Bullpen availability was a key factor in this weekend’s series loss against Auburn, who had not won an SEC series in seven tries before this.
Game One Notes:
Things began well on Thursday night for the Dawgs. Ryan Webb was back to his dominant stuff, going 6 IP allowing only one hit and striking out six.
Fernando Gonzalez broke the scoreless tie in the 6th inning with a one-out grand slam.
Auburn’s Jack Owen pitched a pretty decent game himself before getting into some trouble in the 6th, Mason Barnett would replace him with no outs and runners on first and second. He would strike out Riley King before walking Corey Collins and giving up the grand slam to Gonzalez.
W: Ryan Webb (3-3)
L: Jack Owen (1-3)
S: Ben Harris (2)
Player of the Game: Fernando Gonzalez 1-4, HR, 4 RBI
Game Two Notes:
Game two was a roller coaster of a game.
Auburn would jump out to an early 2-0 lead on a Steven Williams RBI double and a Brody Moore RBI single.
Georgia would answer in the bottom half on a couple sacrifice flies by Connor Tate and Corey Collins.
Ryan Dyal would hit a solo homer in the 5th to reclaim the lead for Auburn.
Connor Tate would answer with a solo shot of his own in the 6th to tie it once again.
The game would go to extra innings and things would get even wilder. Ryan Bliss would double in two runs for the Tigers in the 12th to make it 5-3, but Ben Anderson would answer with a clutch two run homerun in the bottom half to send it to the 13th.
Auburn would retake the lead in the 13th on a Brody Moore RBI groundout and Riley King would tie it on a sacrifice fly to extend the game to 14.
The Tigers would open it up in the 14th, scoring four runs on a Ryan Dyal RBI double followed by a Ryan Bliss 2-run homerun and a solo home run by Rankin Woley.
Final: 10-6 Auburn.
Auburn’s Ryan Bliss had a monster day on Friday, compiling 4 RBIs and 2 runs after going 0-4 with 4 Ks on Thursday.
It was a bullpen day for the Tigers as no pitcher went more than 3 innings.
Ben Anderson continued his hot hitting, going 3-6 with 2 RBIs, 2 runs, and a walk.
Darryn Pasqua had yet another poor outing giving up the four runs in the 14th to seal the victory for Auburn.
W: Will Morrison (1-0)
L: Darryn Pasqua (2-3)
Player of the Game: Ryan Bliss 3-7, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Game Three Notes:
Despite this being the most important game for the Bulldogs, Saturday afternoon turned out to be the most frustrating.
Luke Wagner could not find his groove at all on Saturday, but was not pulled after allowing seven men to come to the plate in the 1st. He would go 1.2 IP giving up 6 ER on five hits and one walk.
Steven Williams would single in a run followed by a Brody Moore RBI single and a Bryson Ware sacrific fly to put the Tigers on top 3-0 in the first.
The Tigers would add two more in the 2nd on a Ryan Bliss two-out RBI double and a Tyler Miller RBI single before Wagner is pulled for Will Pearson, who would allow an RBI single before closing the inning.
Auburn’s Judd Ward would add another run for the Tigers on an RBI groundout to 2B in the 3rd to make it 7-0 before UGA scores two in the bottom half on a Fernando Gonzalez RBI double and a Ben Anderson RBI single.
Bulldog fans would be pleased to see a familiar face in Josh McAllister, who would hit a solo home run in the 4th to make it 7-3.
Riley King would double in another in the 6th to make it 7-4.
Auburn then adds two more in the 8th on a Judd Ward RBI triple and a Tyler Miller RBI single.
Georgia would make a valiant effort in the final frame to pull within two on two RBI singles by Cole Tate and Corey Collins. Tate would then score on a wild pitch, but Auburn would shut the door to secure their first SEC series win of the season.
The early deficit would prove to be too much for the Bulldogs with Auburn having five players with multiple hits in the game.
Josh McAllister would immediately let everyone know he was back, going 2-3 with a homerun, an RBI, and 2 runs.
W: Trace Bright (4-4)
L: Luke Wagner (3-3)
S: Carson Swilling (2)
Player of the Game: Judd Ward 1-3, 2 RBIs, 2 R
With Jaden Woods and Ben Harris not being available for game three due to throwing so many pitches in the first two games, is bullpen usage a problem for the Bulldogs?
Ryan Bliss is an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers, watch out for this guy in the future.
Before the series, the Dawgs were looking at a 2 seed in the postseason. But after this weekend, they will need to win at least one of the next three series, which will not be easy. They will also need to beat Tech in their final midweek game of the season. If they can do that, they’ll go into Hoover with a chance to win a couple games and get into a regional.
Georgia will travel to the Fayetteville to take on the consensus #1 team in the country in Arkansas on Friday.