The UGA baseball team was led by an outstanding pitching performance from senior Chase Adkins in its 7-0 win over Toledo in game one of the series.
Adkins gave the Bulldogs five perfect innings to start the game before losing his perfect game and no-hitter in the sixth. Adkins ended up only pitching six innings, which seems to have something to do with the early pitch count that head coach Scott Stricklin is keeping on all of his pitchers.
In his six innings of work, Adkins only allowed one walk and one hit while having nine strikeouts. Adkins had the strikeout pitch working effectively as half of his outs came by way of strikeout. He worked quickly and effectively throughout the game while dealing with a blister on his throwing hand. Adkins said that his grip on his curveball is “weirder than most other pitchers,” which led to his blister breaking open.
His performance could not have come at a better time for the Bulldogs because they only had to use two pitchers after him and they are set to finish out their series tomorrow against the Rockets in a doubleheader.
“It’s big, It saves the bullpen a little bit,” said Stricklin. “That’s really important if you got to get deep in that bullpen on Friday in game one, it really makes game two and game three tough.”
The Bulldogs bats came alive in the bottom of the eighth inning as they added four more runs to their three-run lead. Although they did a good job of earning hits, they did an even better job of taking advantage of the opposing pitchers’ mistakes and this seemed to be a theme on the night.
The Bulldogs scored seven runs on the night, but only four of those runs were scored by players that earned a hit. Walks, an error, and a misjudged fly ball led to an eighth inning that helped the Bulldogs lock down the opening game victory.
Cam Shepherd was the standout Bulldog in the batter’s box tonight as he scored three runs while also having two RBIs. Shepherd got the scoring started for the night as he stole home on a pickoff attempt by the pitcher to first.
Shepherd said that he knew once the pitcher lifted his leg and made the move to first that he would have to break for home. He said that type of play relies mostly on instinct and he knew to go as soon as he saw the pitcher move. It still ended up being a bang-bang play, but Shepherd just beat it out. This one run would prove to be enough to beat the Rockets in game one of the series.
The Bulldogs found success stealing bases all night long as they finished with four on the night. This total is more than half the number of steals they had on the season. Keegan McGovern was the star on the base paths as he finished with two of the four steals.
The Bulldogs had to use a number of things to earn this victory and although it seems lopsided on the scoreboard, it was much closer than the score shows.
The Bulldogs will play the Rockets in a doubleheader tomorrow at Noon to close out the series.