Georgia might have won the series, but Ole Miss roared back to salvage the final game.
No 18 Ole Miss took out some frustration on Georgia’s pitching as the Rebels defeated the Bulldogs 8-3 on Saturday at Foley Field, ending Georgia’s winning streak at three games.
Despite Saturday’s loss, Georgia (22-14, 7-8 Southeastern Conference) had its best week since conference play started, winning three of four games.
“We had a good week,” Georgia designated hitter and catcher Brett DeLoach said. “We’re in a lot better place now than where we were last week. We’re happy about that and we’re happy about the progress we made this week. Now we’re just looking to carry it on into next week.”
Georgia had lost seven of its last nine entering the week but won three in a row before Saturday’s loss. After taking a day off on today, Georgia plays Liberty on Monday and Furman on Tuesday and then heads south for a weekend SEC East showdown at Florida .
“I think we got back on track this week,” Georgia left fielder Conor Welton said. “We had a couple of big comeback wins on Wednesday (8-7 at Clemson) and Thursday (8-4 against Ole Miss). Today things didn’t go our way but I think overall we had a good week. Now we’ve got to carry into next week.”
Ole Miss (24-12, 6-8) pounded Georgia for 20 hits on Saturday. But Georgia turned three double plays and Ole Miss stranded 14 base runners or the score could have been more lopsided.
“Ole Miss played great; they got 20 hits against us,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “We did some good things. Offensively we had chances but we couldn’t break through today and that’s a credit to Ole Miss. It just didn’t seem like we couldn’t finish anything. We were close. But we came up a little short but we had a great week and these guys are in a much better place than we were prior to the Clemson game.”
Georgia had chances against Ole Miss. It loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Welton had an RBI-single before Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers struck out Brandon Stephens, Curt Powell and Levi Hyams to end the threat. Georgia loaded the bases two more times in the game and only scored twice as it stranded 11 runners of its own.
“We just didn’t stay within ourselves and tried to do more than what we should do,” DeLoach said. “All it takes is a single or a hit here or there. It doesn’t take a home run or a double. When you’re the hitter at the plate, you’ve just got to do what you can do.”
Ole Miss kept the offensive pressure on Georgia and had at least one base runner in every inning. The Rebels broke away when Georgia loaded the bases in the seventh with two hit batters and a single. Earl Daniels walked home one run and an infield single by Tanner Mathis accounted for another to give Ole Miss a 7-3 lead.
Blake Dieterich struggled in his first start of the season after being Georgia’s closer most of the season. Dieterich (3-2) allowed nine hits and five runs (four earned) with one walk and no strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Georgia closed the game with six relievers but none could silence Ole Miss.
“He (Dieterich) did just okay,” Perno said. “I wish he could have managed that fourth inning better (when Ole Miss scored three runs). If we could have stayed out of giving up a number there, we would have been a lot better off. I felt like he still had some pitches left but in retrospect we might have been better off going in a different direction. We’ve got to ride with Dieterich a little bit. Blake got his first start under his belt and hopefully we’ll continue to get his pitch count up and he’ll be ready to go.”
NOTEWORTHY: DeLoach had three hits and an RBI. It was the 10th time in his career that he’s had three hits in a game. … Perno said he will start Taylor Hicks (2-2, 5.62 ERA) against Liberty and David Sosebee (2-0, 5.79) against Furman. … Jarrett Brown pitched a scoreless ninth and might earn more playing time out of the bullpen.