ATHENS, Ga.-----Santa Clara salvaged the series finale Sunday, posting an 8-4 win over fourth-ranked Georgia at Foley Field.
The Bulldogs (7-1) and Broncos (6-3) played a four-game series that started Friday with Georgia claiming the first three contests. On Sunday, Santa Clara erased a 4-2 deficit with a pair of runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames. Bronco reliever Ethan Heinrich (1-0) notched the win with 4.2 scoreless innings of relief.
The Broncos took a 2-0 lead in the first after a couple of Bulldog miscues and a run-scoring double by Jason Dicochea. The second run came home on an errant pickoff attempt at first. Georgia cut it to 2-1 in its half of the first as Ben Anderson drew a walk, took second on a base hit by Cam Shepherd, went to third on a double steal and scored on a wild pitch by Cole Kitchen. In the second, Bulldog junior C.J. Smith struck out the side after the first two Broncos had reached. Georgia tied the game in the third. Shepherd drew a leadoff walk and Connor Tate brought him home with a two-out, RBI-double.
In the bottom of the fourth, Anderson broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double off August Souza.Smith got a no decision, tossing 4.2 innings and allowing two unearned runs on three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. The Broncos rallied to tie the game in the seventh, and then a two-run home run from Connor Henriques in the eighth put them in front 6-4. Santa Clara added two insurance runs in the ninth for the final.Bulldog sophomore Darryn Pasqua got the loss to fall to 0-1. He allowed two runs on one hit in two-thirds of an inning. With two on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Tisminezky got the final out for his first save.
-Coming in Sunday, Georgia's 7-0 start was its best in the Scott Stricklin era. The Bulldogs are 7-1 for the third straight year after eight games.
-Ben Anderson collected six RBI in the series including a two-run double that made it 4-2 in the fourth.
-Junior Chaney Rogers extended his hitting streak to a career-best five games with a single in the eighth. -Freshmen Brandon Smith and Cain Tatum made their debut and pitched the final 1.1 innings.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the weekend...
"Winning three out of four is a positive, but I didn't feel like we played very well today. That's not taking anything away from Santa Clara. They made all the plays and had good at bats when they needed to so they deserved to win today. I was disappointed with the way we played. I thought we were pretty sloppy. We made a couple of errors, walked too many guys, we walked eight guys. We're just not going to beat many teams when that happens. We have to clean up some things, but overall when you look at the weekend, when you take a step back, winning three out of four is a good thing. You want to win every game you play."
On the team's stolen bases this year (Georgia is 17-for-18) "We have a pretty athletic team this year. We have some guys with some speed. The coaches definitely want to do some things on the bases. It helps us get runners in scoring position and put pressure on the defense."
Georgia plays host to Kennesaw State (4-3) Tuesday at Foley Field with first pitch set for 5 p.m. (SECN+).