For the second time in three days Georgia was shutout. This time the Dawgs were eliminated by Florida 7-0 in the SEC Baseball Tournament. Florida pitcher Connor Falkenbach allowed only three hits and smothered the Dawgs in a complete game shutout.
“I let their hitters hit the ball and allowed my defense play behind me,” Falkenbach said. “It feels great to play like this with our backs against the wall.”
The Georgia offense must feel like they have walls all around them. The frustrated Bulldogs scored only one run in 27 innings of play. The Bulldogs managed only 13 hits all tournament long.
"We have only scored one run in our last 27 innings, and that's not going to win a lot of ball games," said senior shortstop Justin Holmes. "We have to put it behind us, and I already have. Our approach at the plate was not very good, and we faced some good pitching, and that's a bad equation for the Bulldogs."
Georgia’s pitching and defense, which was outstanding against LSU yesterday, struggled against Florida.
After putting down 10 straight Gators to start the game Michael Hyle allowed three runs in the 4th. Florida’s CJ Smith hit a 2-run home run with the help of a strong wind going out to right field.
"He made us pay for my one mistake and got me," said Hyle.
Then Ben Harrison scored on a pass ball to give the Gators a 3-0 advantage.
The pass ball was a sign of things to come.
Georgia’s battery had difficulty playing catch all day long. Through 6 innings Hyle had three wild pitches and a pass ball. Hyle’s final wild pitch of the day cost him his spot on the mound.
But the Bulldogs’ trouble control continued to be shaky.
Bo Lanier replaced Hyle and promptly hit Harrison with his first pitch. It was Lanier’s 7th hits batsman of the season. Then Jeff Corsaletti hit a two out single to drive in Jonathan Tucker.
Tucker on the base thanks to three Georgia mistakes. He walked and advanced on two wild pitches. The Gators went up 4-0. Another wild pitch by Lanier, Georgia’s fourth of the day, allowed Harrison and Corsaletti to advance but the runners did not score.
In the 7th Lanier gave up back to back doubles to Justin Tordi and Brian Leclerc to allow Florida to extend their lead to 6-0. Then Lanier was replaced by Rip Warren who came in and also threw a wild pitch that allowed Leclerc to advance to 3rd. He scored when Smith singled him home for his 3rd RBI.