Georgia starter Charlie Goldstein got hurt on his first pitch, got taken out after his second pitch and his replacement, freshman Jarvis Evans, threw 5.1 innings of one-run ball.
Meanwhile, Tennessee starter Chase Dollander scattered eight hits and three runs over six innings of work as the Bulldogs beat the Vols 3-1 and evened up the series at 1-1.
After blowing up for 12 runs in yesterday’s win, Tennessee bats struggled against Georgia’s pitchers today. The team managed eight hits but stranded 10 runners on base.
The offense had traffic on the bases in the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth innings, scoring just the one run out of all those opportunities.
In the sixth, it looked like we might see some of the late-game offense similar to yesterday. Hunter Ensley led the inning off with a walk, and Jared Dickey followed with a single. After Blake Burke struck out — his second on an 0-3 day at the plate — Christian Moore singled to load the bases.
But Georgia took out Jarvis Evans and replaced him with Chandler Marsh, who walked Griffin Merritt on four-straight pitches, scoring Ensley on what ended up being Tennessee’s only run of the day. Marsh struck out Zane Denton and induced a fly ball from Christian Scott to end any would-be rally.
The Bulldogs used just three pitchers today (not counting the starter who pitched twice), as Marsh had just as much success against the Vol’s bats as Evans had. He ended up throwing 2.2 IP, giving up just two hits, no runs and striking out six of the eleven batters he faced while walking just one.
Tennessee gave it one more go in the ninth, when Christian Scott led the inning off with a base hit, but then Dylan Dreiling hit into a double play. Maui Ahuna doubled, but Ensley grounded out to short to end the game.
UGA brought in Leighton Finley for the ninth, which was maybe a bit surprising, considering how well Marsh had been pitching. But Finley needed just 12 pitches, despite giving up the two hits, to shut the door on the Vols for good.
Georgia stole six bases today (four by second baseman Mason LaPlante) and didn’t make an error in the field, while the Vols swiped just one and had the game’s only error when Cal Stark threw the ball into center field trying to throw out Georgia’s shortstop, Sebastian Murrillo, at second after he singled in the eighth inning.
Tennessee’s bats combined to strike out 13 times against just three walks drawn.
Dollander gets the loss in a pretty quality start, as his final line was 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB and 6 Ks. Vitello used five pitchers after Dollander’s exit, and not one of those guys threw more than 10 pitches. None of them allowed a run, either while Zander Sechrist and Bryce Jenkins were the only two to give up a hit.
A bright spot: Seth Halvorsen pitched to two batters in the ninth, with two men in scoring position and was pumping in fastballs at 97 and 98 MPH. He struck out one of the two hitters he faced and needed just 10 pitches to get two outs and keep the game at 3-1 to give the offense a chance in the B9.
Today’s loss broke a nine-game winning streak for Tennessee, but the good news: Drew Beam gets the ball in tomorrow’s rubber match — first pitch scheduled for 1 PM EST — and Beam’s brought home wins in three of his last four outings.