March 11, 2014
ATHENS----Zack Bowers hit a grand slam and a three-run home run as Georgia routed Western Kentucky 26-7 on Tuesday at Foley Field. The win extended the Bulldogs' win streak to nine games, their longest since the 2009 season when the team started 14-0.
Bowers (2-5, 7 RBIs, 4 Runs) led the offensive onslaught for Georgia as the team scored the most runs since putting up 27 against Erskine in 1980. The grand slam was also the first since Justin Bryan's against Alcorn State in 2012. Bowers' seven RBIs were the most by a Bulldog since Rich Poythress had seven against Ohio State in 2009 during an NCAA Regional at Florida State.
Following Bowers' first home run in the second inning, the Hilltoppers used a four-run third to bring the score to 8-6, but it was all Georgia from there. The Bulldogs broke the game open in the bottom half with eight runs after batting around for the second time in the game. First baseman Daniel Nichols picked up his second and third RBI of the game on a liner up the middle, scoring Jared Walsh (3-5) and Hunter Cole (4-6) in the process.
Georgia would later tack on one in the fifth inning and nine in the eighth inning, led by Bowers grand slam. The Bulldogs would bat around in the inning before Western Kentucky would record an out.
Prior to the game no Bulldog had recorded a four-hit game this year, but three Georgia players achieved the feat on Tuesday. The four-hit day was Cole's fourth (first since last year's 17-0 victory over Georgia Tech) while it was the first for both junior Conor Welton and freshman Skyler Weber. In addition to a career high in hits, Weber notched a career high four RBIs. The teams combined to use 12 pitchers in the game lasting three hours and thirty-three minutes.
Jarrett Brown (1-0) notched his first career win for the Bulldogs after going 2.2 innings of relief without allowing a run on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Georgia starter Luke Crumley pitched 2.1 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits, a walk and no strikeouts. Western Kentucky starter Sam Higgs (3-2) picked up the loss after being chased after recording only one out, while giving up five runs on six hits and two walks.
"The bats were working tonight; we had some very positive at bats, and I told the team there's one more game in the series and we have to come back tomorrow and play," said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. "Western Kentucky is a good team and they probably left some guys out there a little longer because they're saving a few guys for Wednesday. They will come back and be ready for us tomorrow. Overall, I thought our mental approach has been better of late at the plate and we're getting in better counts. It was an ugly game defensively. I thought Jarrett Brown pitched well when the game was still close and didn't get a lot of help behind him. Also, David Gonzalez, Drew Moody and Heath Holder came in and threw strikes."
Georgia finishes up the two-game series Wednesday against Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. at Foley Field.