Diamond Dogs carry momentum into rivalry week

Georgia outfielder and first baseman Chaney Rogers (20) during a game against Kentucky at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Georgia outfielder and first baseman Chaney Rogers (20) during a game against Kentucky at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

ATHENS – Georgia baseball’s steady climb continued this weekend as the Bulldogs won their third straight SEC series.

The latest set came on the road against Missouri. No. 21 Georgia got a career-high four RBIs from senior first baseman Chaney Rogers and another solid relief effort from Jaden Woods to score a 9-4 victory in Sunday’s decisive game. The Bulldogs (26-13, 9-9 SEC) dropped the opener in Columbia on Friday but came back to win the next two.

The victory moved Georgia ahead of Kentucky into fifth in the Eastern Division and sets it up to make a big move during what could be called “rivalry week.” The Bulldogs play host to Georgia Tech (19-16, 15-12 ACC) on Tuesday and then Auburn (17-20, 3-15) comes in for a three-game set on Friday.

“I didn’t think we played very well this weekend,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “To win an SEC series on the road says a lot about our team.”

Rogers really came through to set the tone early in the rubber game on Sunday. Eight Bulldogs batted in the first as Ben Anderson led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, Rogers lined a three-run double to right field to put Georgia in front 4-0.

In the sixth, Rogers hit another double to drove in Riley King for his fourth RBI of the day. Georgia would send nine batters to the plate that inning as Corey Collins would pick up an RBI on a bases-loaded walk and Connor Tate delivered a two-out, two-run single to make it 9-3.

Michael Polk (2-0) came on and provided two scoreless innings before giving way to Woods who went the next four innings and gave up just one run with three strikeouts. Woods, a freshman left-hander, inherited runners at second and third with two outs and the Bulldogs leading 5-3 in the sixth. He got a strikeout.

“We found a way to win,” Stricklin said.

The weekend wasn’t without its cost. Josh McAllister pulled a hamstring for the second time this season on Saturday and his status this week is unknown. McAllister is hitting .344, second-best on the team, and leads to team slugging percentage (.615).

But if the Bulldogs have shown nothing else this season, it’s that they’re scrappy.

“This year we started off kind of slow and I just think guys needed to find their footing,” senior left-hander Ryan Webb said last week. “I think guys have found their footing and are hitting their stride. But I still don’t think we’re playing our best baseball.”

Now would be a great time for that.

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