Georgia baseball’s bats stay hot in win over Clemson

Credit: Tony Walsh

Credit: Tony Walsh

ATHENS — Georgia’s bats are staying hot, and the Bulldogs can get on a run if they remain that way for SEC play.

No. 21 Georgia defeated Clemson 8-7 on Tuesday night with another walk-off win at Foley Field. This time it was Parks Harbers who delivered the game-winner with a line-drive base hit to left center field, scoring Buddy Floyd.

“Just being in that situation a few times this year has definitely had a role in helping me tonight, just calming my nerves down a little bit,” Harber said. “A month ago, my heart is racing and I’m trying to jump out of my shoes a little bit but I was for sure more calmed down tonight.”

The victory gave the Bulldogs (24-12, 7-8 SEC) a season sweep of the Tigers (15-18, 9-12 ACC), who they’ve now beaten six times in a row. Overall, Georgia has won three in a row and six in the past eight games.

It also continued a two-week span where Georgia has been knocking the cover off the ball. With eight more runs Tuesday, the Bulldogs have scored 69 in the past eight games, an average of 8.6 per game.

Now it’s time to go to work. Currently in a tie for fifth in the SEC East with Kentucky, against whom they just took two of three, Georgia faces Missouri and Auburn in the next two SEC weekends. Those teams are in last place in their respective divisions.

If the Bulldogs can validate can take those two series, they could carry some serious momentum into May. And they’re going to need it, as that promises to be a challenging four weeks. It will feature a road trip to SEC West-leading Arkansas followed by a home stand against Florida. Sandwiched on either end of the Auburn and Florida series are home-and-away dates against Georgia Tech.

By the end of it, the Bulldogs’ postseason fate likely will be set.

As for Tuesday against Clemson, Georgia fell behind 6-4 in what had been a back-and-forth contest. Georgia’s Cole Tate tied it up in the seventh with his second home run of the night, scoring Josh McCallister.

Using three consecutive pinch-hitters in the eighth, Harber led off with a single, Fernando Gonzalez put a sacrifice bunt down and Luke Wagner lined a single to left. Then, McAllister made the score 7-6 with an RBI-single.

Clemson would answer in the ninth as Caden Grice doubled and scored to knot it at seven. That set up the bottom-of-ninth drama, which Georgia’s bench handled admirably.

“One through nine there might be some teams better than us, but I’ll tell you what, there are not many teams (better) 10 through 35,” coach Scott Stricklin said. “Just the depth we have on this team. We have a lot of really good players. I think we threw seven different pitchers and played 14 different position players. Now with everyone healthy-- I mean, knock on wood we can stay healthy -- we can make some moves and do some things.”

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