The UGA baseball lost this game in the first inning as Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Kevin Smith gave up 6 runs to the Rider hitters and just was not able to register an out during his time on the mound.
Smith was unable to get anything going against the Broncs’ bats and his night ended with him giving up 6 runs on four hits and a walk. Smith had only given up 3 runs in his previous two starts combined but struggled tonight. He has been one of the Bulldogs’ better pitchers this season, but he definitely took a step back in his start last night.
The Broncs were able to bat around in their six-run first inning and their first 7 batters reached base, which gave the Bulldogs a tough hill to climb for the majority of the game. Rider’s bats did not cool down in the innings that followed as they only had two innings in which they did not earn a hit. The Broncs finished the night with 11 runs and 14 hits and their offense was the difference in this game.
The Bulldogs offense had a solid night but once again they left too many runners on base and could not capitalize in these situations. They finished the night with 4 runs, 8 hits, and 8 runners on base. The inability to get the “big hit” when needed has been the storyline for the Bulldogs this season and played a significant role in the Bulldogs loss tonight.
If there was one positive takeaway for the Bulldogs, it had to be their bullpen. After Andrew Gist, who came in for Smith in the first, the Bulldogs had a solid night. The three pitchers who followed Gist were Shane Tucker, Tim Elliot, and Adam Goodman and overall they had a solid night. Tucker, Elliot, and Goodman gave up a combined 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk and had 6 strikeouts during their time on the mound. The Bulldogs bullpen has been pretty reliable this season and having solid innings from these guys gives them an idea of how deep their bullpen may be.
The Bulldogs will hope to not have to dip so early and deep in their bullpen in the second game of the series against the Broncs, which is on March 11th at 1 p.m.
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