Diamond Dogs dominate USC-Upstate, 15-3
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia is riding a five-game winning streak after defeating USC-Upstate 15-3 on Tuesday at Foley Field.
The No. 18 Bulldogs (14-3) were led offensively by brothers Cole and Connor Tate. The two seniors combined for six hits off of the Spartans’ pitching staff. Cole Wagner also had a productive game at the plate, totaling two hits and three RBIs in the victory.
"After that Georgia Southern game where we were winning 5-0, the message has been that you can't let up," Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. "You can't give anything away. You have to continue because, in college baseball, runs get scored. So, you have to score as much as you can, especially early on in the game. I thought our kids did a really great job tonight of fighting, just not giving in, and not giving any at-bats away."
Georgia hopped on USC-Upstate early by scoring five runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Connor Tate’s single to center field scored Cole Tate and Ben Anderson. Wagner then proceeded to hit a three-run home run to right field, which put the Bulldogs up, 5-0.
Connor Tate hit a three-run bomb of his own off of Spartans’ right-hander Lukas Touma in the second to make it an 8-0 contest. The Bulldogs would add seven more runs in the game with RBI hits from Anderson, Randon Jernigan, Shane Marshall, Dwight Allen and Cole Tate. The Spartans would score in the third and eighth innings.
Georgia would use six pitchers on Tuesday with freshman Coleman Willis (1-0) getting the start on the mound. He went three innings, only giving up two hits and one run with two strikeouts. Hank Bearden replaced him in the fourth and went two innings.
Bearden allowed two hits and struck out two before being replaced by Davis Rokose. Will Pearson, Michael Polk and Jake Poindexter all followed in relief to finish out the game.
“We’re obviously banged up on the pitching staff side, but so is everyone else in college baseball, and in the SEC right now,” Stricklin said. “So, we’ve just got to come together as a team. Everyone is going to have to pull their own weight. Offensively, we’re going to have to find a way to win games with our bats. And we’re going to have to piece together games on the mound as well. We have some very talented arms on this team.”
Georgia will host defending national champion Mississippi State this weekend in a three-game series.
The visiting Bulldogs enter the SEC opener on Friday being ranked the No. 23 team in the country, per the NCAA.
USA Today ranks MSU No. 24 and BaseballAmerica.com doesn’t have the Bulldogs in its top-25.