UGA Baseball: Starting Pitcher’s Struggles Leads to Loss

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UGA Baseball: Starting Pitcher’s Struggles Leads to Loss

Kevin Smith
Starter Kevin Smith had a rough night on the mound

UGA Baseball hit the ball well on the night but struggled to score in a game in which they gave up eight runs in the first four innings and this ultimately led to their 8-5 loss in the second game of their series against Missouri.

Starting pitcher Kevin Smith was not able to replicate the performance that the Bulldogs pitching staff had in the first game of the series with the Tigers as he immediately gave up a two-run home run in the opening frame. Smith calmed down in the following inning but his struggles reappeared in the third inning when he gave up four earned runs. He would not make it through the inning and would be replaced with one out left. Smith finished with six runs allowed on four walks and three hits with three strikeouts.
Blakely Brown and Christian Ryder were the two pitchers to follow and finish out the game for the Bulldogs and they both had solid performances. Brown gave up two earned runs on three hits and had a career-high eight strikeouts in a career-high four and two-thirds innings pitched. Ryder did not total any strikeouts in the two innings he pitched but he did not allow a single base runner and helped keep the Bulldogs within three of the Tigers.
The Bulldogs hit the ball well and they found a way to outhit the Tigers 14-6, but they could not capitalize on this plethora of base runners. The Bulldogs had the bases loaded in the fourth inning with two outs but they could not bring any of the runners home, which was just one of many missed opportunities for the Bulldogs.
There was not a standout hitter for the Bulldogs but Cam Shepherd, Michael Curry, Aaron Schunk, and Will Campbell each had two hits in the game. Although the Bulldogs offense scored five runs, they left 14 runners on base and their inability to bring players across home plate definitely led to the loss.
The Bulldogs fielding struggles continued as they finished with three errors in the game, which was one more than they had in the opening game of the series. This is yet another crucial area that the Bulldogs will need to improve on if they hope to win the series.
The Bulldogs will face the Tigers in the rubber match of the series in the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park at 1:30 p.m.

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Michael Pope is a Journalism student in the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, with an emphasis in sports. He enjoys covering all sports, especially basketball, football, and baseball.