Georgia baseball is ‘lights-out’ against Wofford

Thanks to a late-afternoon stadium-light malfunction, Garrett Brown's 2022 pitching debut lasted only 1.2 innings. But the 6-foot-7 sophomore was sharp during his first outing in 18 months. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

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Thanks to a late-afternoon stadium-light malfunction, Garrett Brown's 2022 pitching debut lasted only 1.2 innings. But the 6-foot-7 sophomore was sharp during his first outing in 18 months. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

ATHENS — It was the night the lights went out in Georgia.

Only, it was in the middle of the afternoon and under a cloudless blue sky.

The Bulldogs’ baseball game against Wofford on Tuesday at Foley Field was delayed for nearly a half-hour because the stadium lights flickered out. Yet, the lights weren’t at all needed in the second inning of a game that started at 5 p.m. There was plenty of light and would be for a while.

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Nevertheless, the game was paused to attend to the malfunction and resumed a short time later. But that meant Georgia’s starting pitcher, Garrett Brown, had to call it an early day. The eagerly awaited season debut of the 6-foot-7 right-hander from Manchester, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, lasted only 24 pitches. But they mostly were good ones. He did not give up a hit and allowed only one harmless walk in 1⅔ innings.

“It was a strange game with the stoppages, the lights and the reviews,” coach Scott Stricklin told reporters afterward. “Garrett Brown, that was the most important thing for me. It’s been 18 months since he’s pitched, and he got back out on the mound and was off to a great start, and then the lights went out. The kid’s had some really tough luck.”

Brown redshirted his freshman season, the COVID-19 pandemic hit his second season and then he injured his arm and had surgery his third season. Then, Tuesday, a light outage killed his outing.

“We didn’t want to put Garrett back out there in that spot,” Stricklin said. “We need to get some good mojo going for Garrett Brown because he deserves better.”

“Garrett Brown, that was the most important thing for me. It's been 18 months since he's pitched, and he got back out on the mound and was off to a great start, and then the lights went out. The kid's had some really tough luck."

- Bulldogs coach Scott Stricklin

Brown’s mates picked him up. Luke Wagner and then three other Georgia pitchers took over from there and gave up only a single run in the eighth inning of a 7-1 victory. Wagner (2-0) got the win, but Jaden Woods did the bulk of the work, throwing 72 pitches in 3⅔ innings and striking out seven. He yielded two walks and allowed the Terriers’ only run.

It was a tight game until the seventh inning, when Corey Collins’ two-run homer over the right-field scoreboard gave the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. Ben Anderson was an offensive force throughout, going 4-for-4, with four runs and two RBIs and coming up a triple short of hitting for the cycle.

With the victory, the No. 15-ranked Bulldogs improved to 4-0. They host Akron for four games this weekend, including a Saturday doubleheader, will take on Wofford again Tuesday in Greenville, S.C., then will play Georgia Tech in a three-game set March 4-6, with one game played on each campus and one at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.

“We did it with pitching, but offensively we have to get better,” Stricklin said.

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