Georgia baseball pitchers post ‘Cannon-like’ performance, beat South Carolina 3-2

Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said his team, which is seemingly plagued with injury, would simply have to find a way to beat South Carolina after announcing ace Jonathan Cannon would not pitch Friday.

“This group has gone through an unbelievable amount when it comes to injuries and adversity and it’s a tough group,” Stricklin said on The Morning Show on 960 The Ref. “We’ve just got to band together and figure out a way to win this series on the road.”

The Bulldogs (23-7, 7-3 SEC) did just that. A nearly flawless performance from the pitching staff finally received run support in the ninth inning in a 3-2 win at Founders Park in Columbia, SC

Nolan Crisp filled in for the injured Cannon, who is the only Georgia starter with a sub-2.00 ERA. Cannon strained a muscle in his right forearm on Tuesday.

Crisp was solid, pitching four scoreless innings before surrendering an earned run in the fifth.

Jaden Woods, Will Pearson, and Jack Gowen stole the show, though. The relievers combined to allow a single hit and no walks in the next 4.2 innings.

It was a frustrating night for the Bulldogs before the ninth, as they scored just one run in the second inning. South Carolina took the lead with a two-run fifth inning.

UGA stranded nine runners and was thrown out at home before finally reclaiming the lead in the final frame.

Down 2-1 in the ninth inning, Garrett Blaylock and Ben Anderson reached first and second on a pair of walks. Cole Tate came through with a one-out RBI single to right field to score Buddy Floyd, who pinch ran for Blaylock.

Corey Collins plated Anderson from third on a fielder’s choice to reclaim the Georgia lead. The Suwannee product hit a grounder to third, and South Carolina attempted to end the inning with a double play rather than trying to throw Anderson out at home.

Gowen retired the first three Gamecocks (14-15, 3-7) he saw to shut the door and take Game One.

As good as Cannon-less Georgia was, it probably still would have been better with him, considering the vaunted righthander’s 1.71 ERA. The Bulldog relievers were strong, but the same Jonathan Cannon that pitched eight shutout innings against the reigning national champions or six scoreless frames against Florida last weekend likely would have been stronger.

“His fastball, I mean, it’s unbelievable what he’s been doing,” UGA pitcher Garrett Brown said of Cannon earlier this week. “Personally, I think he might go top ten this year if he keeps doing what he’s doing, which I think he can. His stuff is unbelievable. ”

The Gamecocks scored their second run on an error in the fifth. Cory Acton mishandled a ground ball that could have easily ended the inning, allowing South Carolina to gain its 2-1 advantage.

Georgia had plenty of chances to tie the game, but was stifled by South Carolina’s Noah Hall. Hall allowed seven hits and two walks for an earned run with 10 strikeouts.

A couple of aggressive baserunning blunders also kept Georgia off the scoreboard until the ninth.

South Carolina’s Cade Austin threw a wild pitch on the next at-bat that likely would have scored Tate and tied the game.

The Bulldogs and Gamecocks are back for Game Two action Saturday at 4 pm at Founders Park. Garrett Brown (0-0, 6.75 ERA) will start on the mound for Georgia.

UGA News

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