UGA Baseball: Bulldogs’ Bats Struggle in SunTrust

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UGA Baseball: Bulldogs’ Bats Struggle in SunTrust

That's a strike
That’s a strike

In front of 33,025 fans at SunTrust Park, which is the second-highest attendance in the history for a college baseball game, the (23-9,6-6) University of Georgia struggled offensively and dropped the series-deciding game three to Missouri by a score of 6-1.

Trey Harris was the early hero for the Tigers as he hit his second home run of the series with a three-run home run in the top of the fourth, which gave the Tigers a lead that they would not lose again. Tigers’ starting pitcher Bryce Montes De Oca was impressed with Harris as of late and his run scoring ability.
“He’s been a little bulb of light for us, he’s hit really well, he’s playing great defense, always doing little things, and had a really good attitude,” said Montes De Oca. “So I mean he’s doing everything we could possibly need from him right now and he’s been unbelievable in lifting our team right now.”
Montes De Oca was also outstanding on the mound for the Tigers as he played a major key in his team earning the win. Montes De Oca finished the day with six innings pitched and six strikeouts while only allowing one run on two hits, four walks, and one batter hit by a pitch.
This start from Montes De Oca was just what the Tigers needed in a game, which saw both teams, for the most part, struggle at the plate. However, the Tigers bats really came alive in the top of the eighth as they added three insurance runs, which extended their lead to five runs.
The Tigers outhit the Bulldogs 8-4 and this dismal performance at the plate for the Bulldogs played a large role in their loss. Michael Curry earned three of the Bulldogs’ four hits as the team struggled at the plate.
“As a team, we just got to play better baseball,” Curry said. “Bottom line hitting’s tough, but you know I think as a team that’s where we got to adjust, we got to be better, we got to mature more at the plate, be able to recognize pitches better, be able to battle off two strikes and stuff like that.”
Although hits were hard to come by, the Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities to score runs, but could not capitalize as they left 10 runners on base. The Bulldogs also had pitching struggles especially with their starting pitching, which did not bode well for the team’s chances for a win.
Bulldogs’ starter Chase Adkins had a very short outing as he only pitched three and two-thirds innings and allowed multiple runners to reach base. Adkins was less than stellar as he gave up three runs on three hits and three walks.
“He’s been so good for us and he’s been that rock for us on Sunday so I asked him ‘Hey, what happened?’ he goes ‘Coach, I have no idea,’” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins’ head coach Scott Stricklin. “He just kind of hit a wall, I think, and it might’ve been a little bit of adrenaline, but yeah the fourth inning got away from him.”
If there was one thing that Adkins had working, it was his strikeout pitch as he earned four strikeouts in his short day against the Tigers, who came into the game ranked third for the most strikeouts in the SEC.
The Bulldogs pitching unit as a whole had a lot of success striking out the Tigers in this series as they struck out the Tigers’ batters 40 times in the series. Although this element of the Bulldogs game was impressive, they will have to improve in many other areas if they hope to win more games in their tough remaining schedule.
The Bulldogs will look to improve on their record as they face Georgia Tech at home in their next game on April 11th.
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Michael Pope is a Journalism student in the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, with an emphasis in sports. He enjoys covering all sports, especially basketball, football, and baseball.