The UGA baseball team’s bats were shut down in the early innings but came alive in the middle innings to propel them to an 11-5 victory over Texas A&M in the first game of the series.
The Bulldogs were only able to muster one baserunner in the first three innings of the game, but the next three innings would tell a much different story. They scored three runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
“I mean I told the guys after the first inning, ‘Second time through we’re gonna get him,'” said designated hitter Michael Curry. “After seeing him the first time, we adjusted well and we answered.”
The offensive explosion was led by a three-run home run from Curry which gave the Bulldogs a lead that they would not give up for the remainder of the game. Curry ended the night with three hits, four RBIs and one run scored. He would not be the only Bulldog to hit one out of the park as Tucker Maxwell hit his first home run of the season.
The Bulldogs offense was working top to bottom as eight of their nine starters reached base and six of their nine starters reached base more than once. All of this offense led to an early exit from Aggies starting pitcher Stephen Kolek as he had his shortest outing of the season, only pitching 4 and 2/3 innings, while also giving up his most runs in a single outing with seven and earned runs with four.
Kolek’s short outing forced the Aggies to go to their bullpen early and they called on left-handed pitcher Kaylor Chafin to relieve him. Getting Chafin involved in game one was a goal for head coach Scott Stricklin and he was happy to see him have to work in this game.
“You wanna get to the bullpen as soon as you can, so anytime, you know Kolek went out there in the fifth, I mean that’s a good sign now that they’re going to have to use those guys for some length,” said Stricklin. “He’ll(Kaylor Chafin) be available for tomorrow, the guy can throw every game, he’s got a rubber arm.”
Bulldogs starter Chase Adkins had a shaky performance giving up four runs but did enough to get his team to the sixth inning before handing it off to Kevin Smith. Smith was solid throughout his time on the mound with the only blemish of his performance being a solo home run that he gave up in the eighth. Zac Kristofak pitched the ninth and closed out the game to seal the victory.
Star of the Night: Designated Hitter Michael Curry
Curry gave his team the game winning hit and really broke this game open for the Bulldogs. He finished 3/5 on the night and had four RBIs which led the team in both categories. The Bulldogs always seems to have an upperclassman to rely on to keep the team in the game and this time it was Curry’s turn to step up. The whole team had an outstanding night at the plate but Curry was a step above the rest as he led his team in game one.
Quote of the night: Michael Curry
“We’re not the Georgia that you’ve seen in the past two years.”
The Bulldogs will take on the Aggies in game two of the series tomorrow night at 7 p.m.