ATHENS — Georgia baseball will look to salvage a home win against LSU’s star-studded team in its regular-season finale at 1 p.m. on Saturday after another tough loss.
“These kids, fight and tomorrow (Saturday) is Senior Day and we need to come out here and play our best baseball,” UGA 10th-year head coach Scott Stricklin said. “If we play our best baseball, we’ll have a great chance to win.”
Georgia did not play its best baseball on Friday night, even though it did show fight to the end, just as it did in Thursday night’s dramatic extra-innings loss.
The Bulldogs (28-26, 10-19 SEC) fell by an 8-4 count to the Tigers (42-12, 19-9) at Foley Field after jumping out to a 2-0 lead when Parks Harber hit a two-run homer off projected MLB draft first-rounder LSU pitcher Ty Floyd (7-0).
Georgia’s NCAA tournament hopes are essentially down to the SEC tournament next week. The Bulldogs are on the verge of clinching the No. 12 spot in the SEC tourney with Mississippi State’s loss on Friday.
To get in, UGA needs to beat LSU, or have Arkansas beat Vanderbilt or have Texas A&M beat Mississippi State.
Stricklin was proud of his team’s effort on Friday in Athens against an LSU program with significantly more resources and thus, more talent.
“We hung in there,” Stricklin said. “The bullpen did a nice job. Zach DeVito, Collin Caldwell and Dalton Rhadans kept us there. We made it 8-4.
“Will David hits a ball to the wall, and it is almost 8-7. We gave ourselves a chance at the end, but it is really tough when you give up that many runs early.”
Pitching and a lack of timely hitting has been Georgia’s downfall throughout the season, even as they swept No. 2-ranked Arkansas at home and recorded series wins over Top 20 programs Tennessee and Kentucky.
In the SEC, if you’re a little off, you’re a lot off, and LSU has the sort of talent that doesn’t allow much of a margin for error.
“It’s a really talented team and they are clicking on all cylinders making defensive plays, and they obviously have great arms in as deep of a lineup as you’ll see in the country,” Stricklin said.
“Our kids haven’t stopped fighting; it was 8-2 and not looking very good, and then Murillo hits one and makes it 8-4.”
Georgia started the season 1-9 in league play and dug itself out of that hole, only to hit this five-game losing skid in SEC action.
The Bulldogs are expected to honor nine seniors before the game on Saturday:
• Nolan Crisp (RHP)
• Will David (INF/C)
• Charlie Goldstein (LHP)
• Kyle Greenler (RHP)
• Bryce Melear (RHP)
• Michael Polk (RHP)
• Dalton Rhadans (RHP)
• Josh Stinson (OF)
• Jaden Woods (LHP)
Fan favorites Ben Anderson and Connor Tate are also playing their last home game, but they were honored last year and will not go through the Senior Day program on Saturday.