Feb. 25, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. ---- Freshman Robert Tyler earned the first win of his Georgia career as the Bulldogs started off their 16-game home stand with a 6-4 victory over Furman Tuesday in front 1,501 fans at Foley Field.
Tyler pitched five innings and allowed just one run on two hits, and recorded six strikeouts. Tyler came in for starter Patrick Boling who went four innings and gave up three runs on five hits, with four strikeouts and one walk. The Bulldogs offense tallied seven hits on the night from six different players, and added four stolen bases from Nelson Ward (2), Zach Bowers, and Stephen Wrenn.
"Robert Tyler pitched extremely well, and we were able to move runners, steal four bases and score some runs," said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. "We switched up the lineup a bit today, not sure you'll see it exactly the same way Wednesday as Georgia State has a left-hander throwing, but Hunter (Cole) and Skyler (Weber) I thought did well at different positions as we continue to play well defensively."
Cole, a junior with 110 starts in the outfield, made his first career start at third base while the freshman Weber made his first start in right field. Both saw action in these spots during the preseason. Also of note, freshman Mike Bell, who has been out with a broken hand, made his Bulldog debut as a pinch-runner and played two innings at second base.
Georgia (2-5) got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning as Sean McLaughlin drove in his first run of the season. After Bowers lead off the inning with a lined single into right field, Daniel Nichols laced another line drive single to right that put runners on the corners with no outs. McLaughlin then hit a grounder to first baseman Greg Harrison who looked to turn two, but an errant throw to second allowed Nichols to advance safely and Bowers to score.
The Bulldogs looked for more in the second as Furman starter Matthew Quarles loaded the bases walking Conor Welton with no outs. Georgia was able to get their second run just two pitches after the walk thanks to a passed ball by Andrew MacLatchie allowed each runner to move up 90 feet, as Nichols came home.
After another walk loaded the bases, and Wrenn was able to record his first career RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field, plating McLaughlin and advancing Welton to third. In the next at bat, Weber was caught stealing second but allowed Welton to score the Bulldogs fourth run of the inning, giving them a 4-0 lead through two.
Furman (3-5) threatened to cut away at Georgia's lead in the top of the fourth inning after Jordan Simpson lined a two out double into right field after an Alex Abrams single, giving the Paladins two runners in scoring position with just one out. Boling was able to strike out Davis in the next at bat, but was unable to work through the jam unscathed as MacLatchie delivered a two-out, two-run single to left field to get the Paladins on the board 4-2.
The inning didn't stop there, however, as Sky Overton lined a double into left field in the next at bat that brought MacLatchie in all the way from first, and also allowed Overton to advance to third. With a runner on third and two outs, Boling was able to buckle down and strike out Heath Burton to end the inning with the Bulldogs still up 4-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Georgia wasted little time in extending their lead, adding on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by Welton that scored Nichols to push the Bulldogs up 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs again expanded upon their lead. Ward led off the inning with a line drive single up the middle, then proceeded to steal both second and third base during Jess Posey's at bat, before eventually scoring on Posey's ground out to second to take a 6-3 lead through five.
In the top of the sixth, Furman threatened to cut into the lead yet again as they were able to load the bases with one out after back-to-back singles by Simpson and Davis, and then a walk by MacLatchie. Tyler was able to get out of the jam with little damage, only allowing Simpson to score on a ground out to first by Overton, then forcing Burton to ground out to short to end the inning with the Bulldogs still up 6-4.
Georgia will return to action Wednesday when they play host to Georgia State at 5 p.m. at Foley Field.