Following an embarrassing opener on Friday night, the Diamond Dogs rebounded to claim an 8-6 road win over the Volunteers on Saturday. Michael Palazzone worked eight and two-thirds innings to card the win, and Tyler Maloof picked up his thirteenth save to run the Red and Black’s record to 20-20.
The fireworks commenced in the first frame, when two-out singles by shortstop Kyle Farmer and left fielder Zach Cone enabled designated hitter Brett DeLoach to plate two with a double. Tennessee responded with a leadoff single in the bottom of the stanza and moved the runner the rest of the way around to cut the lead to a lone run, but Georgia answered in the second inning. Third baseman Curt Powell punched a two-out single through the left side, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and came home on a base hit up the middle by second baseman Levi Hyams.
The Red and Black tacked on two more in the fourth canto, beginning with a leadoff walk by right fielder Kevin Ruiz and a first-pitch single by first baseman Jonathan Hester. A Powell double scored one, and a Hyams groundout plated the other. A couple of Bulldog throwing errors in the fifth frame permitted a pair of Volunteer unearned runs to score.
Three relatively uneventful innings ensued before Hyams drew a two-out walk, center fielder Conor Welton singled up the middle, and Farmer drove a three-run homer to left field in the top of the ninth stanza. When the Big Orange came up to bat in the bottom of the canto, the first two batters carded singles, after which first baseman Davis Morgan also sent a three-run shot to left field.
A groundout followed, but what ought to have been the final out instead produced a baserunner due to another Georgia error. David Perno went to the bullpen, and the final batter was retired to secure the victory.
The Athenians evened the series by turning ten hits into eight runs, thanks to the efforts of Brett DeLoach (1 for 4, 2 RBI), Kyle Farmer (2 for 5, 3 RBI), Levi Hyams (1 for 3, 2 RBI), and Curt Powell (2 for 4, 1 RIWWB). The Diamond Dogs will go for the series victory in Sunday’s rubber game.