KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin asked his players to show some pride and fight, and the Bulldogs did just that.
“How are we going to show up?” Stricklin asked his team after Friday night’s loss.
Rogers’ blast, his fourth of the season, drifted over the left-field wall, scoring Connor Tate who had singled to open the inning.
On the very next pitch, Gonzalez turned on a Joyce fastball and drove it into the left-field stands, bringing the Dawgs out of the dugout for yet another home plate celebration.
Defense played a role in the hard-fought win, too, with Georgia handling several hard-hit balls, fielding all of them without an error.
Georgia center fielder Ben Anderson turned in a heads-up play to save a run in the bottom of the first inning with runners on second and third with one out.
Anderson made a running catch on a would-be gapper when he noticed that UT’s Drew Gilbert failed to tag, enabling him to throw behind and double-up the midseason All-American.
The Bulldogs needed some gritty pitching against the SEC’s top-hitting team, too.
UGA reliever Jaden Woods delivered, entering the game with runners on first and second and no outs and the Bulldogs clinging to a 3-2 lead.
The Tennessee fans, described as “nasty” more than once, chided Woods as he walked the first batter to load the bases.
Woods, a sophomore from Houston County High School in baseball-mad Warner Robins, calmly fanned the next two Tennessee hitters.
The Vols pushed the tying run across when Woods issued another walk into a tight strike zone.
But again, Woods stayed cool, striking out UT leadoff hitter Seth Stephenson to end the threat.
The game stayed tied at 3-3 until the Bulldogs exploded for five runs in the seventh inning, stunning the sun-splashed crowd.