Georgia baseball faces Auburn on Saturday looking to avoid sweep

Georgia during Georgia’s game against South Carolina at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Mar. 19, 2023. (Kari Hodges/UGAAA)
Kari Hodges

Georgia baseball has one more chance to avoid an 0-6 start to SEC play against Auburn on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (14-9, 0-5 SEC) will try to salvage a win in Saturday’s series finale, starting at 3 p.m. at Plainsman Park.

UGA’s weekend woes continued Friday night, as a pair of costly base running errors contributed to a 6-3 loss to the Tigers (16-6-1, 2-3).

UGA made two simple blunders between third base and home plate, taking two potential runs off the board that would have tied the game in the eighth inning.

Catcher Corey Collins had the opportunity to cut into Auburn’s 5-3 lead in the seventh, but missed home plate. Collins was tagged out and Georgia remained behind by two runs.

Cole Wagner got caught in a rundown between third and home in the next inning. Wagner froze on a ground ball hit right to third baseman Bryson Ware, who chased Wagner into the pickle.

Those mental mistakes came after last night’s ninth inning collapse, which included a throwing error on a potential game-winning groundout.

RELATED: Georgia baseball collapses in ninth, stays winless in SEC

“When things are going wrong, things are going wrong and when you miss home plate, that’s going wrong,” UGA coach Scott Stricklin said on 960 The Ref. “The bottom line is we’re not playing good enough.”

Stricklin will start Liam Sullivan in Game Three. The junior will look to rebound from a rocky performance against South Carolina last week, where he gave up five earned runs in 3.1 innings.

Sullivan has been stellar the rest of the season as he carried a 0.44 ERA into SEC play.

A win to avoid back-to-back sweeps to start SEC action seems crucial if UGA wants to turn its ugly start around, especially considering the juggernauts ahead.

Indeed, Auburn is the only unranked SEC team left on Georgia’s schedule.

Jaden Woods looked like an SEC ace through his first five innings, allowing a pair of hits for an earned run. The Tiger bats seemed to finally figure Woods out in the sixth with as a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly.

The junior finished with five hits for five earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

Collins led the offense, hitting 3 for 5 with a double and a run.

Redshirt freshman Charlie Condon mashed his team-leading 10th homer of the season and extended his hitting streak to 22 games. Condon is just five games away from breaking the program’s longest hitting streak.

The Bulldogs were far from clutch in the loss, though, hitting 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position. UGA stranded 14 runners, including nine in scoring position.

“We had baserunners all day long, we had opportunities all day long, and we just couldn’t get the big hit,” Stricklin said. “We’re not playing the way we’re capable and it’s really disappointing.”

Georgia baseball vs. Auburn box score
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