Georgia hoped that a change of scenery might reverse its karma.
But the Bulldogs came back from Texas A&M with their slump still intact.
The Bulldogs dropped their fifth consecutive game as Furman knocked off Georgia 7-5 on Tuesday at Foley Field.
“You can either let it affect you or you can keep on keeping on,” Georgia outfielder Hunter Cole said. “After a while we’ve got to come out here and we’ve got to execute. We had the same number of hits. They (Furman) just got more guys on base. They had better at-bats. They got more walks and hit it when they needed to.”
Georgia (8-13) is now 2-5 in midweek games and was swept by Texas A&M to start Southeastern Conference play last weekend. The Bulldogs will host Alabama this weekend.
“We’ve just got to know that we’re better than we are playing,” Georgia pitcher Dylan Cole said. “Everybody in that locker room knows it. I know it. The coaches know it. But we just keep letting games get away from us. It’s one or two innings each game that’s been costing us. If we can keep the big innings down and just execute, we’ll be OK.”
Furman (15-6) was led by Alex Abrams, who was 4-for-5 with an RBI, and Taylor Johnson, who was 1-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Drake Browne (1-0) allowed two hits and no runs with two walks and two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win for Furman. The Paladins’ leadoff man Will Muzika did not get a hit on Tuesday but he reached base five times (four walks, one hit-batsman) and scored twice.
Despite Georgia’s losing skid extending another game, the Bulldogs remain upbeat and have most of the Southeastern Conference slate in front of them.
“I’m not worried about the record, I’m really not,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “I’m worried about a little more consistency. If this is the worst game we’ve played all week, then we’ve made improvements. We’ve got three tough ones this weekend, and we’ll see. The last couple of mid-weeks, we’ve walked seven guys and gave up 11 runs. Tonight, it was managed a little better. We’ve got some bright spots in it. (Ross) Ripple continues to do his job. Dylan Cole was terrific. We’re getting some good pitching, now we’ve got to find a couple of more starters.”
Georgia’s undoing came with a couple of tough innings on the mound and the offense could not immediately respond. Furman scored three runs in the first inning to take the lead permanently. Georgia rallied for two in the bottom of the first. But when Furman kept up the pressure by scoring once in the second and three more times in the fifth, Georgia reacted with blanks until the seventh and eighth innings.
“We’ve just got to keep grinding,” Hunter Cole said. “We got leadoff guys on a couple of times which is good. But we’ve just got to score more runs. We’ve got to answer back. If they get a big inning, then we’ve got to come in and get a big inning ourself. That’s pretty much the only way to do it. If they get a big inning and a shut-down, that gives them a lot of momentum. So if they score three then we’ve got to come in and score at least two or three or even more.”
Georgia starter David Gonzalez (0-2) gave up three hits and four runs (all earned) with three walks and one strikeout in one inning to take the loss. Heath Holder and Palmer Betts combined to give up four hits and three runs (two earned) with three walks and no strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. But Mike Mancuso, Ripple and Dylan Cole combined to pitch 5 1/3 shutout innings for Georgia.
“It seems like those big innings really put you in a hole,” Perno said. “They give a lot of confidence to the other team and it makes it tough on us.”
Hunter Cole was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a solo home run. Kyle Farmer was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and scored once. Nelson Ward was 2-for-5 with two runs scored to lead Georgia’s offense. J.T. Phillips also had two hits in the game for Georgia.
“We answered in that first inning,” Perno said. “We got close, but I didn’t see us follow it up. We got into position and it’s 4-2. Then we put up five zeros in row, that’s not good. We’ve got to do more in those early innings and we didn’t tonight.”
Notes: Georgia is now 2-5 against teams from the Southern Conference, which would put the Bulldogs in 10th place in the league, a half-game game behind ninth-place Samford. … Brett DeLoach injured his thumb while catching in the first inning and had to leave the game. But he is expected to be available this weekend against Alabama. … Brothers Dylan Cole and Hunter Cole had maybe their best combined game of their careers. Dylan Cole, a transfer from Furman, pitched two shutout innings while younger brother Hunter Cole had two hits, including a home run.