The UGA baseball team put on their rally caps and pulled off another comeback by a score of 4-3 in the rubber match of their series with Georgia Southern.
After losing the lead in the eighth, the Bulldogs came back in the bottom of the ninth and their ability to take advantage of the free bases given up by the Eagles. In the final frame, the Eagles had an error and two walks with one of the walks bringing in the tying run. Starting pitcher Chase Adkins said the team went into the ninth feeling a win coming.
“It’s a new year, new team, we’re all locked in, way more locked in than we were last year,” said Adkins. “When we came in the ninth inning, Shoot, I think everybody in the dugout knew we were about to win.”
Cam Shepherd won the game for the Bulldogs with a sac fly to deep right field that brought in Cole Tate, who pinch ran for Trey Logan. Logan reached base after attempting to move the runner on first over, but Eagles pitcher Cole Whitney bobbled the ball and was not able to earn an out on the play. These mistakes ultimately led to the Bulldogs earning the win.
Both the Eagles and Bulldogs offenses struggled to get on the board in the game as the game remained scoreless until Georgia left fielder Keegan McGovern broke the tie with a two-run home run that gave his team the lead for a short time. The Eagles took the lead in the top of the eight after earning three runs from a bases-loaded situation in which they had no outs.
Georgia pitcher Zac Kristofak came in for relief pitcher Tony Locey after Locey’s struggles led to the bases being loaded. Kristofak did a good job of managing the situation he was dealt a very tough situation that could have had a much worse outcome. Kristofak believes these comebacks are showing a huge difference from last year’s team to this year’s team.
“As coach Stricklin said in our team meeting, these are character wins,” said Kristofak. “I don’t think last year at this time, we would have really come back, so I truly think that is the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team, as you saw it took every piece of the puzzle, we had a bunch of subs in that last inning to get the job done and everybody executed.”
This game was most definitely a pitching duel between Bulldogs starter Chase Adkins and Eagles starter David Johnson. Johnson struggled more but did a great job of working out of tough situations without allowing any runs to come across.
Adkins was the more dominant of the two pitchers as he retired 15 straight Eagles at one point and finished his day with eight strikeouts, two hits, one walk in six innings of work. Adkins has supplanted himself as the Sunday starter and Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“He earned that spot and that’s probably the second best I’ve seen (from him),” said Stricklin. “When you’ve got Chase Adkins on Sunday, you’re going for a sweep, series win, or salvage a series, I don’t think there’s anyone you’d rather have than Chase Adkins out there because he can really pitch and he’s a senior with a lot of confidence.”
With the victory, the Bulldogs improve to (2-1) on the season and will face Kennesaw State in Kennesaw on Wednesday, February 21st at 5 p.m.