Baseball: Vols blank Diamond Dogs to take series

By Georgia Sports Communications
Posted 8:18PM on Sunday 31st March 2024 ( 1 month ago )

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Fifth-ranked Tennessee posted a 7-0 win over No. 22 Georgia to clinch an SEC series Sunday in front of 5,006 fans at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Vols improved to 24-5 overall, 5-4 in the SEC while the Bulldogs fell to 22-6 (4-5 SEC), marking the first time they had been shut out this season.

“They came out and punched us in the mouth, and we didn’t respond very well,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson. “We threw the ball well at times, just a couple of walks with 13 strikeouts so we made them earn it. We couldn’t string anything together offensively. Their starter moved the ball up and down and changed speeds. We’ll get back to work Monday and get ready to play Tuesday. You have to get better at this game every single day and that will be our challenge moving forward.”

The first chance to score came by the Bulldogs in the fourth after three straight one-out singles. However, Tennessee threw out Slate Alford at home as he tried to score from second on a base hit by Logan Jordan that bounced off the left field wall. In the bottom of the frame, the Vols grabbed a 2-0 lead on a balk called on Coleman Willis and a sacrifice fly by Reese Chapman. The Vols got a leadoff double and a base hit from Dylan Dreiling. Georgia went to the bullpen and brought in Willis in relief of graduate Christian Mracna.  He retired Dean Curley before the balk, scoring Tears as Dreiling advanced to third and later scored. A two-out solo home run by Dalton Bargo off senior Zach DeVito in the fifth made it 3-0 Vols. Then, they put two more runners in scoring position when Georgia looked to graduate Josh Roberge and he retired Dreiling on a nifty defensive play by second baseman Sebastian Murillo.

Mracna (3-2) started and allowed two runs on five hits in three innings with no walks and seven strikeouts in the loss. Tennessee senior left-hander Zander Sechrist (1-0) picked up his first win after a career-high six shutout innings and seven strikeouts. He left after a leadoff walk to Jordan in the seventh, and Nate Snead closed it out for his second save. In the bottom of the seventh, the Vols added three more two-out runs to extend their lead to 6-0. Georgia put two on with one out in the eighth, and Snead retired Charlie Condon and Alford to preserve the shutout. UT added an unearned run in the eighth for the final.

Georgia returns to action Tuesday at Foley Field against Georgia State (15-12). First pitch will be at 5:02 p.m.

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