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On the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter, the Diamond Dogs journeyed to
Terminus Marthasville The City Too Busy to Burn to the Ground Atlanta to face the 15th-ranked Engineers at Russ Chandler Stadium, where Georgia fell 5-3 in a hard-fought battle against Georgia Tech.
Following an opening inning featuring only one baserunner for either team, third baseman Colby May got the Bulldogs on the board first with a two-out solo home run in the top of the second frame. The Athenians stranded two in the visitors’ half of the third stanza before the Atlantans produced their first baserunner in the bottom of the canto. In fact, each of the first five representatives of the Ramblin’ Wreck reached base, using four singles and a fielder’s choice to plate a pair of runs.
Georgia again wasted two baserunners in the fourth inning, allowing the Yellow Jackets to pad their advantage with a leadoff single and a two-run shot down the right field line in the home team’s turn at the plate.
The fifth and sixth frames produced only one hit by either team, which was negated by a double-play grounder, but the Red and Black got the seventh stanza underway with a leadoff single by May. The Bulldog third baseman took second on a passed ball after a pair of flyouts, and second baseman Levi Hyams brought him the rest of the way around with a base hit.
The Golden Tornado answered with a pair of doubles to card another run in the bottom of the inning, but the Athenians responded with a first-pitch leadoff home run by center fielder Zach Cone in the top of the eighth canto. Since the Engineers had only a trio of strikeouts to show for their turn at bat, Georgia stepped up to the plate in the top of the ninth inning trailing by two.
Consecutive one-out singles by pinch hitter Brett DeLoach and Hyams brought the would-be go-ahead run to the plate in the form of left fielder Conor Welton, who reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with two outs away in the frame. A first-pitch groundout by shortstop Kyle Farmer ended the game.
Given recent results in the Diamond Dogs’ in-state rivalry series, I suppose I generally should be pleased by Georgia’s performance; after all, the Red and Black went on the road to face a ranked opponent and outscored that foe 2-1 in the final five stanzas to drop a low-scoring decision to a quality squad. The Classic City Canines out-hit their hosts, 12-10, and played error-free baseball, while the bullpen contributed four cantos in which it allowed three hits and one earned run while fanning four and walking none.
Maybe I should be pleased, but I’m not. I take nothing away from Georgia Tech, which fields a fine baseball team, boasts a solid baseball program, and earned the win in this good baseball game. Georgia, however, failed to make the most of its opportunities, leaving two men on base in each of four separate innings. I expect better from the Bulldogs than that.