The UGA Baseball team found a way to pull of the series sweep over Charlotte as they won both games of the doubleheader on Saturday.
Game One: Bulldogs Comeback Again
The Bulldogs pulled off their third comeback attempt of the season as a three-run eighth inning led to their 6-4 victory over Charlotte in the second game of the series but first of their doubleheader.
The Bulldogs may be awarded the victory, but the Niners lost this game as every run that came across to score in the eighth was allowed by some form of free base. Keegan McGovern started off the inning with a walk and advanced from first to third on a wild pickoff attempt. Cam Shepherd would walk to give runners on the corners with no one out.
Michael Curry reached second on a misjudged ball by the left fielder, which was not ruled an error, and this brought in the tying run in McGovern and the go-ahead run in Shephard. Curry would eventually come in to score, but the error on his play was what gave the Bulldogs enough to win the game. The Bulldogs fought from behind all day long but their ability to take advantage of free bases was what ultimately led to the victory.
The pitching performance by both Bulldogs starter Emerson Hancock and Niners starter Josh Maciejewski were notable, but Maciejewski was much more impressive. Maciejewski kept the Bulldogs guessing all day long and ended his game with a final line of three runs (two earned) on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in seven innings of work.
The Bulldogs bullpen was represented by Will Proctor and Zac Kristofak, who gave the Bulldogs a combined four scoreless innings and did a great job of keeping the Niners in check. The Bulldogs needed both this pitching performance and their bats to come alive to pull off this comeback.
Will Proctor’s three scoreless innings were outstanding and he did a good job of stranding runners and working out of tough counts. Proctor struggled in his last outing, which was his first since making the transition from infielder to pitcher. Proctor looked comfortable and should become an important piece of the Bulldogs bullpen as the season progresses.
“I definitely had jitters the first time, but with each appearance, I just build some more confidence,” said Proctor. “It’s pretty cool, definitely.”
Ultimately, the Bulldogs ability to capitalize on the Niners mistakes led to this series winning victory.
Game Two: Multi-homer McGovern leads Bulldogs to sweep
The UGA Baseball team had an impressive offensive showing in the second game of their doubleheader against Charlotte that proved to be too much and led to the series sweep with a score of 10-7.
The Bulldogs scored at least one run in the first four innings of play and the Niners could not match their efforts. However, the play of Keegan McGovern has been the foundation of the Bulldogs offense to start off the season and that proved true yet again in the Bulldogs series-sweeping win.
McGovern was responsible for five of the Bulldogs ten runs and his power was on display yet again. He had three home runs which accounted for his three RBIs and they were both monster shots that easily cleared the fence. This was his first three home run game of his career and it ties a school record for most home runs in a single game. The last Bulldog to accomplish this feat was Rich Poythress in 2009 against Ohio State.
McGovern has been an absolute beast for the Bulldogs this season as he now has a team-leading six home runs through seven games and he is on par to have a career year that would shatter his previous personal bests in the past three seasons.
“He’s a senior, he’s a captain, he’s a team favorite, everybody loves him and he’s the hardest worker and he holds guys accountable too,” said Stricklin. “He’s just really comfortable right now and he’s hitting the ball to all fields, which makes it really tough to pitch to him.”
The Niners offense just could not keep up, but what cost them the game was the sheer amount of walks they gave the Bulldogs throughout the course of the game. The Niners gave up a total of six walks and the Bulldogs brought in four of those walks to score.
In comparison, the Bulldogs only surrendered one walk and that batter did eventually score. Both teams seemed to be able to take advantage of the walks that they earned but since the Bulldogs earned more it proved to give them a huge advantage in the game.
Niners starting pitcher Jonah Patten struggled and only pitched two full innings before being pulled, but Bulldogs pitcher Chase Adkins had a much better time on the mound but still seemed to have some struggles.
Adkins hit three batters with a pitch and ended up giving up two runs on five hits with only one strikeout. The Niners seemed to hit Adkins pretty hard, but the Bulldogs defense did a good job of making outs.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-1 on the season and will play the Wofford Terriers on February 27th at 5 p.m. at Foley Field.
Quote of the night: Will Proctor on Keegan McGovern
“It’s ridiculous, the fact that he can do that, that well in games, I mean what is that? six in seven games and five this week; that’s unbelievable. If he’s not national player of the week, I don’t know who is.”