The UGA baseball team put together a seventh-inning rally that gave them the lead, but too many walks in the 9th resulted in a tough loss in the opening game of their series against the University of Florida.
The Bulldogs went into the 9th inning with a 4-3 lead and having only allowed two walks on the night. This Bulldogs seemed to be in control of the game, but their inability to throw strikes ultimately led to their demise. With closer Blake Cairnes out for the weekend, The Bulldogs used three pitchers in the inning with Justin Glover, Shaefer Shepard and Blakely Brown taking the mound, but they ended up allowing six Gators to reach base and what is most shocking is the fact that five of the Gators’ six base runners came from walks.
In the ninth inning alone, Glover allowed a hit and a walk, Shepard walked three, and Brown walked one of his own before getting the final out of the inning. The Gators scored three runs in the inning, and that gave them the lead, which they would not lose.
The Bulldogs put together a strong rally in the seventh inning, and it seemed as if their bats having finally come alive would lead them to victory. They only had four hits as they entered the bottom half of the seventh inning trailing the Gators by a score of 3-0, but they would double their hit total in the inning and move in front of the Gators. Doubles from Mitchell Webb, Will Proctor and Tucker Bradley tied the game up for the Bulldogs, and Cam Shepherd’s single gave them the late 4-3 lead.
Although the Bulldogs’ hitting was not outstanding throughout the game, the pitching had a much better start than their bats, and Andrew Gist and Drew Moody played a significant role in that. Gist got the start for the Bulldogs, and after a quick first inning, he allowed two runs to come across to score in the second inning and one more run to score in the third. After his second and third inning struggles, Gist would turn it around and pitch three straight innings of shutout baseball.
Gist finished with eight strikeouts while allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings of work and 110 pitches. Drew Moody came in for Gist to start the seventh inning and he was even more efficient. Moody pitched one and 2/3 innings while not allowing a single run to score on the two baserunners he allowed, which both came off of hits.
Although this was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulldogs, this was one of their consistently better games. They did not have a single error, and if you do not count their ninth inning issues, they only allowed two walks on the day. The Bulldogs bats have to find a way to capitalize early because their four runs on nine hits is not an accurate reflection of how much the Bulldogs struggled at the plate. If they hope to steal a couple of games from the Gators, they will have to find a way to be more consistent at the plate and how to close out games.
The Bulldogs face the Gators next in the second game of the series on April 29th at 2 p.m.
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