Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
For Georgia, it was their 10th consecutive win, which sets them up nicely for conference play beginning this weekend. For WKU, it’s their third straight mid-week loss, as the Toppers will look to continue their weekend winning ways as they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia State in the opening series of conference play for them.
The Dawgs and Tops traded runs in the first, and UGA grabbed a one run lead in the second, and then WKU exploded for four runs in the top of the 3rd inning, thanks in large part to a 2-run triple from left-fielder Regan Flaherty, who was then driven in thanks to an RBI double from first baseman Ryan Church.
Georgia would steal a run in the fourth to draw closer, and then score three in the bottom of the sixth thanks to sloppy Hilltopper defense (which was really the killer for WKU all night), and took the lead for good.
While UGA starter Mike Mancuso didn’t have a stellar night, the Dawgs bullpen – David Sosebee, Ross Ripple, Dylan Cole, Jared Cheek and Pete Nagel – combined for 6.2 innings of one-run ball (which came in the top of the 9th) to completely shut down the Hilltoppers in the back end of the game.
While Georgia was able to put up eight runs, the offense honestly wasn’t that impressive. Catcher Brandon Stephens had himself a 3-for-3 night, but had no runs or RBI to show for it. Again, it was a combination of poor Tops’ defense mixed with some timely hitting to make this comeback possible for the Dawgs.
Georgia will take their 10-game win streak into conference play with their heads held high, and while it was a tough loss for the Hilltoppers, they showed signs of good things, and shouldn’t be discouraged. They look ready to take on the Sun Belt.