The UGA baseball team earned its sixth straight win and was in full control in its 5-0 victory over the Wofford Terriers as starting pitcher Tim Elliott shined.
Elliott seemed to have full command over all of his pitches from the game’s outset as he started the game, by striking out the side. Elliott’s strikeout pitch was working well on the night as he finished with seven strikeouts, which dwarfed his previous career high of just two strikeouts.
Elliott went on to give the Bulldogs six shutout innings in which he only allowed four Terriers get on base. Of those four baserunners, only one reached by way of a hit. The way the other three base runners reached may be the only blemish on Elliott’s performance as two were hit by a pitch and one was walked.
“You get early strikes, you get outs,” said Elliot. “I was pounding the inside corner, pounding the outside corner, and then just them off with my offspeed, I could keep throwing the fastball and hey, it worked.”
Ike Cousins’ head coach Scott Stricklin always talks about the importance of winning the free bases battle, but Elliott was able to overcome these minor mistakes. Elliott seemed like he could have pitched longer than the sixth innings, but Stricklin has made it known that he does not want to push his pitchers’ arms this early in the season.
“Yeah, pitch count, he got to 85, his pitch count was going to be 90 tonight, when he came out after the sixth, he was going to for sure be done,” said Stricklin. “He wasn’t perfect, but he was really good and their hitters looked uncomfortable and that was a really good sign.”
The Bulldogs bats were not as dominant as they have been in past games, but they had a solid night at the plate and they gave their pitching staff a comfortable lead to work with especially at the end of the game. It was a barrage of doubles in the third inning from Keegan McGovern, Cam Shepherd, and Aaron Schunk that brought in the three runs and that would be enough to give the Bulldogs the victory. McGovern opened up the scoring for the Bulldogs and he was just recently named the National player of the week.
The Bulldogs added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and that ended up being more than enough for them to earn the win. The Bulldogs seem to have been able to rely on the top of their lineup heavily in this early portion of the season and it was Cam Shepherd leading the way tonight. Shepherd reached base in every one of his at-bats as he finished two walks and two hits with one run and one RBI.
The Bulldogs won this game with their performance on the mound and having that type of quality depth in their pitching staff could pay off huge in games down the road.
Star of the night: P Tim Elliott
The Bulldogs needed Elliott to give them a solid performance and not let his team get to deep in their bullpen as they will play six games in seven days starting Friday. Whenever a player has a career day like Elliott had, it is more than notable and the timing of his outstanding performance came at the absolute best time. Elliott fought for a starting role to open the season and this performance may make a case for him to receive even further consideration.
Quote of the night: Head coach Scott Stricklin on great teams
“The message I gave them before the game is ‘really good teams and teams that compete for championships take care of Tuesdays and Wednesdays’,”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play the Georgia State Panthers tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Foley Field with Bulldogs Tony Locey getting the start.