UGA vs UF baseball: The second-ranked Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 4-1 on Saturday in front of 4,488 fans at McKethan Stadium to claim a SEC series.
With two outs in the first inning, junior first baseman Peter Alonso made it 2-0 when he smacked his ninth home run of the year. Florida (36-6, 13-5 SEC) garnered another two-out RBI in the second, this time from Ryan Larson for a 3-0 edge. In the third, Alonso and Buddy Reed collected back-to-back doubles for a 4-0 lead.
Bulldog sophomore left-hander Bo Tucker was chased with two outs in the third as junior Drew Moody came on to record the final out to strand a pair of Gators. Tucker (3-4) allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Alex Faedo went 5.2 innings for a win to move his record to 8-1. Moody provided stellar relief, tying his career-high by going 4.1 scoreless innings and then Blake Cairnes took care of the eighth frame. In fact, Georgia’s bullpen in the series combined to throw 11 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts.
Georgia (21-20, 7-11 SEC) put two on with one out in the first on a Skyler Weber single and a Gator error, but Faedo came back to record a couple of strikeouts. It began a stretch of 11 straight Bulldog hitters to be retired until the fifth when senior Daniel Nichols was hit by a pitch. Junior Stephen Wrenn followed with a walk, and Faedo got the next three Bulldogs to preserve the shutout. In the sixth, Georgia threatened again, putting two on with two out and the Gators went to the bullpen. Left-hander Kirby Snead struck out Nichols. With two on and two outs in the eighth, Florida turned to Dane Dunning to face freshman Michael Curry and he got him to bounce in to a feielder’s choice . Georgia avoided a shutout by pushing across a run in the ninth off Dunning. Freshman pinch-hitter Patrick Sullivan picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly as Gator closer Shaun Anderson inherited a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the final frame. He struck out two for his ninth save.
“We had runners in scoring position it seemed like all day and couldn’t get that big hit and some of the credit goes to their pitching staff which is really good,” Ike Cousins Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “Our bullpen was impressive too, going 11 scoreless innings. Our RPI and strength of schedule is really good and will be there in the end. All we have to do now is take care of business from a wins and losses standpoint to get to the postseason, and that’s the reality of it.”
Georgia is 7-11 against ranked teams this season and its current strength of schedule rating is in the top five nationally. The Bulldogs return to Foley Field Tuesday when they play host to Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.