#7 Georgia Takes Series vs Auburn
By. Andrew Rodberg (twitter/www.twitter.com/404thebeat)
AUBURN, Alabama — Following a rout, where the Dawgs swept the Florida Gators in a three game series, they headed to Auburn University for a weekend series with the Auburn Tigers.
In Game #1 (Friday night) the Dawgs sent out Tony Locey to face the Tigers’ Jake Owen. In doing so, the Tigers got on the board with an RBI double to give them the early lead in the second inning (1-0 Tigers). The Dawgs answered with a big 4th inning where they built a huge lead behind a based loaded walk issued to John Cable, a 2 run RBI double by Connor Tate, a Patrick Sullivan RBI single and a Randon Jernigan solo homer to give the Dawgs a 6-1 lead. The Dawgs kept adding on runs as they ran up the score 11-2. Locey continued to dominate as he worked 7 innings, struck out 10 batters and allowed 2 earned runs on his way to an 9th win. The Dawgs went on to win Game #1 11-2.
Game #2 (1st game of Double-Header) 12:00 noon start, Game #2 would be Georgia’s Emerson Hancock’s to manage. Hancock looked to face Auburn’s Tanner Burns. Hancock coming off an injury where he missed a start, looked to continue his amazing 2019 season, but fell into some trouble early. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Hancock gave up a solo homer to Will Holland to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Dawgs were then able to respond with a solo homer of themselves courtesy of Mason Meadows in the top of the 3rd. Auburn got to Hancock and had a big inning as they built a 3-1 lead behind Will Holland and Rankin Woley. Georgia’s John Cable took over in the 5-6th innings as he was able to help the Dawgs tie the game at 3-3.
Hancock didn’t have his stuff but was able to keep the Dawgs in the game while working 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs and striking out 4 batters. The Dawgs then turned to bullpen arm, Cole Wilcox, who shut down the Tigers to force extra innings. In the top of the 10th, the Dawgs tried to make some noise but were retired with a double play. Wilcox remained in the game but three singles in the 10th gave the Tigers the walk-off victory. The Dawgs ultimately fell to the Tigers in a 4-3, 10 inning game.
Game #3 (2nd game of Double-Header) 4:00pm start, was as big of a game for either team with the season coming to a close. The Dawgs, fighting for a National ranking, and the Tigers looking to get in the Tournament, both needed this rubber match game to go their way. The Dawgs turned to Tim Elliott to face Tiger’s Richard Fitts. With the Dawgs bats heating up, Aaron Schunk got the evening started with a 3-run home run to center field in the top of the first. Auburn was able to get one across in the bottom of the 1st to cut the lead to 3-1. The 3rd inning was quiet for the Dawgs, but the Tigers kept chipping away at the Georgia lead. A wild pitch gave the Tigers yet another run and cut the lead to 3-2. The scoring kept going back and fourth as both teams refused to let the other build a lead. The scoring ultimately became tied up in the 6th inning after the Tigers loaded the bases followed by a double and single, putting the score at 7-7. Elliott ended his outing after 5 innings, giving up 4 runs and striking out 3 batters. With it being anyone’s game, the Dawgs got two base runners in the top of the 8th courtesy of singles by Meadows and Jernigan with Cam Shepherd at the plate. A hanging fastball, allowed Shepherd to barrel it up and smoke it to right field for a 3-run homer! With a 10-7 lead, the Dawgs relied on Zac Kristofak to close out the game. In doing so, he was able to shut down the Tigers in the 8th and allow a single run in the 9th to earn the Dawgs a 10-7 victory. Kristofak ended his outing with 3.2 innings, 1 earned run and 5 strikeouts.
The Dawgs now sitting at 39-14 for the year, 18-9 in SEC play, and 2nd in the SEC East standings, look ahead to the final 3 games of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide. With the 3 game series starting on Thursday, the Dawgs will look to secure the series win and get on top of the SEC East standings.