BASEBALL: Georgia Defeats Lipscomb 8-3 in Series Opener
The 18th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Lipscomb Bisons, 8-3, in the opening game of a three-game series on Friday afternoon in front of 2,616 spectators at Foley Field.
The Bulldogs’ eight runs came on eight hits, led by a 3-for-5, three-run, two-home run performance from Corey Collins in the three-hole of Georgia’s (11-3) lineup. Cory Acton went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two walks, while three Bulldogs notched one hit apiece.
“I thought Jonathan (Cannon) really settled in and gave us a great start,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin. “On Friday, you need to get six, seven innings out of a guy, and he gave it to us. We had been pressing and then we got the big hit from Corey. That gave us a little bit of breathing room, then when they scored the two sloppy runs in the seventh, we were able to answer back. Overall, I thought it was a really good day and a good win.”
On the mound, Cannon (3-1) went six innings, giving up one run on five hits with 11 strikeouts to earn the win – a career-high in Ks. Lipscomb’s (9-5) right-handed starter Kaleb Kantola (1-1) was tabbed with the loss.
The Bisons struck first, plating one run on an RBI double to right field in the first inning. The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame, tying the game at one apiece thanks to a solo shot to right-center field by Corey Collins.
After a three-up, three-down top of the second, Georgia added to its lead thanks to a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. The Bulldogs extended their lead to two in the fourth inning when Fernando Gonzalez scored on a double-play ball by Cole Tate.
In the fifth, Georgia plated two more runs on a pair of RBI singles by Gonzalez and Acton to gain a 5-1 lead, before Collins went yard for the second time on the afternoon in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to five, giving him a career-first two-home run game.
Lipscomb cut into the Georgia lead in the seventh, scoring two on a throwing error by Acton, making the score 6-3. The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame, scoring Rogers on a bunt from Acton, followed by Gonzalez plating on a sacrifice fly by Ben Anderson to make it 8-3.
Due to a forecast for low temperatures and high wind gusts, the second game of the series, scheduled for Saturday at Foley Field, has been postponed. The series now will conclude with a Sunday doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
There will be 40 minutes between games of the doubleheader, and the stadium will be cleared. Fans with tickets for Sunday’s originally scheduled contest will be admitted to the first game Sunday. Fans with tickets for Saturday’s originally scheduled contest will be admitted to the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Tennis Teams Split With Florida
The 10th-ranked University of Georgia women’s tennis team defeated the 15th-ranked Florida Gators 4-1 Friday evening, in Southeastern Conference play.
“We’re really proud of our team’s effort today,” said Georgia associate head coach Drake Bernstein. “We came together and played as a team when things got tough. We have been learning a lot about ourselves and our identity as a group this year and today was a huge step forward. We also have to give thanks to the fans who made the trip to Gainesville and supported the Dawgs.”
In doubles, Georgia (6-2, 3-0 SEC) swept Florida (8-4, 1-2 SEC). The experienced duo of graduate Morgan Coppoc and junior Ania Hertel earned a statement win, dominating No. 6 Carly Briggs and Marlee Zein 6-0, while the freshmen tandem of Mell Reasco and Dasha Vidmanova defeated No. 18 Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee 6-4 to clinched the doubles point.
In singles play, UGA picked up wins from Coppoc, No. 25 Reasco and No. 113 Vidmanova. Vidmanova picked up the first win of the evening for the Bulldogs, dominating No. 55 Zein 6-1, 6-4. She was followed by Reasco who picked up her sixth third set win of the year, besting Dudeney 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, while Coppoc cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Briggs to clinch the match. No. 49 Lea Ma fell to No. 39 McCartney Kessler in three sets. (Note: The match was moved indoors due to weather, and played on three courts.)
Next up, the Bulldogs will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks Sunday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
With Georgia down 3-0, No. 1 singles player Hamish Stewart battled from down 4-2 in a deciding second set to force a third, but it was not enough as the No. 4-ranked Florida Gators beat No. 8-ranked Georgia 4-0 on Friday.
Stewart’s bid to force a comeback came as the Bulldogs were locked in tight battles at the remaining three courts. No. 19 Stewart ultimately fell to the nation’s No. 1-ranked player Ben Shelton, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the clinching match.
Friday’s action started outdoors on the doubles courts, before rain forced the squads inside for singles play.
The teams split at the first and third doubles positions. Stewart and Tristan McCormick fell 6-2 to Florida’s Sam Riffice and Shelton at No. 1, before Erik Grevelius and Blake Croyder battled back from down a break at 4-2 to win their match, 6-4.
Georgia’s Trent Bryde and Philip Henning were down 5-3 and faced a match point at 30-40, before battling back to win four-straight points at the second court. Up 30-0, Bryde and Henning could not withstand a furious Florida rally as the Gator combo of Duarte Vale and Nate Bonetto hung on for the 6-4 victory.
Down 1-0, Georgia had work to do in singles.
Florida quickly took a 2-0 advantage after Riffice defeated Henning, 6-0, 6-1. The score was then extended to 3-0 when Bryde dropped a 6-3, 6-2 match to Andy Andrade.
With the score at 3-0 in Florida’s favor, Stewart left the door open for a Georgia comeback thanks his second-set win against Shelton. McCormick was tied 1-1 in the third set, Croyder was up a set, 3-1 and Miguel Perez Peña was tied 3-3 in the second.
Florida hung on for the win and improved to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Georgia falls to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in league play.
SOFTBALL: UGA’s SEC Opener with South Carolina Suspended
Friday’s Southeastern Conference opener between 15th-ranked Georgia and South Carolina was suspended in the top of the third due to rain with the Bulldogs leading 3-1.
The opener will be resumed Saturday at noon in Columbia. Game two of the series will follow, weather permitting.
Georgia jumped on the board in the first inning thanks to a wild pitch to score Savana Sikes then a two-run home run from Lacey Fincher widened the Bulldogs’ first inning lead to 3-0.
South Carolina then knocked a leadoff home run in the second to cut the lead to 3-1.
The game was officially suspended at approximately 4 p.m. with Jayda Kearney on first and Jaiden Fields at the plate with one out in the top of the third.
BASEBALL: Saturday’s Game Postponed, Double Header Sunday
Due to a forecast for low temperatures and high wind gusts, the Georgia-Lipscomb baseball game scheduled for Saturday at Foley Field has been postponed. The series now will conclude with a Sunday doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
There will be 40 minutes between games of the doubleheader, and the stadium will be cleared.
Fans with tickets for Sunday’s originally scheduled contest will be admitted to the first game that day.
Fans with tickets for Saturday’s originally scheduled contest will be admitted to the second game of the doubleheader Sunday.
T&F: Matthew Boling Earns Bronze In Long Jump at NCAA Indoor Championships
Georgia junior Matthew Boling secured third in the long jump to highlight the opening day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on Friday.
Boling bettered his seventh-place finish in the long jump from the 2021 meet to earn a spot in the top three this year. Bouncing between the 60-meter dash and 200m semifinals, Boling put the first points on the scoreboard for Georgia after surging into third place in the fifth of six long jump rounds.
Thanks to Boling’s eight points, the Bulldogs are tied for 11th with another day of action to go. Princeton (20), Tennessee (18) and Northern Arizona (17) are currently in the top three through five scoring events. While the Georgia women have not scored yet, Florida (22), Ole Miss (21) and Virginia Tech (18)/Arkansas (18) hold the first three spots.
Through four of seven events in the heptathlon, junior Kyle Garland left the Crossplex with a 30-point overall lead thanks to his 3,592 points. This was two points ahead of his meet record day one at the Southeastern Conference Championships two weeks ago and 36 points behind his all-time collegiate best day one scored at the 2022 Razorback Invitational.
The Bulldogs are the defending champions in the heptathlon after former Bulldog Karel Tilga scored 6,264 (No. 3 all-time collegiate performer/performance) to edge Garland (6,200) for the 2021 NCAA title. While Devon Williams also captured the 2017 crown for Georgia, the Bulldogs have had 18 scoring First Team All-Americans in the event since 2012.
Boling, a native of Houston, Texas, also qualified for the final round in a pair of events on the track. He qualified automatically for Saturday’s 60m final with the fastest time of his career and while taking a break from his long jump competition. After completing the long jump as the bronze medalist, he took to lane six on the oval in the second heat and punched his ticket to the 200m final.
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