No citizen of Bulldog Nation had a better day than I did on Wednesday, but the Diamond Dogs didn't fare too badly in their 19-1 rout of Jacksonville State.
The visiting Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the first frame when J.S.U. third baseman Steven Leach registered what would prove to be the lone R.B.I. tallied by his team over the course of nine innings. The early Jacksonville State advantage proved ephemeral, to put it mildly.
Georgia exploded for six runs in the home half of the initial inning, sparked by Ryan Peisel's leadoff home run. The Red and Black tacked on one more score in the second stanza, chasing Gamecock hurler John David Smelser from the game after one and two-thirds innings. Smelser faced a dozen batters and surrendered eight hits and seven earned runs.
The Classic City Canines scored four more runs in each of two consecutive cantos in the fourth and fifth frames before adding another four in the seventh stanza. In the end, the Bulldogs played errorless baseball in the field and outhit their guests by a 20-2 margin.
The home team enjoyed solid production from each of the first seven hitters in the lineup. Peisel went two for two with a pair of walks and an R.B.I. in the leadoff spot, and, when the Red and Black third baseman was replaced with Bryce Massanari, the new batter at the top of the order also went two for two and scored a run.
Both Michael Demperio and Gordon Beckham went three for six and scored three runs. Between them, the Diamond Dogs' second baseman and shortstop batted in eleven runs, thanks to Demperio's grand slam in the fifth inning and Beckham's two-homer day. Rich Poythress (2 for 3, 1 R.B.I.), Joey Lewis (2 for 5, 1 R.B.I.), Matt Olson (2 for 4, 3 R.B.I.), and even Joshua Fields (2 for 5, 1 R.B.I.) all had multi-hit days.
Six Georgia pitchers, including Fields, combined to tally a dozen strikeouts while issuing only five walks.
Obviously, the Classic City Canines did not get much resistance from the Gamecocks, who fell to 3-7 with the loss, so there is only so much encouragement to be drawn from the win which improved the Bulldogs to 3-4 for the year. We will see whether Wednesday's rout represents much that is meaningful when the Diamond Dogs host Memphis for a three-game series starting tomorrow night.
Once we have seen how Georgia fares against the Tigers, we will have a slightly better idea where the Red and Black stand heading into conference play the following weekend. For now, though, we should be glad about yesterday's victory and cautiously optimistic . . . with the emphasis on the adverb.