team had all night.
Georgia left seven runners on base and only totaled four hits in the game. The Bulldogs also hit .222 with runners on base. Tuesday night marked the second-straight game where the Bulldogs only scored one run as questions about the offense’s lack of production continue to rise.
“I think that we hit a lot of hard balls to people,” said Cole Tate. We just didn’t really get the hit or find the hole and that’s baseball.
Georgia’s pitching staff put together an impressive performance led by freshman Hank Bearden. Because it was a “bullpen day” for Georgia, Bearden only pitched three innings. However, he retired all nine batters he faced by using a good mix of his three pitches. Unfortunately for Georgia’s bullpen, two pitches determined the game.
Jaden Woods gave up a solo home run to Mason McWhorter in the sixth inning, raising his ERA to 5.28. Then in the ninth inning, Darryn Pasqua gave up a home run to Christian Avant, giving Georgia Southern a 2-1 lead.
This loss could be a tough pill to swallow considering Georgia’s last two losses. Rather than going to Nashville with a win and some momentum, the Bulldogs (18-10, 3-6) will have to face the No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores in a three-game series as losers of three in a row. That series will start on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs seem poised to bounce back though.
“We’re gonna be ready to play this weekend, we’re gonna fight like crazy and we’re gonna do everything we can to win this series,” said Stricklin.