This is one weekend that the Georgia baseball team likely wishes that it could have back.
The Diamond Dawgs were a clutch hit and one bad inning away from a sweep of an 11th ranked SEC opponent against Kentucky.
Rather, No. 19 Georgia is left to pick up the pieces after a second SEC series loss in a row.
For eight innings on Friday, things couldn’t have gone much better for the Bulldogs.
Chase Adkins put Georgia in position to win on the mound, tossing six innings in giving up three hits and a run as the Bulldogs also led 4-0 through three innings. And much as has been the case for most of this year, the game was handed over to the bullpen. That group showed some serious cracks for the first time in SEC play.
The Wildcats got three runs and three hits off of Aaron Schunk in the ninth, and Kentucky went on to win it in the 11th, 6-4. It ruined not only a strerling outing by Adkins, but also strong day at the plate by Schunk and Shepherd, each with a pair of hits.
The teams split Saturday;s doubleheader, Georgia winning 9-7 before a pitcher’s duel went the way of Kentucky 1-0 as the Wildcats scratched across a run in the eighth inning.
Saturday was truly a day of opposites for both teams at the plate.
Georgia blew things wide open from its standpoint with a seven-run third inning. Keegan McGovern’s three-run homer put a jolt into the inning, and it was followed by by five singles in a row to keep the hit parade going to hand Georgia an 8-1 lead.
Shepherd blasted a homer in the fourth. The Bulldogs ended up needing that cushion as the Wildcats rallied to trail 9-7
Ryan Webb, initially set to start Saturday’s second game, came in to close out the win.
CJ Smith ended up getting his first career start in the nightcap instead and shined in the spotlight, giving no runs in six scoreless innings. Will Proctor came on in the sixth, recording an out before Webb entered the game. Kentucky managed a run off of him, but it was just enough to hold off Georgia, which put two runners on with two outs in the ninth but was unable to break through.
Moving ahead, Clemson comes to town Tuesday night with another SEC series against a ranked team, Ole Miss on the road, next weekend.
There’s obviously no reason at this point to crawl into the corner and retreat with this team. If it continues to get strong starting pitching and hits when it needs them, it has a chance to get a strong seed in regionals. Sure, Friday’s crack in the bullpen isn’t what anybody within the program wants, but sometimes you just have ‘one of those days’ in baseball.
This is a pretty good Georgia baseball team. The weekend showed how close it is to being even better.