The Diamond Dawgs emerge from the weekend with another weekend series win, this one being their first on the road after taking two of three at Georgia Southern.
Georgia’s two wins on Friday and Saturday, 3-1 and 4-2, came as the muscle of their starting pitching and bullpen shined. The loss in the series finale later Saturday came as other arms out of Georgia’s bullpen had, to say the least a tough day. The Eagles batted around for seven runs on no hits in a single inning and Georgia lost 10-7, its second loss of the year to drop the Bulldogs overall record to 9-2.
Midweek games this week against Alabama State and Jacksonville State start a five-game homestand at Foley Field followed by Presbyterian coming to town next weekend.
If there’s a template to winning baseball for Georgia, the two wins this weekend were it. The Dawgs used a diet of timely hitting to get on the board early as starting pitching threw the ball well enough to hand the game over to its experienced arms out of the bullpen.
A pair of third inning runs on Friday as Riley King’s single and Aaron Schunk’s sacrifice fly scored CJ Smith and Cam Shepherd ended up being enough run support early on for Emerson Hancock, who gave up a run on five hits through five innings. His run was Hancock’s first surrendered this year in 16.2 innings.
Ryan Webb was sterling in relief, striking out a career-high seven hitters to set Schunk up for the save in the ninth.
In Saturday’s first game (the teams played a doubleheader due to looming weather) Georgia again gave its starting pitcher early run support. This time, Tony Locey benefited. Patrick Sullivan and Randon Joyner keyed Georgia to a 2-0 lead as LJ Talley and Mason Meadows scored. Meadows later ripped his first homer of the year for a 3-1 Georgia lead. Talley later added an RBI double for Georgia’s fourth run.
Locey got into the fifth inning with Zac Kristofak taking over. Like Webb on Friday, Kristofak (2.2 innings pitched) got Georgia in place for its closer, Schunk to get the save .
The way things went in Saturday’s finale probably will leave a bit of bad taste in Georgia’s mouth, but overall, it was a good weekend to come away from for the Diamond Dawgs.
Georgia not only beat a Georgia Southern Squad that’ll contend for a Sunbelt title, but did so in a hostile place - few fan bases have an inferiority syndrome toward Georgia worse than Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern. There’s a genuine dislike from a segment of GSU’s fan base toward Georgia, and the Dawgs getting a win in an environment that it’ll run into in conference play is a good thing to carry forward.