Freshman Ryan Avidano got the start for the Bulldogs (16-10) and picked up his third win in four starts to improve to 3-1. He threw 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits. In relief Jared Cheek pitched 2.1 innings, holding the Owls scoreless, while striking out four. Connor Jones and Bo Tucker finished out the contest.[su_spacer size=”20″]
Kennesaw State (12-12) struck first with two runs in the second. By the fourth, Georgia was able to tie it up behind the bat of sophomore Mike Bell. Bell had the only two Bulldog hits before the fifth inning, luckily one was an RBI single in the second and the other was an RBI triple in the fourth. Bell finished 3-for-3 to go along with his 2 RBI.
The Owls took one more brief lead in the top of the fifth with a solo shot from KalSimmons. Although in the bottom of the frame, Georgia’s offense exploded for five runs. Junior DJ Smith’s three-run double off of the left-center field wall gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the day. Smith now has seven RBI on the season, which is a career-high for him, and tops his career total of six. Later in the fifth, Stephen Wrenn added two more runs with a single up the middle. Wrenn has now reached base in all 26 of Georgia’s games this campaign.
“DJ Smith had the big at bat, and he hammered that ball, he almost hit it out,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “I am really proud of DJ; he has come a long way, he works really hard, he takes a lot of pride in it. He is a really good team guy. He is not a guy that plays every day, but he’s always on that top step waiting for me to call his name.”
Zack Bowers has collected seven hits the last two games. On Tuesday night, he went 4-for-5 against Mercer, and on Wednesday he went 3-for-5 with three lead off hits, two of them doubles, and three runs scored. KSU reliever Cole McArthur got the loss to fall to 0-1, allwong two runs on one hit in relief of Chris Erwin.
Georgia returns to SEC action Friday when it faces eighth-ranked South Carolina in Columbia. First pitch will be at 7 p.m. (SEC Network +).