Diamond Dogs defeat Albany 4-2 in season opener
ATHENS, Ga. — No. 14 Georgia defeated Albany 4-2 in the season opener on Friday afternoon.
The highly-touted Jonathan Cannon was on the mound for the Bulldogs in the opening game of the series.
The junior right-hander pitched six complete innings, limiting the Great Danes to two hits and no runs. Cannon secured his first victory of the season and finished with four strikeouts and zero walks.
Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin was proud of the way his ace performed in the season opener.
“Jonathan was really good, and that's definitely what we need on a Friday night," Stricklin said. "Albany was aggressive and swung early. We played good defense behind our pitchers and turned three double plays.”
Senior Ben Anderson started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. The leadoff hitter hit a solo home run to right field off of Albany starting pitcher Ray Weber. That put the Bulldogs up 1-0 early.
Georgia would add more runs in the fourth inning when redshirt senior Josh McAllister hit a two-run bomb. McAllister’s first home run of the season drove in sophomore Corey Collins.
The Bulldogs’ final run would come in the seventh inning as catcher Fernando Gonzalez scored from second base on a single by Cory Action. The 6-foot, 175-pound second baseman’s RBI gave Georgia a 4-0 advantage heading into the top of the eighth inning.
Stricklin acknowledged that the Albany ace kept the Bulldogs on their toes at the plate throughout his performance.
“I would've liked to see us do [a lot] more offensively, but [Ray] Weber was good for them,” Stricklin said. “The bottom line, we got the win, and I am happy with the outcome.”
Sophomore Jaden Woods took the mound in the top of the seventh inning in relief of Cannon. The Great Danes’ only run came off the sophomore left-hander in the eighth inning. Will Feil got a one-out single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch from Woods.
At the plate, Albany redshirt senior slugger Brad Malm took an inside pitch and hit it over the fence in left field, and drove in Feil. That home run put the Great Danes on the board, although Georgia still held a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Woods responded by striking out the next two batters to complete the eighth without any more damage.
The Bulldogs couldn’t get anything going in the bottom half of the eighth as they went 1-2-3. However, senior Jack Gowen took the mound for Georgia in the ninth inning and closed out the game. The right-hander put away three-of-four opponents and got one strikeout in the process.
The Bulldogs and the Great Danes square off in game two of the series Saturday at 3 p.m. ET at Foley Field.