After opening their weekend series with a loss to Baylor on Friday, the Diamond Dogs eked out an error-laden win on Saturday but dropped the rubber match in a failed comeback attempt on Sunday. If Georgia ever manages to replicate Saturday’s pitching and Sunday’s hitting in the same game, the Red and Black might have something, but, until then, all they have is a growing pile of losses.
Ben Cornwell got the start in the series’ second outing, lasting three innings before giving way to the bullpen. Four Georgia relievers combined for six stanzas of work, in which they together allowed four hits and no earned runs while fanning five Bear batters. Blake Dieterich got the win and Tyler Maloof got the save. Baylor’s early 2-0 lead was erased by the Bulldogs in the home half of the second stanza, when a walk, a hit batsman, a sacrifice fly, and back-to-back base hits produced a pair of Georgia runs.
The Red and Black took the lead in the third canto on a trio of singles that together generated a run, and the host squad tacked on an insurance run using a leadoff single, a base on balls, and a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. The Texans crept closer on the scoreboard by adding an unearned run in the eighth frame, but, despite putting a pair of baserunners aboard with no one out in the top of the ninth stanza, Baylor was unable to push the tying run across home plate.
In Saturday’s outing, each team notched nine hits, and both contestants committed as many errors as they scored runs. Levi Hyams went hitless in five at-bats and was guilty of a miscue in the field, but the slack was taken up by Joey Delmonico (2 of 2, 1 RBI), Kyle Farmer (1 of 2, 2 RBI), and Johnathan Taylor (2 of 4) at the plate.
Sunday’s start went to Craig Gullickson, who surrendered three earned runs on six hits before giving way to the bullpen. Seven Georgia relievers worked six and two-thirds innings, during which they gave up 15 hits and conceded ten runs, all of them earned. The Bulldogs’ bats took a while to come to life, as the Classic City Canines were down 12-0 after four frames before surging back to outscore their guests 12-7 in the final five stanzas.
The Bears were up 1-0 after a couple of cantos, but the visitors broke the game open in the third inning with the aid of three Red and Black miscues. The first Georgia error allowed the leadoff batter to reach base. The second Georgia error allowed a follow-up single to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Three walks, four more singles, two stolen bases, two sacrifice flies, another error, a wild pitch, and two pitchers later, the Baptists held a 10-0 lead.
That advantage had ballooned to 15-0 by the midpoint of the fifth frame, but the Bulldogs began to show some fight in the second half of the contest. There were two outs away in the home half of the inning when Colby May came on as a pinch hitter. After being plunked, he advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a Peter Verdin double. Hyams’s subsequent single plated another run, and the Red and Black were on the board.
Baylor added another run in the top of the sixth stanza, but the Athenians answered in the bottom of the canto. Zach Cone got things going with a leadoff single before a Chase Davidson base hit and a Farmer walk loaded the bases with no one out. Jonathan Hester drove in two runs with a base hit, but a double-play ball in the next at-bat killed the rally.
Davidson sent a two-RBI double to left field in the seventh frame, Hyams batted in another run with a double to center field in the eighth canto, and the Red and Black did further damage in the ninth inning. Austin Wheeler led off with a base hit, Davidson carded another single in the next at-bat, and Farmer brought them both home with a double. Brandon Stephens’s one-out single plated another run, after which a May double set the stage for Lance Martin to push an additional score across with a groundout. A wild pitch pulled the Bulldogs within seven, but Conor Welton flied out to close out the contest.
Atoning for his poor performance at the plate the day before, Levi Hyams went five for six and batted in a pair of runs on Sunday, and the Red and Black likewise got two-RBI days out of Chase Davidson, Kyle Farmer, and Jonathan Hester. The Texans tallied 21 hits and stranded nine runners, while the Athenians collected 18 hits and left eight men on base.