Tuesday May 28th, 2024 3:59AM

Georgia beats Miss. State after wild brawl

By Georgia Sports Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Clayton Chadwick’s ninth-inning home run and 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief by Brian Zeldin led 24th-ranked Georgia to a thrilling 3-2 win over 19th-ranked Mississippi State Saturday in front of a crowd of 13,477 at Polk-Dement Stadium.

Following a play at the plate where State threw out Dillon Carter as the potential go-ahead run to end the top of the eighth, MSU catcher Johnny Long kneed Carter twice and stood over him, causing both benches to empty. A 39-minute delay followed as the umpiring crew, with the aid of officials in the SEC office in Birmingham, reviewed video to see who would be ejected per NCAA rules for personnel who leave the dugout or bullpen to enter the field at the time of a potential altercation. The penalty is ejection and suspension for the team’s next game.

When play resumed in the bottom of the eighth, a host of players on both teams were unavailable to play as they had been ejected. This led to Georgia pitcher Josh Roberge playing left field and Chadwick moving from left field to the infield (playing second base and later third base) for the first time in their careers. Zeldin continued to blank MSU as he tossed 4.1 scoreless innings for the win.

“I don’t know where to start on this one tonight as it’s the craziest game I’ve been a part of as well,” said Georgia coach Wes Johnson. “I talk a lot about believing in yourself and enjoying hard things, and how hard things can make you better, not just in the game of baseball but in life. Clayton Chadwick is one of our best outfielders. He happens to misplay a ball tonight, it happens. He was resilient. I told him, you’re going make a play that’s going to win us this ball game. I didn’t realize it was going to be a homer, but it was and we were very resilient. It was a total team win.”

Georgia (24-7, 5-6 SEC) looked to have a big first inning, loading the bases with one out. Freshman Tre Phelps made it 1-0 with a run-scoring single. However, State got out of further trouble as sophomore Jrrangelo Cijntje came back to strike out Kolby Branch and got Chadwick to flyout. MSU took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run single by Dakota Jordan. Sophomore right-hander Leighton Finley minimized the damage in the frame when he picked off David Mershon at second and struck out Hunter Hines.

All-America Charlie Condon tied the game with a two-out, solo blast in the fifth. It was his 20th home run of the season and 45th of his career. He became the first Bulldog to have a pair of seasons with at least 20 home runs. Condon’s career home run tally now ranks in a tie for third in school history with catchers Doc Brooks (1991-2001) and Roger Miller (1986-89).

With one out in the ninth, Chadwick crushed his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot off Cam Schuelke to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. In the ninth, Zeldin struck out the side for his third win as MSU dropped to 20-12 overall, 5-6 in the SEC.

Johnson was pleased with how Zeldin performed even after the lengthy delay in the eighth.

“He came up huge on the mound, and then he’s got to bat in the ninth too,” Johnson said. “He kept grinding and made pitches all night. I feel good about our lineup for Sunday. We won’t have a lot of subs, but we’ll be fine. It was exciting at the end.”

Neither starter factored in the decision. Cijntje was lifted after five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Finley gave the Bulldogs 4.2 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

The rubber game of the series will be Sunday with first pitch at 2:02 p.m. 

  • Associated Categories: Sports, Georgia Bulldogs, Top Sports Stories
  • Associated Tags: Georgia baseball
© Copyright 2024 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.