The Crimson Tide (32-14, 13-8) won the series 2-1 over the Bulldogs who fall to 23-20 overall, 7-13 in the SEC. The Bulldogs scored four runs on four hits in the eighth to take a 9-5 lead but Alabama came right back in their half of the frame with six runs to reclaim an 11-9 advantage. The Crimson Tide grabbed the lead with a two-run blast from Gabe Scott off Bo Lanier to cap the outburst. Alabama tied the game on a wild pitch by Rip Warren. He got the loss to fall to 1-1 while Jordan Davis (5-2) got the win for Alabama. It was Alabama’s 20th comeback win on the year as it improves to 26-5 at home.
Bulldog sophomore Adam McDaniel broke a 5-5 tie when he led off the eighth with his first career home run. Joey Side delivered a two-run double and later in the frame, Jason Jacobs had a run-scoring single to put Georgia ahead 9-5.
Georgia took advantage of a balk and an error to push across a pair of runs in the second for a 2-0 lead. Jason Jacobs singled to center with one out. He went to second on a balk by Alabama right-hander David Robertson. After striking out Derek Smith, he got Jonathan Wyatt to pop up to shallow second but Rocky Scelfo had it squirt out of his glove. Wyatt stole second base and then Adam McDaniel worked a walk to load the bases. On a 1-2 pitch, shortstop Matthew Dunn came through with a two-run single. For Dunn, it was his first two RBI in league play and eight overall.
The Bulldogs threatened in the third as Justin Niefer and Side reached with base hits. However, Robertston squashed the rally by striking out the next three Bulldogs. The Crimson Tide cut the deficit in half on a two-out, run-scoring double by Gabe Scott that made it 2-1. In the fifth, the Bulldogs executed a hit-and-run with Wyatt delivering a two-out, run-scoring single to push Georgia in front 3-1. Alabama came right back in its half of the frame. Scelfo led off with a base hit. With one out, Allen Rice smacked a double down the right field line. Bobby Felmy’s throw in to second was off the mark and got past Jacobs covering, allowing Scelfo to raced hom on the Bulldogs first error of the series. Scott followed with a line drive to center that Joey Side caught and fired in to second to double up Rice to end the frame.
In the sixth, Alabama used another long ball in the series to claim a lead. Bush drew a leadoff walk. After retiring Thomley, catcher Kody Valverde smashed a two-run shot over the scoreboard in left for his sixth home run of the year and a 4-3 lead. Georgia had an answer this time as Side was hit by a 1-2 offering which brought up Morris. He lifted a towering fly ball to left field that stayed fair just inside the foul poul to put the Bulldogs back in front 5-4. The lead would be short-lived. In the seventh, Scelfo led off with a base hit and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Salem. Rice bounced one to second as Scelfo took third. Scott was hit by the first offering from Startup which ended his afternoon. Georgia looked to junior right-hander Mitchell Boggs. His first pitch went to the backstop, allowing Scelfo to score and it tie it at 5-5 and Scott to go to second. He recovered to retire to Bush and send it to the eighth.
“We didn’t have anyone step up and finish the game, and you have to credit Alabama for coming back too,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We came back a couple of times but so did Alabama. We got a big inning late but they had a bigger one. If we keep playing like we’re playing, we’re in position to win some games and now we have to go out and do that.
“We’ve got a good lineup, we’re playing good defense and getting good starting pitching and now we need the bullpen to come through,” added Perno.
Georgia’s bullpen has five blown saves in the SEC including four in the past two weekend coming at Ole Miss and two here this weekend to Alabama.
Up next, the Bulldogs return to Athens for a season-long eight-game homestand beginning Friday with Vanderbilt (29-14, 10-11 SEC). First pitch at Foley Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.