[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia outlasted Longwood Saturday as Mike Bell’s slash bunt single provided an 8-7 walk-off win to end a three hour and 58 minute marathon at Foley Field.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The teams combined to leave 32 men on base and when it was over, senior Jared Cheek (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief while Luke Simpson (0-1) got the loss. In the ninth, Bulldog senior catcher Brandon Stephens reached on an infield single, diving in to first base. He took second on a base hit by freshman Keegan McGovern. Georgia pinch-ran freshman Josh Day for Stephens while the Lancers went to the bullpen, bringing in Ryan Jones. With the wheel play on, Bell (3-for-5, 2 RBI) showed bunt and then brought the back bat and slashed a single through the left side, bringing Day home for the win.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “It was a very sloppy game, and we were fortunate to win it there on the big hit by Mike Bell,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “In all my years, I’ve only seen a walk-off on a slash bunt once before. We’ve evened the series and have a chance to win it now, and we’re going to have play much better. The last several games we’ve not done a good job of getting the hits with runners on and it’s just mental.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia (9-5) built a 5-0 lead until another sixth-inning outburst by the Lancers. On Friday, Longwood broke open a scoreless contest with seven unearned runs in the sixth en route to a 7-3 win. On Saturday, the Lancers got to Bulldog starter Sean McLaughlin and sophomore Connor Jones in the sixth to tie the contest. Bell’s sacrifice fly in the sixth gave the Bulldogs a brief 6-5 lead.
[su_spacer size=”40″] However, Longwood (5-7) came right back with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh to take its first lead at 7-6. The Lancers were aided by Georgia’s fourth error on the day. The Bulldogs entered the series with only five errors on the year but have made seven in the past two days. Georgia did collect 18 hits Saturday including three each from Bell, Nick King and Daniel Nichols
[su_spacer size=”40″] The rubber game of the series will be Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Photo by Sean Taylor