Diamond Dogs open season with three wins in four games

“This is a really strong group of freshmen pitchers”

The 12th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs registered a 4-1 win Sunday over Evansville as five pitchers combined on a one-hitter at Foley Field.

The Bulldogs (3-1) walked 10 on the day, and the Aces left 10 on base as Georgia ran its winning streak to three in a row. Evansville’s lone hit came in the third inning by Mason Brinkley who hit a grounder back to freshman pitcher Hank Bearden as it went off his glove. The Aces took a 1-0 led in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Craig.

Georgia responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Buddy Floyd led off with a base hit followed by a bunt single by Randon Jernigan. Cole Tate put a bunt down that Evansville misplayed and made two errors on the play to allow Floyd to score. Corey Collins made it 2-1 with a sacrifice fly. In the seventh, Georgia extended its lead to 3-1. Josh McAllister led off with a base hit, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Floyd and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben Anderson. Connor Tate made it 4-1 with an RBI-single in the eighth.

Redshirt freshman Charlie Goldstein started for Georgia and went two innings followed by Bearden (1-0) for 2.1 innings, then freshman Liam Sullivan tossed 2.2 scoreless frames. Junior Jack Gowen pitched the eighth and freshman Will Pearson took care of the ninth with two strikeouts for his first save. Evansville freshman Donovan Schultz took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits over four innings. The Aces dropped to 1-3 after taking the season opener here.

Georgia hits the road for the first time in 2021 when it faces Georgia State Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Bulldog Postgame Comments

Senior Connor Tate

On the freshmen pitchers’ performance this series...

“Yeah, they came out throwing really well. We had a lot of confidence going into the games for them to pitch. They just showed up and did what they always do and found a way to throw strikes. They are really confident in themselves, to be honest with you. Being confident and going on the mound will really help you a lot. If you walk someone you know that your defense has your back, or if you walk someone, they just have confidence in everyone on the team and are confident in themselves.”

Freshman Will Pearson

On his confidence

“I have been told for a very long time that I am a fairly self-confident individual. I feel like I really believe in myself and that I can go into any situation and get out of it. I know I can compete with any anybody in the box.”

On the group of freshmen pitchers on the team...

“This is a really strong group of freshmen pitchers. It is a really tight-knit group as well. Luke Wagner pitched great, giving up no runs. Jaden Woods looked really good with his fastball. Collin (Caldwell) came in and he did really well. He got three outs pretty quickly. I think everyone on the staff looked really good as a whole. Like Liam Sullivan and Hank Bearden looked really good today. I think we are going to be really good for the next couple of years with this staff.”

Ike Cousins Head Coach Scott Stricklin

On the impact the Freshman will have on this team moving forward…

“That’s what we just talked about in right field after the game. If we didn’t have five guys out, then at least five of those freshmen probably aren’t pitching this weekend. I think we had eight freshmen that pitched, so all those guys got an opportunity because the opportunity was there. They took advantage of it.”

On how many 10-walk one-hitters he’s been a part of in his coaching career…

“I don’t think any. With all the games you play, there are certainly some ugly wins mixed in there, and that was kind of an ugly one. When you walk 10 guys, you really don’t think you should have a chance to win, but we made plays that limited the damage. We made it interesting, and I thought we had some opportunities to score a bunch of runs. The wind cut us down so much. Chaney Rogers hit the ball today better than he did yesterday, he couldn’t believe it when he came in the dugout because he got all of it. Same with Ben Anderson’s ball, Riley King’s ball, actually two of Riley King’s balls that I thought were going to go out. I thought we swung the bat better than the score board showed, but that’s just what kind of day it was today.”

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