Ole Miss vs Georgia Baseball: The (23-25, 8-16) Bulldogs got a fantastic start from senior Heath Holder, who allowed only one run and three hits in seven innings of work, and the offense exploded in a 13-2 win over the 7th-ranked Rebels (36-13, 14-10) on Sunday afternoon at Foley Field.
With the win, Georgia finished its school-record 22 consecutive games against ranked opponents with a mark of 8-14. The streak will come to an end Wednesday when the Bulldogs host Western Carolina.
The Bulldogs hung five runs on the board in both the fourth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach. Adam Sasser delivered the big hit in the fourth inning with a bases-clearing double to right for three RBI. Nick King launched Georgia’s first grand slam since 2014 in the sixth inning, a shot over the left field wall to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 9-0. King and freshman Michael Curry, who had four RBI of his own including a three-run homer, tied for the team lead in RBI on the day with four being a career high for each.
Holder breezed through the first four innings, allowing only three walks as the Bulldogs played stout defense behind him and held Ole Miss quiet on offense. Skyler Weber then doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, and Stephen Wrenn shot a RBI single to center to give Georgia a 1-0 lead. Curry added to the lead later in the inning with a bases-loaded infield single, spotting the Bulldogs a two-run edge. Adam Sasser capped off the big inning with a bases-clearing double to right, giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead through four.
Ole Miss ended Holder’s no-hit bid two innings later as Tate Blackman hit a roller to the right side and beat the throw after a nice effort from LJ Talley. He was left stranded on first as Holder responded with his fifth strikeout of the game.
Georgia sealed the game in the sixth inning, using back-to-back jacks to put the contest out of reach. King stepped up in a big way with a two-out grand slam to make the score 9-0, Georgia’s first grand slam since 2014, and Weber immediately followed with a homer of his own to give the Bulldogs a double-digit advantage.
The Rebels got one run back in the seventh, using a double, single and sacrifice fly to get on the board and make the score 10-1 in favor of the Bulldogs. Georgia answered right back, though, as Curry launched a three-run bomb with one out that easily cleared the wall in right-center and gave the Bulldogs a 13-1 lead.
Ole Miss added a solo homer in the ninth inning to produce the final of 13-2.
– Stephen Wrenn’s double in the first extended his hitting streak to five games.
– Skyler Weber’s leadoff double in the fourth was his team-leading 11th of 2016 and extended his hitting stream to eight games.
– Heath Holder, who entered the game ranked fourth in the country and tops in the SEC in hits allowed per nine innings (5.16), allowed three hits in seven innings against the Rebels.
– Adam Sasser entered play Sunday with four RBI in 41 career ABs. He had three on one double on Sunday.
– Nick King’s grand slam in the sixth inning was the first for Georgia since 2014. It was his second home run of the season.
– Weber followed King with a home run to give Georgia back-to-back jacks for the second time this season. The Bulldogs last accomplished that feat on April 17 against South Carolina.
– Michael Curry’s no-doubter in the seventh inning, a three-run shot, was his team-leading seventh homer of the year.
– Curry and King each led the team with four RBI in the contest – a career best for both.
– Georgia finished its school-record 22 consecutive games against ranked competition with an 8-14 record.
– The Bulldogs improved to 11-0 on the year when holding opponents to two or fewer runs.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On getting a big win over No. 7 Ole Miss…
“It was a huge game for us. We needed to win. We put ourselves in this position where almost every game is a must-win for us to get to where we need to be, which is the postseason. The kids really responded. Heath Holder stepped up. The last thing he said to Coach Corral when he left the park yesterday was ‘I’ve got you tomorrow, coach.’ He said it. I heard him say it. I felt pretty good about him on the mound. This (Ole Miss) pitching staff, it’s tough to score runs. We got some big hits. Adam Sasser, Nick King both got big hits with runners in scoring position to give us some cushion.”
On lessons from today’s win…
“Number one, we’re a good baseball team. When we apply ourselves we’re a really good baseball team. It’s unfortunate we haven’t been as consistent as we want to be, but we played really well. We pitched, played great defense, had some big hits. We can be a really good baseball team.”
On the big hits from Sasser and King…
“It’s a 2-0 lead (before Sasser’s three-RBI double) but the wind is gusting out. It’s a tough day to pitch. For us to only give up two runs on a day like today, I think it speaks volumes about how well those guys threw and how we played defense. (The score) 2-0 was not a big lead today. Even 5-0 (after Sasser’s double) was ‘okay, we’ve got a big lead but let’s add on.’ Nick King was the blast that kind of made us take a little bit of a breath and relax a little bit.”
Sr. SS Nick King
On the win today…
“It was one of those things where we just took it one game at a time. Every single game is a World Series game, that’s how we are going to look at the rest of the season. Have no worries and just play. Whatever happens, happens, but at the end of the day, you just have to go out there and play their best.”
On his grand slam…
“The wind helped a little bit, thankfully. I had been getting pitched the same way throughout the whole series. As soon as I saw the off-speed pitch – I had been looking for it – so as soon as I got it, I went after it.”
Sr. P Heath Holder
On his start today…
“Just do what I can do. Don’t try and do too much, don’t try to have an out-of-body experience. Stay within, keep it one inning, one batter, one pitch at a time and let the guys make plays. They made a ton of plays today.”
On his approach and what worked…
“The walks come doing too much, having that out-of-body experience in terms of not staying within. Other than that, just keeping calm and reminding myself that I have a really good defense behind me. Let them work and let them play.”
What’s On Deck
ldogs host the Western Carolina Catamounts on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Foley Field.
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