Feb. 15, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs opened the 2014 season and the beginning of the Scott Stricklin era with a 9-3 loss in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
Sophomore Sean McLaughlin took the loss for the Bulldogs, surrendering four hits and four earned runs to go along with a pair of strikeouts in just 1.2 innings of work. Starting pitcher Sam Howard earned the win for the Eagles, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out seven over five innings.
Redshirt sophomore David Sosebee turned in a career-best performance in relief for Georgia, recording career highs in both innings pitched (3.1) and strikeouts (five). Junior left fielder Hunter Cole finished 3-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored, while shortstop Nelson Ward also notched a double in addition to scoring a pair of runs.
After a scoreless first inning by both teams, Georgia Southern pushed four runs across in the second to take the early lead. The first three batters of the inning reached base, and following a strikeout, Stryker Brown dropped an RBI single into center field for the first run of the game. Dalton Busby followed with a two-RBI single through the left side to add to the lead before the Bulldogs brought in Sosebee in relief. The Eagles would plate one more run in the inning following an RBI-single by Ben Morgan.
Georgia Southern pushed another run across in the fifth on an RBI groundout to second to take the 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs put two runners on base with a two-out single to left by Brandon Stephens and a walk by Cody McCance, but a fly out to right ended the inning without a run.
Junior Luke Crumley took the mound for the Bulldogs in the sixth, and a two-out, bases-clearing double that dusted the chalk down the left field line scored three to extend the Eagles' lead to 8-0.
The Bulldogs scored their first runs of the game in the sixth inning. Ward reached base with one out after being hit by a pitch, and Cole followed with a single through the left side. Posey then came through with a single, and an error on the play allowed Ward and Cole to score and trim the Eagles' lead to 8-2.
Georgia added one more run in the eighth inning as Ward sent a one-out double into right field, followed by a single from Cole and a fielder's choice RBI from Posey to score Ward.
Georgia Southern scored once more in the top of the ninth en route to claiming the 9-3 season-opening victory. Game two of the doubleheader is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Foley Field, and a complete recap will be posted on georgiadogs.com following the conclusion of the game.