ATHENS — Georgia played a little long ball Saturday night. As the Bulldogs have demonstrated all season, they’re pretty good at that game.

Corey Collins led off Saturday’s NCAA Athens Regional winner’s-bracket matchup against North Carolina Wilmington with a towering solo home run over the right-field scoreboard. An inning later, shortstop Kolby Branch -- Georgia’s 9-hole hitter -- launched a grand slam to dead center field. The Bulldogs have clubbed a school record 12 home runs this season with the bases full.

With the night’s narrative established, Georgia cruised to a 11-2 victory.

It was Branch’s fourth grand slam of the season and the sixth of his career. He hit two slams at Baylor before transferring to UGA before this season.

“The pressures off me; it’s on them,” Branch said of his penchant for base-clearing. “I’m in the 9-hole and I’ve got Corey (Collins) and Charlie (Condon) coming up. The pressure’s off me. I just try to take care of business.”

For once it wasn’t the All-American Condon going deep for the Dogs. The nation’s home-run leader with 36 never put the ball in play, was 0-for-4, and reached base only via hit-by-pitch. But playing third base on Saturday, he did make the defensive play of the game.

UNCW was trailing 5-1 with the bases loaded and leadoff hitter Jac Croom at the plate. Croom hit a pop fly toward the seats in foul territory. The 6-foot-6 Condon managed to reach up and glove the ball outside the field of play.

“He’s an unbelievable player,” said Georgia pitcher DJ Radtke, who was on the mound at that moment. “Every time he takes the field he does something special, whether it’s at the plate or in the field.”

Radtke (1-0) got the win. He was one of three Georgia pitchers who pitched shutout ball in relief of starter Kolten Smith. Smith lasted four innings but left with arm soreness and a 6-1 lead after issuing back-to-back walks.

Georgia entered the regionals with 140 homers, the third most in Division 1, and now sits at 143. Only Tennessee (150) and Austin Peay (146) had more coming into Saturday.

If they can get you in a slugfest — especially at little ol’ Foley Field — the Dogs are tough to beat. Army’s coach pointed that out after holding Georgia to just two dingers in an 8-7 loss on Friday.

“Kolby Branch comes up in the nine hole and he’s got 15 home runs; that’s not right,” the Black Knights’ coach Chris Tracz said with a laugh.

Ten of Georgia’s 11 runs Saturday were scored from the bottom half of the lineup. Right in front of that group, second baseman Slate Alford went 3-for-5. The Bulldogs head to game 56 of the season averaging a hardy 9.3 runs per game.

With two wins now under its belt, Georgia (41-15) hopes that script holds as it enters the third day of the regional needing to be beaten twice to be kept out of the Super Regionals, which it would host. The Bulldogs will await the winner of Sunday’s elimination game between Georgia Tech (32-24) and the Seahawks (40-20).

Certainly, the NCAA’s bracket-makers are hoping for some “clean old-fashioned hate.” That’s what Tech and Georgia fans call their 126-year-old rivalry.

At 391 contests, the baseball series is the most-played of all the school’s annual get-togethers. It should be at 392, and that might give the next meeting a little more fire, at least from the Georgia dugout.

The first of three scheduled games early this season was called due to rain in the middle of the fifth inning with the Bulldogs leading 9-3. Never mind that the teams had been playing in a steady drizzle the entire contest. By NCAA rule, that meant the contest didn’t count. Georgia won the other two games that weekend, one in Athens and one at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, but the teams could never make up the Atlanta game.

“UNC Wilmington’s a good club, too; so, we’ll be ready to play them or Tech,” Georgia coach Wes Johnson said. “We’ve move on from that. If you keep your mind on stuff like that, it can drag you down.”

UGA and Tech have actually met in the postseason a good bit. Georgia leads 6-2 in NCAA Tournament games, with the Bulldogs winning the last two to clinch the Athens Regional in 2008. They’d advance to the College World Series that year, finally falling to Fresno State in the finals.

Georgia did get some good pitching Saturday. Four pitchers scattered seven hits and 10 walks. That included starter Kolten Smith, who went four innings and gave up both UNCW runs. DJ Radtke (1-0) got the win with two innings of one-hit, no-run relief.