The Diamond Dogs fell to 0-2 for the young baseball season on Saturday as the Stetson Hatters used stellar defense to protect the early lead they secured against pitcher Ben Cornwell in the junior right-hander’s first career start.
The home team took advantage of a walk, a double, three singles, and two stolen bases to build up a 3-0 lead in the first frame. The Hatters added to their edge with a pair of base hits and an RBI fielder’s choice in the second stanza, then tacked on a fifth run in the fourth inning when a Georgia error allowed an unearned run to cross home plate.
After carding just three total hits in the contest’s first five cantos, the Bulldogs finally got on the board in the sixth stanza. Shortstop Kyle Farmer sent a one-out single to short, and right fielder Chase Davidson followed that up with a double to right field, allowing first baseman Jonathan Hester to score a run on a groundout. Stetson answered in the seventh inning, adding a pair of runs with the aid of two walks, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch. The Red and Black closed out the scoring in the eighth frame, thanks to a leadoff walk by second baseman Levi Hyams, a single by center fielder Johnathan Taylor, and a pair of flyouts.
Taylor’s two-for-four afternoon at the plate gave him the Diamond Dogs’ only multi-hit day, while Cornwell surrendered six hits and four earned runs in three innings on the mound. Having already lost their opening series, the Red and Black will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday. In any case, after a disastrous 2010 campaign, the Georgia baseball team is off to a discouraging 2011 start.