After Friday night’s game and Saturday night’s game, you knew the script Sunday afternoon’s game would follow. It was inevitable that the Diamond Dogs would take an early lead, notch numerous hits, and commit fewer errors, yet still lose due to a single-inning offensive outburst by the opposition, and, sure enough, the . . . wait, what? You mean, this time, Georgia and Louisiana State switched places? Well, I’ll be danged. Here’s how it happened:
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on a walk, a base hit, and a wild pitch with two outs away in the bottom of the first frame, and LSU added another run on a pair of one-out singles followed by a two-out error in the third inning. To this point, the visitors had managed only two hits, but the Bulldogs’ bats came to life in the top of the fourth frame.
Right fielder Hunter Cole sent a one-out single into left field, and catcher Brett DeLoach followed that up with a base hit, as well. Center fielder Peter Verdin notched the Red and Black’s third straight single to plate one, and the Athenians knotted the score on a double-steal. Designated hitter Justin Bryan then belted the two-run shot that gave Georgia the lead.
The Bayou Bengals responded with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the canto, but that was as close as the home team came. Another Bryan homer added an insurance run in the top of the eighth stanza, but the additional score proved superfluous, as LSU loaded the bases with two outs away in the bottom of the ninth inning, only to see Earl Daniels persuade the final Tiger batter to chase strike three.
Georgia batters managed five runs on 14 hits with no walks but one double, two home runs, and a pair of stolen bases while stranding fewer baserunners than the Bayou Bengals. Though starter Luke Crumley surrendered five hits, four walks, and three runs in four frames on the mound, the Bulldog bullpen combined for five scoreless innings to prevent the series sweep and improve the Classic City Canines’ conference record to 9-12 with nine SEC games remaining.