ATHENS, Ga. – The Presbyterian College baseball team and Georgia combined for five home runs on a cold, windy afternoon at Foley Field on Wednesday afternoon but ultimately an RBI single in the seventh gave the Bulldogs the edge for the 8-7 victory over the Blue Hose. PC falls to 9-10 on the year, while Georgia improves to 8-10.
How It Happened
Georgia plated a run in the bottom of the first to get the scoring started. Tucker Maxwell led off the game with a double to right center to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. PC starter Eric Miles would get a strikeout and a groundout to first, to make it two outs and a runner on third. Michael Curry then singled to left to score Maxwell give UGA the 1-0 lead.
PC broke it open in the second with a four spot to take an early lead. TJ Richardson and Nick Guimbarda drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and Colton Chapman moved them up with a sacrifice bunt. Brett Auckland then drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases with just one out. Georgia native Nick Wise needed just one pitch and one swing to clear them, driving a ball well past the wall in right for a grand slam to give PC a 4-1 lead.
The Bulldogs pulled closer with lone runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Aaron Schunk hit his first career home run with a drive just inside the foul pole in left to make it a 4-2 game. Curry then hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season with a solo shot to left center to make it a 4-3 game.
The Blue Hose answered with three runs in the sixth. Chapman drew a leadoff walk to put a man aboard for Auckland. He worked the count and ultimately found his pitch, driving it over the wall down the right field line for his first round tripper of the season to extend the lead to 6-3. PC wasn’t done yet, though, as Wise and Andrew Bladt reached on back-to-back errors, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Georgia turned to lefty Ryan Avidano, who retired each of the first two batters he faced but a bad throw to second on an attempted pickoff allowed Bladt to score from third to make it a 7-3 PC lead.
Georgia responded with four runs of its own in the bottom half of the sixth to tie the game. A hit-by-pitch to start the inning followed by a single by Schunk put two on with no outs. After a fielder’s choice for the first out, Will Proctor hit a three-run home run to left to make it a one-run game at 7-6. After a PC pitching change and a strikeout for the second out, Cam Shepherd singled and Keegan McGovern doubled to right center to score him and tie the game at 7-7.
The Bulldogs scratched across what proved to be the decisive run in the seventh. Austin Biggar drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a passed ball to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Adam Sasser followed with an RBI single to right to score him and put Georgia in front 8-7.
Pitchers of Record
Georgia reliever Ryan Avidano (1-0) earned the win out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts in 2.0 scoreless innings of work.
PC reliever Colton Springs (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts against two walks in 2.0 innings in relief.
Adam Goodman earned his first save of the year, coming on to record the final out of the game. He induced a 4-3 groundout to preserve the victory for the Bulldogs.
Player of the Game
Nick Wise hit a grand slam in the second inning, the first by a PC player this season, to give the Blue Hose a 4-1 advantage at the time. It was the second long ball of the season for Wise, who is now tied for the team lead. On the day, the native of Alexander, Ga. went 1-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs, most by a PC player so far this season.
- Freshman starting pitcher Eric Miles once again had PC in a position to win, going 5.1 innings and allowing six runs on 10 hits with a career-high seven strikeouts against no walks. He left the game with a one-run lead and chance for his fourth win in as many starts but the Bulldogs prevented him from improving to 4-0.
- Tyler Weyenberg, a native of Powder Springs, Ga., went 2-for-5 on the afternoon for his sixth multi-hit game of the season.
- Cletis Avery had reached base in 18 straight games before failing to do so in today’s game. The second baseman managed to reach in every game this season, while collecting a hit in 14 of the 18 prior to today.
- Brett Auckland hit his first home run of the year with a two-run drive in the sixth inning. He finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs and two RBIs.
- Five of PC’s seven hits in the contest came from the bottom five spots in the batting order.
- PC hit two home runs in the loss, its first multi-homer game of the season. The Blue Hose totaled six games with at least two home runs a year ago.
PC returns home for a three-game series against Army at the PC Baseball Complex this weekend, beginning with game on on Friday at 3 p.m.