After giving up a late 2-1 lead to Auburn, the UGA baseball team was not able to find a way to mount a comeback and earn their first SEC victory of the season.
Starting pitcher Andrew Gist was absolutely outstanding and his dominance kept the Bulldogs in the position to win this game. Gist had an all-around exceptional night as he finished with a career-high in strikeouts with seven while only allowing one run on four hits and zero walks in seven innings.
Gist had thrown 100 pitches going into the eighth inning, but would ultimately make the biggest mistake on his 101st pitch as he gave up a leadoff triple to Luke Jarvis. UGA made the call to the bullpen and Gist was replaced by Kevin Smith and he almost got out of trouble but an error charged to catcher Austin Biggar allowed the tying run to score. The Tigers would tack on one more run in the inning and that would be enough to give them the win.
The starting pitching for both squads was excellent and Tiger’s starting pitcher Keegan Thompson was equally impressive to Gist. Thompson’s night came to an abrupt end as he was replaced after a visit from a trainer while throwing his warmup pitches in the bottom half of the 5th. Thompson had thrown 49 pitches at that point in the game and had only allowed three hits while also having three strikeouts.
The Bulldogs scored their lone run on Ryan Watson, who is the relief pitcher that replaced Thompson. Will Proctor scored the Bulldogs only run as he hit a one-out triple and was driven in on the very next at-bat by a Tucker Maxwell single.
Georgia hit the ball well and had a decent night at the plate but once again struggled to drive in runs. They found a way to load the bases twice in the game but did not score on either of those occasions. They finished with 8 hits but due to their inability to score they left 13 runners on base. The Bulldogs must find a way to drive these runs in if they hope to win the next two games in the series.
The Bulldogs’ starting pitching has been a mixed bag this season, but if their next two starting pitchers can have similar success in the rest of the series and they can find a way to score runs, then they may be able to pull out a tough series win over a very good Tigers team. Winning a series over a ranked team like the Tigers could jumpstart this Bulldogs team and give them momentum in SEC play.
The Bulldogs face the Tigers in the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
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