Due to the expectation of inclement weather in Athens this afternoon, the game originally scheduled for earlier today was instead moved to Saturday, when Georgia and Purdue played a doubleheader. Because the Boilermakers claimed victory in the opening outing of the back-to-back set, the Diamond Dogs needed the win in game two to capture the series.
Both starters in the nightcap, Georgia's Trevor Holder and Purdue's Tony Sedlmeyer, lasted five innings, although Holder had by far the better outing. The Red and Black hurler struck out five, walked none, and allowed one hit in five shutout innings of work, while the Boilermaker pitcher surrendered four walks, five hits, and an earned run in the same span.
In the early going, though, it appeared as though Holder and Sedlmeyer would be locked in a pitchers' duel all night. Neither allowed a hit in the first inning, although Gordon Beckham drew a base on balls and took second on a wild pitch. Alex Jaffee recorded what turned out to be a meaningless single in the second stanza, but the Diamond Dogs went in order in the bottom of the frame, as the side was retired on a Ryan Peisel groundout, a Rich Poythress flyout, and a Travis Parrott strikeout.
If the Red and Black left fielder ever starts to develop a strong fan following, I foresee the possibility of future conflict with Jimmy Buffett aficionados.
Neither team managed to eke out a hit in the third inning, although both Mike Freeman and Matt Cerione drew walks from Sedlmeyer. No Boilermaker reached first base in the fourth frame and Poythress's single to center field in the bottom of the inning made him the Bulldogs' lone baserunner of that turn at bat.
The fifth frame was more of the same. Purdue could not get a man as far as first and Georgia put a man aboard but failed to bring him home. It was not until the sixth stanza, therefore, that either team succeeded in generating any offense.
Alex McRee came on to pitch for Holder and the reliever's turn on the mound commenced auspiciously enough; the Red and Black hurler caught Kyle Reesing looking at a called third strike and got Jordan Comadena to ground out to second. After that, though, McRee walked Spencer Ingaldson and gave up a base hit to Ryne White. Fortunately, the next batter struck out swinging to end the top half of the inning, leaving the score snarled at zero.
That's zero as in nothing, not as in Mostel.
The Diamond Dogs broke the deadlock in the home half of the inning. Jonathan Wyatt opened the proceedings by belting a base hit into left field, stealing second base, and taking third on a Luke Stewart single. Peisel's ensuing double moved Stewart to third and brought Wyatt home. Sedlmeyer was given the hook at that juncture and the Purdue reliever, Matt Bischoff, obtained the requisite number of outs before allowing any additional runs, inducing Poythress to ground out and striking out Jake Crane and Freeman.
The Red and Black's mastery of the Boilermakers' bats continued in the seventh inning, when Purdue once again failed to produce so much as a single baserunner. The home team doubled its lead in the bottom of the frame on a pair of walks and a Peisel single, all of them obtained after the first two outs already had been recorded.
The visitors showed some signs of life in the eighth inning, when Reesing singled to left and Comadena walked, but Joshua Fields succeeded McRee on the mound and did what he was called upon to do, recording two outs on an Ingaldson groundout and a White strikeout ere any Boilermaker baserunner could cross home plate.
Fields is the most consistently effective Josh since Lyman. (Photograph from "The West Wing" Continuity Guide.)
The Diamond Dogs endeavored to add to their lead in the bottom of the eighth, using a bunt, a stolen base, and a pinch hitter in an effort to generate an insurance run, but the score remained unchanged heading into the ninth inning, where a pair of Purdue pinch hitters drew walks and a Purdue pinch runner advanced to second on a groundout, but Fields recorded a pair of strikeouts to earn his second save of the season.
There easily could have been more scoring, as Georgia left 10 men on base and the Boilermakers stranded eight. Neither team gave the other much in the way of undeserved advantage, as the Diamond Dogs were without an error and Purdue had but one miscue. The Red and Black outhit the opposition by a 7-3 margin, with Peisel leading the charge by going two for four at the plate while batting in both Bulldog runs.
By taking two of the three games in their weekend series with the Boilermakers, the Diamond Dogs improved their record to 3-4. The Classic City Canines will have the opportunity to even their ledger against Winthrop on Tuesday.