Georgia keeps finding different ways to lose as its slump reached six games.
Errors and misplays fueled Alabama’s 6-3 come-from-behind win against the Bulldogs on Friday at Foley Field.
“Our defense was awful,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “We played poor defense tonight, we really did. Two careless errors cost two critical runs. That’s something that we haven’t shown. They were careless. There was no play at third base and we threw it away. You’ve got to body that ball. Then there was a ball hit to short that we didn’t body and that cost us a run. We’re just not doing a lot of things to help each other out. Guys are going to make mistakes and guys are going to struggle. It just seems like we’re not picking each other up.”
Georgia made two errors in the game and Alabama scored two unearned runs. Jared Walsh kicked a ball in the outfield that allowed a run to score, and first baseman Daniel Nichols threw the ball away trying to get an out at third base which allowed another run to score. That run became earned because of a subsequent hit.
“Things didn’t go our way,” Georgia shortstop Kyle Farmer said. “The wheels kept turning and stuff went down south. But that can’t be an excuse. We only had six or seven hits tonight; that’s still pretty good, but they’ve got to come early. Hopefully Boling can come out tomorrow (Saturday) and show out like he’s always done and pitch well.”
Georgia (8-14, 0-4) has now started the Southeastern Conference season with four consecutive losses and has not won a game since March 12, when it beat Appalachian State. Alabama (14-9, 3-1) will go for the series win when it faces Georgia in Game 2 today. First pitch is at 4 p.m. at Foley Field. Projected starters are Georgia righthander Boling (1-2, 3.68 ERA) against Alabama lefthander Jon Keller (2-2, 3.12).
Georgia a chance to do some major damage to start the game as Nelson Ward and Curt Powell reached base on back-to-back singles to lead off the first. Farmer singled home Ward to give Georgia a 1-0 lead. But Hunter Cole grounded into a double play and Brett DeLoach flied out to end the rally.
“We did a good job of getting to them but we just couldn’t capitalize,” Perno said. “It’s part of it. You’ve got to give Alabama credit. They took it to us and we didn’t respond. We tried to late but it was a tough outing for Sean (McLaughlin) but he’s been great all year. You’re entitled when you’re a freshman and you’ve done as well as he’s done. We needed to pick him up tonight and we didn’t and I’m a little disappointed in that.”
McLaughlin (3-2) allowed nine hits and five runs (four earned) With three strikeouts and four walks in five innings to take the loss. Charley Sullivan (2-1) held Georgia to one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks to pick up the win. Ray Castillo pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his third save of the season.
Georgia led 1-0 after a first-inning RBI single by Kyle Farmer. But the Crimson Tide scored two in the fourth to take the lead. Farmer also hit a two-RBI double in the eighth to account for most of Georgia’s offense.
Alabama took the lead in the fourth when it’s first two batters reached on a couple of singles. Mikey White hit an RBI-single and Walsh booted the ball in right field to allow another run, and Alabama led 2-1. The Crimson Tide added three more runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-RBI single from White and another unearned run in the sixth
Georgia reliever Heath Holder provided one of the bright spots for Georgia as he pitched two shutout innings and retired six of seven batters faced. Dylan Cole pitched a scoreless ninth for the Bulldogs.
“We’ve just got to regroup and get after them tomorrow (Saturday), Georgia reliever Heath Holder said. “I was fortunate. I had a lot of good defensive plays behind me.”
White led Alabama’s offense with two hits and three RBIs. Kyle Overstreet had three hits while Kenny Roberts and Ben Moore each had two.
NOTEWORTHY: Kyle Farmer hit his 60th career double. … Nelson Ward had two hits and scored two runs. … Justin Bryan started in center field but was lifted for Cody Sheedy after striking out twice. Sheedy hit a double in his first trip to the plate.