Three year journey
Despite a number three national recruiting rank, things didn’t go well for that 2017 Georgia freshman class.
“I can remember texting all those guys and saying, ‘Hey, your first SEC series is going to be at LSU,’” Stricklin said.
The 2017 Dawgs were swept by LSU. They were still winless against the Tigers before this weekend, and Friday night’s series opener looked like more of the same. The LSU baseball Tigers cavorted and rollicked with every defensive play and pitching stop, finally celebrating another win over Stricklin’s Diamond Dawgs.
Saturday afternoon drama
On Saturday, it looked like more of the same ol’ same ol’.
In the eighth inning of a scoreless game two, LSU put two runners on base with one out in the eighth inning. LSU then sent the top of the order to the plate to knock in the winning runs and again deny Stricklin his first win over the Tigers.
“Not so fast,” said LJ Talley. The Bulldog junior second baseman dove to snag Chris Reid’s sinking line drive and flipped to shortstop Cam Shepherd to double up Tiger Hal Hughes, who had bolted for third on contact, to retire the side.
With a top of the inning disaster averted, Georgia went to work in the bottom of the eighth. Austin Biggar and Riley King each claimed an RBI as the Dawgs plated two runs for the lead. In the bottom of the ninth, likely 2019 John Olerud Award winner Aaron Schunk came in from third base to pitch. Schunk dispatched the Tigers, and Stricklin got his first win over the beast of SEC baseball.
Despite some injuries, the 2019 edition of the Bulldogs is pitching rich, and the series had now turned in Georgia’s favor going into Sunday’s finale.