Feb. 26, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. ---- Georgia blanked Georgia State for six innings and did not allow a hit before giving up three runs in the top of the seventh and fell 3-2 Wednesday at Foley Field.
Four Bulldog pitchers had combined to blank the Panthers until the top of the seventh inning before allowing a single to center by Chris Triplett. Starter Luke Crumley and Ross Ripple each pitched two innings and recorded two and one strike outs, respectively, while Mike Mancuso and Dylan Cole each pitched one hitless inning. Georgia State managed just three hits on the night.
The Panthers (5-3) received a strong start from Kenny Anderson as he pitched six and two-third innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out four to earn his first win. David Sosebee (0-1) was credited with the loss for Georgia after allowing two hits and three runs, with two hit batsmen. Kevin Burgee earned his second save of the season.
"We pitched pretty well except for the one inning and I know David Sosebee is going to bounce back from that, he's one of the toughest kids on this team, if not the toughest," said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. "You have to credit Georgia State, they pitched well and hung in there and broke through in the seventh. Bottom line, we're disappointed, and we have to find a way to score more runs."
The Bulldogs (2-6) employed a staff approach, using eight total pitchers during the contest, including Pete Nagel and Jared Cheek who each recorded two strikeouts on the night. The Bulldogs got on the board quickly, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Georgia's first three batters each got on base to start the game, as Stephen Wrenn delivered a lead off single and then advanced to second as Nelson Ward was hit by Anderson. In the next at-bat, Hunter Cole singled into left field to bring in Wrenn and record his seventh RBI of the season.
Georgia State looked to be in position to even the score in the top of the fourth inning after two walks by Ross Ripple gave the Panthers two on with two out. Chase Raffield hammered a line drive into deep centerfield that appeared to spell trouble for the Bulldogs, but Wrenn made a phenomenal, diving catch to end the inning and sustain Georgia's 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Panthers broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh on Triplett's single, which was followed by a Nic Wilson, double off of the center field wall. Sosebee then hit consecutive Panthers at the plate to bring in the tying run and keep the bases loaded with no outs.
Jarrett Brown was called in to relieve Sosebee and help get the Bulldogs out of the jam, but allowed the Panthers to score the go-ahead run in the process on a sacrifice fly by Joey Roach. A single by Greg Bowder in the next at-bat loaded the bases again, and the Panthers capitalized on the opportunity, as Chase Raffield was able to score on a Ryan Blanton ground out, putting Georgia State up 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Georgia was able to cut into the Panthers' lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, thanks to an error on second baseman Chad Prain. With runners on first and second and two outs, Anderson was able to force Ward to hit a ground ball to second for what looked to possibly end the inning, but an errant throw by Prain allowed Welton to score to make it a 3-2 ball game after seven in favor of Georgia State. In the ninth, Sean McLaughlin added another highlight catch by a Bulldog outfielder on the night.
Georgia returns to action Friday as the Bulldogs play host to Binghamton University for a three-game weekend series in Athens. Game one will take place at 5 p.m. at Foley Field.