For the second weekend in a row, the Georgia Bulldogs won an SEC series after dropping their first three of the year. This weekend they took two out of three games from the Kentucky Wildcats after winning Sunday’s rubber matchup by a score of 17-6.
Those 17 runs ended up tying a season-high, previously coming against Gardner-Webb as well. The bats were alive all weekend, but especially on Sunday. Georgia totaled 18 hits on its way to a dominant offensive showcase that featured many different ways of scoring.
“Really aggressive approach by our hitters today,” said Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin. “I thought we had great at-bats all the way through. We drew some walks, got some big two-out hits and just overall, really good performance by our offensive team.”
The Bulldogs had six players with multiple hits in Sunday’s game, including three players with three hits. Georgia also mustered up two five-run innings. Coach Stricklin said that Georgia’s hitting coach Scott Daeley set the tone for the Bulldog hitters by telling them he wanted 10 runs on the board and then 15.
Fernando Gonzalez hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the second inning to give Georgia an early 3-0 lead. The freshman catcher from Panama had 17 hits on the season coming into the game but only had two RBI’s to show for it. With one swing Gonzalez more than doubled that total, adding to the strong season he has had defensively behind the plate.
“It’s something that will build up my confidence now,” said Gonzalez. “Not that I’m going to step up to the plate and look for home runs every at-bat, but always trying to help my team whatever way I can.”
The Wildcats got to Georgia starter Luke Wagner in the third inning, combining for four runs to take the lead. The Bulldogs then responded with five of their own in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Ben Anderson’s two-RBI triple.
Anderson blooped a ball into shallow left field where Kentucky’s shortstop and left fielder collided hard. It was a scary scene that left both players down for a matter of minutes. Thankfully, both players were able to get up and remain in the game, but it was at that point Georgia took a commanding lead again.
The Bulldogs improved to 23-12 (7-8) on the season. Perhaps the most optimistic tale for Georgia is that they are now winning without dominant pitching performances. Ryan Webb and Jonathan Cannon both had decent starts this past weekend, but they are surely capable of better performances.
If and when those two start putting together some dominant performances with the way Georgia’s offense is playing, the Bulldogs will not be taken lightly by any SEC foe. Georgia’s May schedule will be very tough with road trips to Arkansas and Florida. However, the Bulldogs have two very winnable SEC series’ against Missouri and Auburn coming up.
“Winning this series was a huge momentum booster,” said pitcher Jaden Woods. “We just have to continue to become even more hungry and keep it going.”
The Bulldogs will first be back in action though against Clemson at Foley Field on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.