ATHENS, GA. (WFIE) - Playing a pair of seven-inning games, the University of Evansville baseball team put up a great fight, but came up short in 7-3 and 6-5 losses to Georgia on Saturday at Foley Field in Athens, Ga.
Game One: Georgia 7, Evansville 3
In the opening game of the double header, it was Georgia who struck first, getting a big offensive effort in the second inning. The Bulldogs began the inning with an RBI sac fly that scored a run and continued to add little-by-little. Three more RBI singles pushed Georgia’s lead to 4-0 as errors began to pile-up and aid the effort for UGA. The Bulldogs closed the second with another RBI sacrifice that added the final run of the inning.
The fourth inning saw Georgia add two more runs with a single to center that brought home a pair of Bulldogs, giving UGA a 7-0 advantage.
Starter Nathan Croner’s line finished with the senior pitching four innings, allowing four earned runs, and striking out five as much of the Bulldogs offense came due to defensive miscues by the Aces.
Evansville did not go away quietly, though, as freshman Brent Widder smashed his first collegiate home run to left field in the seventh to close within five runs. With two outs, the Aces loaded the bases in their final chance in the seventh with junior Tanner Craig coming to the plate. Craig drew a walk to trim the Georgia lead to 7-3 and bring the tying run to the plate in Danny Borgstrom. The sophomore looked to deliver for the Aces, but lined out to second to close the game.
Game Two: Georgia 6, Evansville 5
The second game was a completely different contest with Evansville this time the aggressors in the early going. Evansville jumped on the scoreboard first in the top of the second as Borgstrom launched a home run to right field. The Bulldogs answered the Aces, scoring a run on a sac fly to center field to tie the game. Georgia went in front in the fourth inning with an RBI single to take a 2-1 lead.
The fifth inning was all Evansville with the Aces tying the game on a homer by redshirt senior Kenton Crews to left field, his ninth of his career. Evansville took the lead later in the fifth as senior Craig Shepherd scored freshman Max Malley and then Borgstrom brought home Shepherd and redshirt senior Troy Beilsmith to take a 5-2 lead.
Junior Caleb Reinhardt exited before the start of the bottom of the fifth, finishing with a strong line, giving up five hits, two earned runs and striking out one Bulldog. Senior Jake McMahill replaced Reinhardt and worked his way out of some trouble in the fifth. In the sixth, McMahill was again challenged as the first two batters reached base. Evansville saw its three-run lead evaporate with the next batter as Chaney Rogers hit a three-run home run to tie the game.
After Evansville was unable to score in the seventh, Georgia loaded the bases with no out. The Bulldogs capitalized on the opportunity with a single to right field, scoring Ben Anderson and earning the walk-off win for UGA.
On the day, Borgstrom helped lead the Aces, going 2-for-6 from the plate and recording two RBIs and a run.
Evansville returns to close out the weekend series with Georgia with the final game of the four-game set at 11 AM (CT) on Sunday at Foley Field in Athens, Ga.