ATHENS – Georgia baseball outhit South Carolina on Sunday, but the Bulldogs couldn’t outscore the Gamecocks, falling 5-1 in the third and final game of the series.
The No 23-ranked Bulldogs (18-9, 3-6 SEC) won the opener at Foley Field on Friday night 5-3, but No. 8 South Carolina (19-7, 6-3) came back to get a 13-7 win on Saturday and were victorious in the Easter Sunday finale.
It was the Gamecocks’ first baseball series win over the Bulldogs since 2013.
South Carolina’s Brady Allen hit a home run on the first pitch of Sunday’s game, and that set the tone. Allen homered again, one of three by the Gamecocks off Georgia starter Jonathan Cannon (1-2).
“For the whole weekend, that was the main difference,” UGA center fielder Ben Anderson said. “They hit the long ball, and we didn’t.”
The Bulldogs also didn’t get the timely hits on Sunday, batting 2-for-13 with men on base and 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Ben Anderson tripled to left field and scored Georgia’s only run of the afternoon off Cole Tate’s grounder.
Georgia’s bullpen was a saving grace, combining for four innings of one-hit ball after Cannon was lifted.
The Bulldogs return to action against Georgia Southern at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Foley Field. Georgia’s next SEC series is in Nashville against No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt, Thursday through Saturday.
Game One: Georgia 5 – South Carolina 3
Riley King cued a slow grounder through the hole in the right side of the infield to score two runs and give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. King’s single capped off an inning of good luck for Georgia—the result of putting the ball in play.
“He’s hit so many balls hard for outs,” Coach Scott Stricklin said. “He deserved to have a little bit of a break.”
Freshman left-hander Luke Wagner pitched 3 innings and allowed 1 earned run. UGA used seven pitchers out of the bullpen to cover the remaining six innings.
“The message has been all year: just do your job, know your role, throw strikes,” right-handed pitcher Darryn Pasqua said. “Be ready when your name is called, and that is thankfully what happened tonight.”
Josh McAllister continued his hot streak before reaggravating his hamstring injury hustling down the first base line late in the game.
Despite snapping his 17 game on-base streak at Clemson, McAllister wasted no time starting a new streak peppering the third base line for two doubles and a single. McAllister did not play the rest of the weekend, and his status is day-to-day.
Game Two: South Carolina 13 – Georgia 7
Three Gamecock homers in the first six innings, contrasted to one Georgia hit, was enough to power South Carolina past Georgia’s late-inning rally in Game Two.
“[Jordan] was really good, a lot of the credit goes to him, but our hitters need to compete better than that,” Stricklin said.
The Georgia offense came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning to score five runs.
“It’s 8-1, and we’ve got no life,” Stricklin said. “Next thing you know, it’s 8-6, and the bases are loaded. It’s a 2-0 count, and Riley King is at the plate. I think everyone in the world wearing red-and-black will take that scenario. We put ourselves in a position with a chance to win the game. We made them go to the bullpen.”
South Carolina had the answers, however, along with five more runs of offense to polish off Game Two.