May 7, 2014
Athens--- On a designated staff night, Georgia employed 11 pitchers to register a 4-2 victory over Savannah State Wednesday at Foley Field.
Bulldog senior pitcher Dylan Cole pitched a perfect first inning in his first career start and picked up his first win as a Bulldog. Junior Jared Cheek notched his second save after coming on in the ninth with two on and two outs and collected a strikeout. Also part of the staff on Wednesday night was Grant Earls who pitched a hitless seventh inning in his first appearance of the season. The others that saw action were Jarrett Brown, Pete Nagel, Patrick Boling, Mike Mancuso, Connor Jones, Taylor Hicks, Heath Holder and Luke Crumley.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 24-23-1. Georgia's offense was led by Sean McLaughlin, who scored twice after leading off innings with hits. The others who racked up two hits were freshmen Skyler Weber and Stephen Wrenn. Wrenn also added a run, RBI and stolen base to his line. Hunter Cole and Mike Bell also knocked in runs to help put a four on the scoreboard for Georgia.
Savannah State (19-29) starter Austin Denney went two innings while surrendering two runs, one earned, on four hits. Denney was given the loss dropping his record to 5-4 on the season.
"We found a way to win; it wasn't pretty but a win feels good as we get ready to play Ole Miss," said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. "We're going to have play a lot better this weekend. We planned to throw nine guys tonight and had a couple others ready in case of any jams. We had a couple and we looked to Heath Holder and Jared Cheek, and they came in and got the job done."
Georgia got off to a quick start; in fact they plated a run before they recorded an out in the game. Wrenn led off the first with a single to center, then after his 16th stolen base of the season, Conor Welton singled to put runners on the corners. An error by Savannah State shortstop Devin Jackson allowed Wrenn to score the first run of the game. Next, Nelson Ward hit a fielder's choice to the second baseman giving Georgia a 2-0 edge.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard in the third closing the Georgia lead to one. Zachary Brigham led off the inning with a single to right, then Kevin Herlihy was able beat out an infield single to shortstop. Two batters later Savannah State scored their first run of the game on a wild pitch by Nagel.
The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth when McLaughlin led off the inning with a double to left center. Weber followed with a single, McLaughlin then scored the Bulldogs' third run on an error by first baseman Herlihy.
McLaughlin had another lead off hit in the sixth, which once again translated into a Georgia run. He advanced to second on a fielder's choice groundout, and then a couple batters later Wrenn scored McLaughlin with a single for his 20th RBI, giving the Bulldogs a three-run advantage.
Savannah State tacked on one more in the ninth, but with two on and two out, Cheek struck out the final batter of the ballgame.
Georgia returns to action this weekend as it travels to Oxford for a weekend series with 11th-ranked Ole Miss. Game one is slated for 7:30 pm ET on Friday.