March 18, 2014
ATHENS-----For the second consecutive Tuesday night, the Georgia baseball team scored double digit runs as they torched the Presbyterian Blue Hose 11-0.
The Bulldogs (14-8) were propelled by the starting effort of junior Jared Walsh (1-0), who picked up the win in his second start on the mound this season. In a five-inning effort, the junior faced 17 batters allowing no runs and striking out four as the team combined on a five-hit shutout. Last Tuesday, Georgia routed Western Kentucky 26-7. With the latest victory, Georgia now has two shutouts on the season, the other coming 1-0 over Ga. Tech on March 4.
The game was scoreless and hitless through an inning and a half until Skyler Weber's single loaded the bases with one out in the home half of the second inning With Brandon Stephens at the plate, Presbyterian starter Aaron Lesiak balked, bringing home Nichols for the only run the Bulldogs would need in the shutout effort.
"Jared Walsh had a great start, and we needed that out of him, and I thought our bullpen was tremendous," said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. "We had a couple of big innings and that helped because in the beginning their starter was tough to hit, and we had to grind out some at bats. We did a good job of putting the ball in play and getting a few two-out hits."
Lesiak (0-1) went 3 plus innings in the loss allowing two runs on two hits. Of the 13 batters Lesiak faced, he issued four walks, a balk and struck out two.
Offensively, the fourth and sixth innings were the Bulldogs' most profitable as they scored four and five runs in those innings, respectively. In the fourth, the Bulldogs used four straight two-out singles to break the game open with a 5-0 lead. Two innings later, Georgia reached double digits for the fourth time this season as they tacked on five runs, sending 12 men to the plate to make it 10-0.
Brandon Stephens, Stephen Wrenn, Nelson Ward, and Hunter Cole accounted for the majority of the Bulldog offense as they combined for seven hits, and six RBIs. Cole's RBI-double in the sixth inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games and kept the junior as the only Bulldog to reach base safely in every game.
The only run the Bulldogs would get via the long ball came from Ward's second home run of the season in the eighth as the shortstop found the right field bleachers just inside the foul pole.
Georgia returns to action Friday when it begins its first Southeastern Conference road series versus sixth-ranked LSU (17-4, 1-2 SEC). First pitch is slated for 8 p.m. EDT.