CLEMSON, S.C. | Patrick Boling pitched a career-high 7 2/3 innings and Hunter Cole drove in four runs to lead Georgia to a 6-2 win over No. 14 Clemson on Tuesday.
In the top of the first, Cole (3-for-5, 4 RBI) gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead when he blasted a solo home run off the scoreboard. It was his second of the year. Clemson threatened in the first, loading the bases with nobody out. However, Boling battled back to strike out cleanup hitter Steven Duggar and then got Chris Okey to bounce in to an inning-ending double play. The Bulldogs turned two double plays on the night to give the squad 33 for the year, and that ranks second in the Southeastern Conference.
‚ÄúPat (Boling) got taken out of the rotation and that‚Äôs tough for anyone to handle but he responded the right way,‚Äù Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said in a release. ‚ÄúHe had a little anger in him tonight and that was good, I told him if you‚Äôre ticked off you need to stay ticked off because after he struggled with two walks in the third he was nearly unhittable. That was the best I‚Äôve seen him throw. I didn‚Äôt see Pete (Nagel) before he got hurt but that‚Äôs the best I‚Äôve seen Pete Nagel throw the baseball right there, it was encouraging to see those guys throw the ball like that. Hunter Cole barreled up four balls, he had three hits but he should have had four and really swung it well. I‚Äôm proud of the way we played.‚Äù
Georgia (19-13-1) extended its advantage to 5-0 in the second as Cole ignited a two-out rally with a two-run single off Clemson reliever Kevin Pohle. Junior left fielder Conor Welton followed with a single to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Next, junior shortstop Nelson Ward brought them home with a two-run double down the left field line as he leads the club with 23 RBI. The Tigers opted to go to Pohle after starter Brody Koerner issued a pair one-out walks.¬† Koerner surrendered three runs on one hit with four walks and two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. He got the loss to fall to 0-1.
The Tigers (20-12) scratched for a run in the third inning. After striking out the first two batters, Boling issued back-to-back walks and Duggar lined an RBI-single to left to make it 5-1. Pohle provided 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. In the seventh, Clemson looked to right-hander Clay Bates and he went two innings and surrendered one run on one hit with two walks and Matt Campbell pitched the ninth.
In the eighth, freshman Stephenn Wrenn reached on a one-out walk and raced around to third on a pair of stolen bases. It gave him three for the evening, which tied his career high. Cole collected his fourth RBI of the night to tie his career best with a shot off the wall for a 6-1 lead.
Georgia begins hosts Tennessee in an SEC that begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, a game that will be televised on ESPNU.