Baseball: Georgia evens SEC record with win over Mizzou
The Bulldogs get a 9-4 victory over Missouri on Sunday
Georgia pitcher Jaden Woods (17) during a game against Kentucky at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Following a close extra-innings win on Saturday night, Georgia returned to the field on Sunday with an impressive 9-4 victory on the road against Missouri.
The Bulldogs (26-13, 9-9) now have a .500 record in SEC play as they just completed their third straight conference series victory, which started against No. 2 Vanderbilt three weeks ago.
With the season winding down, Georgia has four conference series left. The Bulldogs will play Auburn next weekend at home before playing on the road against Arkansas. Then, they will travel to Florida for a three-game series prior to closing out the season against Ole Miss. The final three series against Arkansas, Florida and Ole Miss will be tough as those are some of the top-ranked teams in the country.
Georgia will face No. 21 Georgia Tech at home for a midweek non-conference matchup on Tuesday, April 27.
Despite the success, this weekend, head coach Scott Stricklin thought his team played sloppily throughout the course of the three-game series.
“I didn’t think we played very well this weekend and to win an SEC series on the road says a lot about our team,” Stricklin said following the game. “Connor Tate, Chaney Rogers had a few big hits today, and we found a way to win. Chaney had a great weekend. It looked like we were going to put up a big number in the first, and then there are two outs and we only had one run.
“Chaney falls behind in the count, and then he comes through with a three-run double. Michael Polk got us out of an early jam, and Jaden Woods was outstanding and Jack Gowen took care of the ninth. Chaney had a great weekend.”
A big sixth inning solidifies the win
In the rubber game against Missouri, Georgia’s four-run inning in the sixth proved to be the difference.
Chaney Rogers (2-for-5) and Connor Tate (2-for-5) both had big games at the plate.
Tate hit a rocket that sailed over the fence to start the third inning, which was his ninth home run of the year; that hit also extended his on-base streak to 19 games.
The Tigers rallied to close the gap in the third on a couple of unearned runs to make it a 5-3 game heading into the fourth frame. Missouri was looking to tie the game in the fifth but a base-running mistake proved to be costly. Georgia relief pitcher Jaden Woods was able to strang two in scoring position to evade the jam.
In the top of the sixth, Riley King doubled followed by Rogers with one of his own. The Bulldogs sent nine batters to the plate as freshman Corey Collins then picked up an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. Tate delivered a single in the gap with two outs to push the score to 9-3, which would be the final run the Bulldogs would score in the contest.
Woods would give up a home run to Missouri’s Trevor Austin in the seventh, but that would be the final time a Tiger play crossed the plate. The freshman pitcher would retire the next trio of batters to close out the inning, while he got three of four in the eighth inning out. He finished the day by going four innings, allowing just one run on three hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Senior right-hander Jack Gowen came in to close out the game in the ninth inning. The Folkston, Georgia native allowed one hit and left two Tiger runners on base to finish the game. Luke Wagner started the game for the Bulldogs, but reliever Michael Polk picked up the victory after he replaced Wagner to start the third inning. The victory put Polk at 2-0 on the season.