Photo Credit: UGA Baseball
On a gorgeous, sunny day in Athens, the 5th ranked Georgia Bulldogs didn’t need a repeat of Friday’s late-inning heroics, as they jumped out on Richmond early and Cole Wilcox delivered in his season debut as UGA took the series with a 9-3 win over the Richmond Spiders on Saturday.
After three batters in the first inning, Georgia already had 3 hits and a 3-0 lead following Ben Anderson’s leadoff single, Cam Shepherd’s double which scored Anderson, and Tucker Bradley’s two-run home-run off the scoreboard, all before recording an out. Overall, Georgia brought eight batters to the plate in the first inning and set the tone early at the plate.
Georgia was able to get one more in the 2nd, as Tucker Bradley got his third RBI of the day by bringing Anderson home on a single after an Anderson HBP, a throwing error on the attempted steal that advanced Anderson to third. Georgia was able to open up the lead in the 4th inning with three more runs, as Shane Marshall lead off the inning and reached base by a HBP. The next five batters would all reach base, and resulted in three runs; Tate came home on a Shepherd RBI single, Anderson came home following two past balls, and a Riley King RBI single brought home Shepherd. However, a nifty catch by Richmond first basemen Justin Cook resulted in a catch-and-tag double play to end the inning. Following four innings, UGA had raced out to a 7-0 lead.
Defensively, sophomore righty Cole Wilcox was dominant from the get-go. After allowing a lead-off single by Spider LF Johnny Hipsman, Wilcox recovered with two strikeouts that ended the inning after Hipsman was caught stealing second. Wilcox delivered back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd and the 3rd, and got out of trouble in the 4th after allowing two singles with 0 outs with a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play.
Wilcox pitched through the 5th and was able to get out of a bases loaded jam with minimal damage, only allowing a leadoff double by DH Davis Payne to score on a RBI single by C Zach Lass. Following a walk to load the bases with 1 out, Wilcox responded with 2 straight strikeouts to end the inning and end his day. Wilcox’s line was 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 2 BB, and a career high 8 strikeouts on 80 pitches.
Richmond was able to get two more runs off of Justin Glover in the 6th to cut the lead to 7-3, however, Patrick Sullivan brought home Connor Tate in the 7th, and Cam Shepherd’s RBI single brought home Ben Anderson following a lead-off triple. Freshman righty Jonathan Cannon pitched scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th to close out the 9-3 victory and series win for Georgia.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Georgia: Ben Anderson: 3-3, 1B (x2), 3B, 3 runs, reached base all 5 times
Richmond: Davis Payne, 2-3, 2B (x2), 2 runs
Georgia and Richmond will close out the series Sunday, February 16 at 1:00 PM from Foley Field. Junior lefty CJ Smith will get the start for Georgia as Jacob Marcus will get the start for Richmond. The game will be televised by SECN+.