Georgia falls to Georgia Southern 18-4, drops opening series
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia Southern scored 11 runs in the third inning and defeated Georgia 18-4 Sunday to claim a series at Foley Field in front of a crowd of 2,508.
Georgia Southern (2-1) scored 11 runs on 10 hits in the third frame. Dalton Busby (2-for-5, 3 runs) led off the inning by reaching first on a bizarre strikeout passed ball on freshman catcher Skyler Weber, who threw down to third assuming he had the first out of the inning. The umpiring crew huddled and ruled Weber did not catch the ball and Busby remained at first. The Eagles would bat around and chase Boling and then add four runs off Ross Ripple before the Bulldogs got out of the frame. Right fielder Aaron Mizell (4-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI) slammed his first home run of the season to left-center field to cap the Eagles’ 11 run inning.
Georgia (1-2) employed six pitchers on the day including Pete Nagel who made his first appearance since redshirting last season. Nagel pitched 1.2 innings and gave up two runs on two hits and struck out three. Jarrett Brown pitched 2.1 innings and gave up two runs on four hits. Starter Patrick Boling allowed seven runs, only one earned, on six hits in 2.2 innings to fall to 0-1. Senior Dylan Cole was the lone Bulldog to throw a scoreless inning.
“First off, I’d like to say it was great to see the crowds we had Saturday and today, Georgia fans love their baseball, and we’re going to keep working,” said Bulldog coach Scott Stricklin. “We came in expecting to win the series; we had a chance to do that today. Georgia Southern played well, and you’re not going to win games when you give up 11 runs in an inning. This is a big bump in the road, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I know our pitching is better then what we showed this weekend.”
The Bulldogs also got on the board in the third inning, scoring two runs on three hits with two outs. The first run of the inning came courtesy of a Nelson Ward RBI single, his fifth hit and fourth RBI of the weekend. After getting just one hit in the first two innings, the Bulldogs were able to string together three consecutive singles from Stephen Wrenn, Conor Welton, and Ward with two outs in the bottom of the third.
After Ward’s RBI single left runners on the corners with two outs, GSU’s Ryaan Frederick walked Hunter Cole to load the bases, then walked Jess Posey to bring in Welton and score the Bulldogs’ second run of the inning, ending Frederick’s day on the mound. Jason Richman came on and retired Zack Bowers to end the third with the Eagles up 11-2.
Both the Eagles and the Bulldogs added another run in the fourth inning to make it a 12-3 ball game. The Eagles’ run came off of Kody Adams’ second RBI double of the day, and the Bulldogs’ DJ Smith drove in Daniel Nichols on an infield single for his first RBI of the season.
Georgia Southern added four more runs in the top of the fifth as the Eagles hammered two home runs in the inning to extend their lead to 16-3. The first came from Mizell, who led off the inning with his second home run of the afternoon, and the second was a three run homer from Stryker Brown that hit off of the right field foul pole.
The Bulldogs added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Cole drew his fourth walk of the ball game with two outs and the bases loaded to bring in Brandon Stephens to put the score at 16-4.
The Eagles added their final two runs of the game in the top of the eighth, as Mizell drove in his fifth run of the day with a two out double and then scored on a C.J. Brazil RBI single.
GSU reliever Jason Richman pitched three innings, giving up two runs on five hits to earn the win. Matt McCall pitched 3.1 innings and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three to earn a save.
The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday as they look to rebound against Kennesaw State at 5 pm at Foley Field. After their midweek matchup against the Owls, Georgia will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. for a three-game weekend series against sixth-ranked Florida State.