Seventh-inning surge helps Diamond Dogs down Gators
ATHENS, GA. — Georgia’s bats came alive in the seventh inning to score eight runs, which helped the Bulldogs regain a lead over No. 16 Florida in a 14-8 victory on Saturday.
The No. 23 Bulldogs (22-6, 6-3) led 2-1 through four innings; however, a five-run fifth inning from the Gators (18-6, 3-6) gave them a 6-2 advantage heading into the bottom half of the frame.
Georgia graduate senior Ben Anderson would cut the deficit to three after scoring on a wild pitch, but Florida still had the upper hand until the bottom half of the seventh inning.
Connor Tate started the scoring frenzy off with an RBI single that drove in former Gator Cory Acton. Next, Josh McAllister picked up an RBI as Anderson again crossed home plate, which made it a 6-5 contest. A Parks Harber two-out single gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead before both Garrett Blaylock and Fernando Gonzalez homered to cap off the scoring in the inning. Georgia would lead 11-6 heading into the top of the eighth.
Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said the Bulldogs showed a lot of grit after getting behind.
"We talk about toughness, and it showed today,” Stricklin said. “It was like two different games as we got down 6-1 and then we came back late with an eight-run inning.”
The Gators would get two runs back in the top of the eighth as BT Riopelle hit a two-run blast, although Georgia was not done scoring. Tate hit his fourth home run of the season in the bottom half of the inning. It was a three-run blast that scored Cole Tate and Anderson.
Another former Gator, Nolan Crisp, got the start on the mound for the Bulldogs. He pitched a career-high 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and six total runs, but walked one and struck out three.
Stricklin said Crisp performed well, although he mentioned that the errors by the defense behind him were very uncharacteristic.
"Nolan (Crisp) was really good and gave us a solid start and we didn't play well behind him,” Stricklin said. “We made three errors, and then we were able to overcome it. An example of that would be Garrett (Blaylock). He should have made a catch, and it cost us two runs. He didn't get upset, he came right back and hit a three-run home run. You have to be able to bounce back, and he did."
Crisp was replaced by Chander Marsh in the fifth with one out. The freshman arm finished out the inning for Georgia. Will Pearson (2-0) provided two innings of work and got the victory. He was followed by Collin Caldwell (0.1 innings) and Jaden Woods (1.2 innings).
Following the sweep over the Gators, Georgia will travel to Clemson, S.C. to face the Tigers. The first pitch is slated for 7 p.m.