Georgia out of SEC Tournament after opening-game loss against Alabama

Georgia pitcher Jonathan Cannon and his teammates now await their NCAA Tournament fate after bowing out early at the SEC Tournament. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

Combined ShapeCaption
Georgia pitcher Jonathan Cannon and his teammates now await their NCAA Tournament fate after bowing out early at the SEC Tournament. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

HOOVER, Ala. — Freshman Ben Hess struck out seven consecutive batters in relief after a two-hour rain delay and 11th-seeded Alabama defeated sixth-seeded Georgia 5-3 on Tuesday to begin the SEC Tournament.

Sophomore Luke Wagner allowed five earned runs in 1 ⅓ innings in his third start of the season for the Bulldogs. Jaden Woods had seven strikeouts in four innings.

Georgia now will wait to see if it makes the NCAA Tournament. The field will be announced on Memorial Day.

Alabama advances to face third-seeded Arkansas on Wednesday in the double-elimination portion of the SEC Tournament. The Crimson Tide won a three-game series against the Razorbacks to end the regular season, including an 18-5 result in the finale.

Hess (3-1) took over for Alabama ace Garrett McMillan after the rain delay and struck out a season-high 10 in 4 ⅓ scoreless innings. Dylan Ray earned his seventh save after two strikeouts in the ninth.

The teams combined for 28 strikeouts to set a tournament record for a nine-inning game. Every batter in the Georgia lineup struck out at least once.

Zane Denton hit an RBI single with two outs in the first inning to give Alabama a 3-0 lead. The Crimson Tide added two runs in the second on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly.