Another big comeback against the Bulldogs wasn’t in the cards, but the guys in crimson and white sure gave it a try late.
Alabama, which completed a stirring rebound to defeat Georgia 9-8 in 13 innings Friday, couldn’t muster the same magic Saturday afternoon as the Crimson Tide dropped the second game of the series 6-5 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The teams play Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the deciding game of the series.
A day after getting behind five runs in the first inning, Alabama again was looking up at a crooked number after the top of the opening frame. Georgia plated four runs in the first to take another commanding lead.
This time, though, Alabama didn’t answer offensively. Through the first six innings the Crimson Tide had just one hit and few legitimate scoring opportunities.
Starting pitcher Jake Walters got rocked in the first. Before an out was recorded, Georgia had two runs plated. It started with a single and a walk before a two-RBI double by Keegan McGovern. The Bulldogs added two more before UA had a chance to come to the plate.
Walters pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks.
“Jake was obviously fighting it early, wasn’t sharp,” UA coach Brad Bohannon said. “Second day in a row we haven’t gotten off to a good start. He did show some maturity and was able to settle in and compete and get to the middle of game, and, especially after playing 13 innings it was really important that we not go to the bullpen real early.”
UA centerfielder Joe Breaux, who delivered the heroics the night before with a walk-off single in the 13th, appeared to have gotten a run back in the first, but his soaring ball deep to right field was robbed over the wall by Georgia right fielder Tucker Bradley.
Georgia added another two runs in the fifth inning, and a commanding 6-0 lead was more than enough for UGA starting pitcher Emerson Hancock, who puzzled Alabama hitters through seven innings.
Alabama mounted a threat in the eighth inning, loading the bases with no outs and getting Hancock out of the game. Cobie Vance singled through the left side to plate UA’s first run, With the bases still loaded with no outs, Breaux struck out swinging. That’s when Chandler Avant set a blast out over left center for a grand slam to pull Alabama within one run.
But it wasn’t enough as Georgia held on and closed the game.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids are competing,” Bohannon said. “They’ve done a pretty good job of that.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.