ATHENS, Ga.-- A ten-run second inning propelled third-ranked Georgia to a 16-2 series-clinching win against UMASS Saturday at Foley Field.
Cole Wilcox (3-0) got the start for Georgia (13-2), going five scoreless innings, striking out six batters, while yielding only three hits. In relief of Wilcox, Jack Gowen, Cain Tatum, and Darryn Pasqua combined for nine strikeouts over the final four innings.
UMass (1-7) starter Ben Shields (0-2) gave up eight runs in just 1.2 innings of work.
Gowen tallied a careeer-high five strikeouts in two innings.
UMass struck first in the second inning, when Jordan Erbe singled to right field and Georgia right fielder, Connor Tate, fumbled the ball allowing the runner to score from second. Wilcox was able to strikeout the next two batters to end the threat, and limit the damage to just one run.
Georgia immediately struck back in the bottom of the inning, with Cole Tate (4-6, HR,4 RBI) hitting his second home run of the season, scoring Connor Tate who singled to start the inning. Later in the inning with two outs, Georgia added eight more runs. The Bulldogs loaded the bases for Cam Shepherd (2-3, 2 Runs, 3 RBI), who roped a single down the left-field line, scoring two runners. The offense kept rolling, scoring six more runs in the frame, for a 10-1 lead.The 10-run inning was Georgia's largest since an 11-run outburst at Kennesaw State in 2018.
Georgia picked up a run in the fourth and five runs in the fifth, while UMass scored a run in the ninth for the final.
--Junior Kale Ledford made his first start in a Bulldog uniform. He reached base three times, picking up his first runs, hit, and walk as a Bulldog.
--In the second inning, junior Cole Tate gave Georgia the lead by hitting his second home run of the year. He had an RBI single in the second, and an RBI double in the third, giving him four RBI on the day - a career high, to go with four hits, which tied his career high.
--With a 2-RBI double in the second, Tucker Bradley has now reached base safely in every game this season. After a sacrifice fly in the fourth, he picked up his third RBI of the game for a team high 22 RBIs.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the win... "We were definitely better today, and that big inning really got going with two outs on an 0-2 count when Shane Marshall got hit by the pitch. I think we had 10 or 11 baserunners reach base after that. There were a lot of good at bats in that inning where we got big RBIs. Offensively, Cole Tate was the guy that kind of carried us today. He got us going in the 2nd [inning]. We were down 1-0 and you could feel it in the dugout, guys were a little bit "oh no here we go again," and Cole Tate let us breathe a little bit and hits that ball out of the park. We were able to get going from there."
Junior IF Cole Tate
On the offensive explosion... "Last night, we did not swing the bats great but coming out today and getting 17 hits is huge going into Florida next week." On his homerun... "I was getting ready for a fastball, and I got one up in the zone and was able to put a good swing on it."
Up Next: The series concludes on Sunday at Foley Field with first pitch slated for 1:02 p.m.