|Charleston Southern Buccaneers||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||8||0|
While I was computerless and unconscious last night, I missed a couple of things, including Tennessee’s discouraging doubleheader sweep of the Bulldogs in softball. Fortunately, there was some good news awaiting me when I awoke, as Georgia took the second outing of a two-game set from Charleston Southern on Wednesday, as well.
After no Buccaneer reached base in the top of the first frame, the Red and Black got on the board first in the bottom of the canto. Second baseman Levi Hyams drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved over to third on a groundout, and came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of shortstop Kyle Farmer.
Each team carded a meaningless single in the second stanza, but the Bulldogs turned a trio of base hits into another run in the third inning. A leadoff triple by first baseman Jonathan Hester and an RBI groundout by catcher Brandon Stephens in the home half of the fourth frame gave Georgia a 3-0 edge.
Charleston Southern cut into the Athenians’ lead in the visitors’ half of the fifth canto on three singles and an error by left fielder Conor Welton. Although the two teams between them stranded five men on base (including four in scoring position) over the course of the ensuing four innings, the next 24 outs passed without another runner crossing home plate. The tying run was on third when the final out was recorded.
Though the Diamond Dogs were not as dominant as they were in Georgia’s first game against CSU, the Red and Black pitching staff did its duty, striking out nine while walking none and holding the Buccaneers without an extra-base hit. The bullpen delivered four and one-third frames of scoreless relief.
Wednesday’s win was the Athenians’ fifth straight. The Bulldogs, ranked 30th in the polls and 16th in RPI after facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule, are projected as a second seed in the NCAA tourney field. Georgia begins a critical weekend series with Ole Miss in Oxford tomorrow.