Alex Wood went five innings in his first career start.
Feb. 20, 2011
DeLAND, Fla.------A year after getting swept by Georgia in Athens, Stetson completed a three-game sweep of the Bulldogs with an 8-4 victory here Sunday at Melching Field.
Georgia (0-3) struck first, getting a run-scoring double from junior designated hitter Chase Davidson in the second inning. It brought shortstop Kyle Farmer home after he led off by getting hit by a pitch. Stetson right-hander Kurt Schluter bounced back to retire the next three Bulldogs to keep it 1-0. The Hatters (3-0) took advantage of a Bulldog miscue to answer in their half of the frame. First baseman Trey Blackman reached on a two-out single and went to third on a failed pickoff attempt by sophomore right-hander Alex Wood. Then, Nick Rickles slow roller to shortstop resulted in a run-scoring single to make it 1-1.
Shortstop Mark Jones gave the Hatters a 3-1 lead in the third inning with a two-run single. With one out, Jeff Simpson reached on a walk and Spencer Theisen followed with a base hit. A wild pitch by Wood moved both into scoring position and then Jones brought them home. Georgia had a chance to tie the contest in the fifth, putting runners and second and third with one out. However, Schluter pitched out of trouble by retiring Curt Powell and Johnathan Taylor on a couple of groundouts.
In the sixth, the Hatter bullpen squashed a Bulldog rally attempt. Zach Cone led off with a single and Farmer drew a walk. Stetson looked to left-hander Austin Perez to face Davidson who was 2-for-2 at that point in the game. Davidson just missed giving the Bulldogs a lead, drilling a 2-2 offering to the wall in right that was hauled in by Sean Emory. The Hatters brought in right-hander Joe Dye, and he retired Jonathan Hester and Colby May to maintain a 3-1 advantage.
“We had our chances today and overall, we had some experienced guys just have a tough weekend,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We’ve got a lot of baseball left and I saw some good things especially from Alex Wood and Patrick Boling on the mound and Chase Davidson and Jonathan Hester at the plate. We’re disappointed at being 0-3, and we have to get better on the mound and at the plate. I thought we played good defense.”
In the series, Georgia batted just .111 with runners in scoring position (RISP) while the Hatters’ RISP was .355. Two of Georgia’s starting pitchers made their first career starts and six of the 10 relievers saw their first significant action as a Bulldog. Hester batted .500 (6-for-12) while Davidson hit .455 (5-for-11).
Wood, who was making his first career start, gave the Bulldogs five innings and allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts but got the loss. Meanwhile, Schluter picked up a win. He surrendered one run on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings.
In the sixth, Stetson sent 10 to the plate and extended its lead to 7-1. Sophomore right-hander Earl Daniels, who hasn’t pitched since 2009, started the inning for the Bulldogs and allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and two wild pitches. He retired two Hatters during the inning before giving way to Boling who got the final out. Boling pitched the final 2.1 innings and allowed one run one and struck out three.
In the eighth, Georgia pushed across three runs as Stetson made a pair of errors. Davidson notched his third hit of the game, Hester singled and May drew a walk to load the bases. Then, pinch-hitter Levi Hyams lifted a line drive to left that Jeff Simpson misplayed, clearing the bases and closing the deficit to 7-4. Blackman led off the bottom of the eighth with a one-hopper to third that bounced off the bag and into left field for a leadoff double. Following a sacrifice bunt, he scored on a wild pitch, the fifth of the day by the Bulldogs, to make it 8-4.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Wednesday for their home opener against Furman. First pitch at Foley Field is slated for 5 p.m.