Georgia’s run of luck in mid-week games continues to go foul.
The Bulldogs suffered through a rain delay and a poor start as Western Carolina knocked off Georgia 12-7 on Tuesday at Foley Field.
Georgia has dropped all three midweek games so far this season. The loss also stopped Georgia’s three-game winning streak from the weekend.
“We played alright but we didn’t pitch well,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “We pitched horribly. Some guys did a good job. (Ross) Ripple did a good job. (Bryan) Benzor did a pretty good job. (Blake) Dieterich did a pretty good job. We had some guys but we also had a few that were really poor. We can’t get frustrated with it because we’ve got some time to make it up. But we’ve got to figure out this midweek pitching. That’s two weeks in a row that we’ve given up oodles of runs.”
The first inning did in Georgia as the first two Western Carolina batters reached base. Then the game was delayed nearly an hour and a half because of rain. When the game restarted, Western Carolina (7-6) struck for five runs and never trailed again.
“That’s tough, rain delays are always tough,” Georgia right fielder Jared Walsh said. “Sitting on your tail for an hour is never any fun. I was actually hoping that would stop the momentum a little bit because they got two guys on and nobody out when the rain came. But it didn’t. I thought we really battled back in the box. We squared up some balls but it’s definitely tough when you get into that five-run hole.”
Georgia used eight pitchers and they combined to allow 15 hits and six walks. Last week at Georgia State, Georgia allowed 13 hits and 10 runs in an 11-10 loss.
Georgia’s offense had 11 hits and drew 10 walks. But the Bulldogs left 13 runners on base.
David Gonzalez (0-1) took the loss after giving up a walk and a base hit to start the game. Both runs scored after the rain delay. Walsh had a career-high four hits. Ward and Jess Posey each had two RBIs.
Western Carolina was led by Bryant Noteboom, who had three hits, including a double with two RBIs. Tyler White hit a three-run home run to key a five-run seventh that put the game away for the Catamounts. Hunter Brister (1-0) picked up the win by allowing two hits and one run in 1 1/3 innings.
“We tried to treat it like we were starting a new ballgame, starting off the day brand new,” Georgia second baseman Nelson Ward said. “We started like it was first pitch again but it was tough with two men on. We answered back in the first inning and got a run. We were able to chip away a little bit. We had one more hiccup in the seventh inning and that really hurt us.”
After the initial onslaught, Georgia (5-7) climbed back into the game and pulled within 7-5 in the sixth inning. Nelson Ward brought home one run on a groundout, Curt Powell brought home another run on a sacrifice fly and Daniel Nichols forced home a run on a bases-loaded walk.
But Western Carolina all but put the game away in the seventh as Tyler White hit a three-run homer and the Catamounts took a 12-5 lead.
“It’s disappointing,” Walsh said. “I think we were clicking on all cylinders the whole weekend,” Walsh said. “It was just a good team effort. There were definitely some bright spots. But we made some plays that were unlike ourselves. I don’t think it was the bats because we really squared some balls up. But we made some uncharacteristic plays.”
Notes: The game was delayed for 1 hour, 22 minutes two batters into the first inning because of rain. … Jared Walsh’s four hits set a career high. … Georgia has lost to Western Carolina two times in a row after falling 5-3 last year at Foley Field.