I’m not necessarily suggesting a causal connection here, but it is a fact that guys I didn’t particularly care to see retained in the employ of my alma mater recently have announced their impending departures, so perhaps David Perno figured it’d be a good idea for him to get back on my good side, which may explain why he chose one of the best avenues a Georgia coach can pursue for returning to my good graces; viz., beating Auburn. (I hate Auburn.)
Because a Tiger baserunner who advanced to third on a wild pitch was gunned down at home in the top of the second stanza, the contest remained scoreless heading into the home half of the third inning. A one-out walk drawn by first baseman Colby May and a base hit by left fielder Conor Welton put runners at the corners, enabling third baseman Curt Powell to plate a run with the two-out single that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
The Diamond Dogs squandered a leadoff walk by center fielder Peter Verdin in the fifth frame, so the Plainsmen were able to tie it up in the top of the sixth canto with a walk and a pair of singles, all of which came with two outs away. The Georgia retort was swift, as the Classic City Canines loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, then proceeded to bring home four runs on two walks, a hit batsman, and a fielder’s choice.
Auburn cobbled together a run in the eighth frame when the leadoff hitter was plunked, advanced on a groundout and a passed ball, and came home on a single, but the Bulldogs hung on to card a three-run victory in which the hits were all even. Alex Wood contributed eight strong innings of ten-strikeout, four-hit pitching, while Pete Nagel carded the save by facing four batters and fanning two.
For the record, this wasn’t nearly enough to get Coach Perno out of the doghouse with me, but the effort was appreciated. The Diamond Dogs are 10-12 in SEC play with eight conference contests remaining.