The Georgia Bulldogs used a career-high 6.1 shutout innings from Jared Walsh and a three-run sixth inning to defeat Georgia State 4-2 in front of 1,658 fans at Foley Field Tuesday night.
Walsh (1-0) earned the win in his second start of the season, scattering five hits and striking out four as the Bulldogs improved to 8-4 while the Panthers dropped to 7-5.[su_spacer size=”40″]
“We needed that,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. “We needed to extend [Walsh] a little bit. He kept the pitch count down. He threw a lot of strikes and his breaking ball was breaking right. His fastball was up to 89 mph. He looked really good. He threw a couple changeups in there, but he was often changing speeds on his fastball, something Coach [Fred] Corral strongly believes in. He looked really good tonight.”[su_spacer size=”40″]
Mike Mancuso, Zach Waters and Jared Cheek would close out the victory for Georgia coming out of the bullpen. Mancuso allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning, a solo shot to Georgia State’s Sam Few, and had a strikeout. Waters made his Bulldog debut, going 1.2 innings allowing one run on one hit and a walk.[su_spacer size=”40″]
“That was huge.” Stricklin said of Waters’ debut outing. “Zach’s got a great arm. He’s a great athlete, very talented, but he’s had trouble finding the strike zone. He really took to [a change in his throwing motion]. That was the first time he’s done it against hitters, believe it or not. He’s done it in the bullpen, and I was a little hesitant to go out and bring him in, but you know what, we’ve got to get him out there. We’ve got to have him if we’re going to be the team we want to be and it was very encouraging because he came in there and threw the ball very well.”[su_spacer size=”40″]
Cheek earned his third save, closing out the contest with two pitches to get the last out in the ninth on a diving catch in right field by SkylerWeber.[su_spacer size=”40″]
At the plate, Georgia had nine hits, including four in the sixth inning, their most productive of the evening. Stephen Wrenn (2-for-4, RBI), Zack Bowers (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs scored), and Brandon Stephens (2-for-4, RBI, run scored) each had two hits for the Bulldogs and batted in three of Georgia’s four runs in the contest. Bowers extended the Bulldog lead to 2-0 with a lead-off blast over the left centerfield fence. The homer is Bowers’ fourth of the young season, surpassing his 2014 season total.[su_spacer size=”40″]
With one out, Mike Bell (1-for-3, RBI, run scored) would come around on a hit-and-run on Stephens’ RBI-single to make it 3-0. Wrenn two-out single would plate Georgia’s fourth run of the evening.[su_spacer size=”40″]
Marc-Andre Habeck (2-1) took the loss in his third start of the season for Georgia State, allowing three runs on six hits in 5.1 innings.[su_spacer size=”40″]
The Panthers runs came in the seventh and ninth innings via the aforementioned Sew home run and Will Johnson RBI-triple in the ninth.[su_spacer size=”40″]
Georgia returns to action on Friday when they play host to Longwood University in the first of a three-game set a Foley Field. First pitch is set for 5 PM EST.