BASEBALL: Georgia Southern Beats UGA in Augusta
Georgia Southern defeated 18th-ranked Georgia 13-5 Tuesday in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,765 at SRP Park.
The Bulldogs (9-3) chased Eagle left-hander Will Robbins in the first, scoring five runs on just two hits and both left the park. Corey Collins made it 2-0 with his fourth home run of the year, and a couple of Eagle errors kept the inning going for Josh McAllister to smash a three-run shot for a 5-0 advantage. Then, the GSU bullpen blanked the Bulldogs over the final 8.1 innings while the Eagles offense scored in each of the first five frames to build a 13-5 advantage.
The Eagles (7-5) got a run back in their half of the first when Jason Swan connected for his third home run, one of three on the night for GSU who came into the game with just six home runs on the year. The Eagles got a run-scoring double from Austin Thompson in the second, and then he struck again with two outs in the third with a three-run blast off Michael Polk to give them a 6-5 lead.
Redshirt sophomore right-hander Will Childers, who hails from nearby Evans, Ga., made his first start for the Bulldogs since 2020 after missing last season while recovering from elbow surgery. He allowed a run and struck out two before leaving the game following a couple of warmup pitches in the bottom of the second after Georgia’s Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin and athletic trainer Zach Adams went to the mound to check on him.
Polk was the first of five relief pitchers the Bulldogs employed the rest of the way. In the fourth, GSU posted another two-out rally when junior Noah Ledford made it 10-5 with his first career grand slam off Nolan Crisp. The Eagles added three runs on two hits off freshman Jake Poindexter in the fifth to extend their lead to 13-5.
“It was a disappointing loss, and bottom line, we have to be a tougher team,” said Stricklin. “We’ve got too many older players to let this happen. There’s always going to be adversity, and we didn’t respond. I’ve challenged our coaches and our players to be tougher.”
Ga’Von Wray picked up the win in relief of Robbins to move his record to 3-0 while Polk dropped to 0-1. Bulldog sophomore Bryce Melear, also from Evans, provided two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts in his first action of the season.
A combined eight batters were hit by pitches Tuesday, four by each team, and the scariest came in the third inning when McAllister was struck in the right cheek. He was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
“We are thankful that Josh didn’t get hit in the eye,” said Stricklin. “He should be able to come back eventually and will likely have to wear a facemask.”
The two-game series concludes Wednesday in Statesboro with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. (ESPN+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network).
Softball: #15/19 Georgia (19-2) vs. Georgia State (7-11) Tonight at the Jack
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
First Pitch: 6 p.m., EST
Location: Athens, Ga.
Stadium: Jack Turner Softball Stadium
Admission: FREE (no tickets required)
Promotions: Kids run the bases (info below)
Streaming: SEC Network+
Play-by-play: Kaleb Frady
Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com
Twitter Updates: @UGAsoftball
The 15th-ranked Georgia softball team will host in-state foe Georgia State at Jack Turner Stadium Wednesday evening. First pitch between the Bulldogs and Panthers is set for 6 p.m.
Follow the Bulldogs
» Wednesday’s game will stream live on SEC Network+. Kaleb Frady will call play-by-play.
This Week’s Promotions
» Admission to every home regular season Georgia softball game is FREE. No tickets are required. Seating is first come, first served.
» Wednesday, March 9
– Kids Run the Bases – Children 12 and under can run the bases post-game
» Georgia leads the all-time 18-4
» The Bulldogs are 12-4 in the series in Athens
» Georgia has won eight-straight against the Panthers
A Look at What’s Ahead
The Bulldogs set their sights on conference play, opening the SEC schedule this weekend in Columbia, South Carolina with a three-game series at South Carolina. The series will open Friday at 6 p.m. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks. Georgia hosts rival Georgia Tech in a midweek game next Tuesday in Athens.
The Bulldogs put together another 5-0 week at home last week with wins over Ohio, UMass, and App State. Georgia slugged its way to victory, knocking 16 home runs in five games. Seven different Bulldogs combined for the 16-homer mark as the team slugged .880 on the weekend. In the circle, freshman Kylie Macy recorded three wins while sophomore Madison Kerpics added a win and two saves all out of the pen. Georgia has won 13-straight games heading into this week.
Kearney Earns SEC, National Player of the Week
Sophomore outfielder Jayda Kearney was named the SEC and Division I Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week following a tremendous performance during the Bulldog Classic. Kearney hit .727 (8-for-11) in five games of the Bulldog Classic. She slugged 2.000 knocking four home runs and a triple, recording 22 total bases. She drove in 12 runs and scored six times. Her 12 RBI was nearly 30 percent of Georgia’s total run production. She concluded the week with a .769 on base clip with no strikeouts. Kearney notched her first career two-home run day in a five-inning victory over App State (3/6) including the first grand slam of her career to put Georgia on the board. She tied a career-best four RBI against Ohio (3/4) then set a new mark of six against App State. Kearney becomes the first Bulldog to be recognized nationally since 2014 when now-assistant coach Chelsea Wilkinson earned the award back-to-back weeks. This is the seventh time a Bulldog has earned the title.
Softball: Jayda Kearney Named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week
University of Georgia sophomore outfielder Jayda Kearney has been named the Division I Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week, the association announced Tuesday.
Kearney becomes the first Bulldog to be recognized since 2014 when now-assistant coach Chelsea Wilkinson earned the award back-to-back weeks. This is the seventh time a Bulldog has earned the title.
The Division I Player & Pitcher of Week awards are voted on by the NFCA’s Division I Top 25 Committee, which consists of one head coach representing each of the 32 NCAA DI Conferences.
Kearney was named SEC Player of the Week Monday. It was the second weekly conference honor of her career, earning Freshman of the Week March 23 last season. Kearney was also a SEC All-Freshman Team member in 2021.
The Columbus, New Jersey native hit .727 in five games of the Bulldog Classic over the weekend, going 8-for-11 at the plate. She slugged 2.000 knocking four home runs and a triple, recording 22 total bases. She drove in 12 runs and scored six times. Her 12 RBI was nearly 30 percent of Georgia’s total run production on the weekend. She concluded the week with a .769 on base clip with no strikeouts.
Kearney notched her first career two-home run day in a five-inning victory over App State Sunday including the first grand slam of her career to put Georgia on the board. She tied a career-best four RBI against Ohio on Friday then set a new mark of six against App State.
Georgia hosts Georgia State Wednesday at Jack Turner Stadium to conclude its 16-game homestand. The Bulldogs and Panthers are set for a 6 p.m. first pitch. Georgia opens SEC play this weekend at South Carolina. The three-game series will begin Friday in Columbia.
MBB: Georgia (1-17 SEC) Meets Vanderbilt (7-11 SEC) in SEC Tournament
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Tipoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Amalie Arena (21,500) in Tampa, Fla.
Watch: SEC Network (Tom Hart, pbp; Daymeon Fishback, analyst; Alyssa Lang, reporter)
Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network – Flagship: WSB AM 750; Sirius: 134; XM: 190; SXM App: 961. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)
The Starting 5…
• Braelen Bridges leads the SEC and ranks No. 4 nationally in FG pct. .642…which also is second-best ever by a Bulldog.
• Aaron Cook will be playing in his 164th college basketball game, the third-most ever by any MBB Division I player.
• Aaron Cook’s 161 assists ranks No. 3 among UGA’s all-time season leaders…and is 8 from the No. 2 mark.
• Eight of Kario Oquendo’s 10 20-point games have come in SEC play, including a career-high 33 at Texas A&M on 2/22.
• Jaxon Etter has drawn 30 charges in 30 games played this season…and 38 in his last 41 GP dating back to last season.
The Opening Tip
Georgia opens play in the 2022 SEC Tournament at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Wednesday with a matchup against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs and Commodores will face off at approximately 8:00, 30 minutes after the first game of the evening between Ole Miss and Missouri.
Georgia sports a 48-58 an all-time record in 61 SEC Tournaments. The Bulldogs are 39-39 in SEC Tourney action since the event resumed in 1979 after a 27-season hiatus from 1953-79.
Georgia won SEC Tournament titles in 1983 and 2008 and also finished as the runners-up in 1940, 1981, 1988 and 1997.
Georgia has reached the semifinals 15 times, most recently doing so in 2016.
A year ago, Georgia suffered a 73-70 setback to Missouri in a second-round matchup of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
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