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On Wednesday evening, the Red and Black traveled to Kennesaw to take on the Owls, who were hosting their first-ever day/night doubleheader with afternoon and evening outings against Harvard and Georgia, respectively. Kennesaw State, despite losing six of its previous seven games, emerged victorious over a Bulldog outfit that had won six of its previous seven contests, thanks in no small measure to a quartet of Georgia errors.
A two-out solo home run by center fielder Zach Cone gave the Athenians a 1-0 lead in the top of the first frame, but the Owls answered with the first of three straight three-run innings in the bottom of the second stanza. The Red and Black attempted to battle back in the visitors’ half of the third canto, when four Georgia singles and a Kennesaw State error led to a trio of runs and a short-lived 4-3 lead for the Classic City Canines.
The Bulldogs and the Owls traded one-run turns at the plate in the fifth, sixth, and seventh frames, but the Red and Black had one last chance in the top of the ninth inning. Trailing 12-7, the Athenians were given new life when Cone was plunked in the leadoff spot and moved over to second base on a wild pitch. Although consecutive flyouts brought him home, a three-pitch strikeout ended the game, and the Diamond Dogs’ winning streak, with a whimper.
Georgia and Kennesaw State performed about equally as well at the plate, with the visitors notching ten hits and one home run in 35 at-bats and their hosts carding eleven hits and one home run in 35 at-bats. The Owls had twice as many strikeouts (8-4), but they also had twice as many walks (6-3). Although the Bulldogs carded eight RBI, only four of their runs were earned, while KSU, aided by four Georgia errors, managed eight earned runs, nine RBI, and a dozen runs on the scoreboard.
The Red and Black got good production at the plate out of Cone (3 for 4, 1 RBI), right fielder Chase Davidson (2 for 3, 1 RBI), and second baseman Levi Hyams (2 for 5, 1 RIWWB). Chase Hawkins drew the starting assignment and lasted only two innings, during which he surrendered two walks, three hits (including a home run), and three earned runs without registering a strikeout. Third baseman Curt Powell had an even worse night than Hawkins, going hitless in five at-bats, striking out twice, and committing a pair of errors.
David Perno’s club departed Kennesaw with an 8-9 record, which was disappointing, but Georgia’s mediocre mark may mean more than some other teams’ better ledgers, inasmuch as the Diamond Dogs have faced the country’s seventh-toughest schedule. We will find out soon enough whether the Wednesday night loss that snapped the Classic City Canines’ five-game winning streak was an error-fueled fluke or the start of a new trend: Georgia travels to Columbia this weekend to take on the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks. With any luck, the Red and Black baseball team will do as well in that city against that opponent as the softball team did earlier this evening.