Diamond Dogs perfect after walk-off wins over Northern Kentucky

Freshman Tre Phelps was hit by a pitch three times Sunday, the final one providing a 12-11 walk-off to complete a sweep of Northern Kentucky Sunday at Foley Field.

Georgia (7-0) won a slugfest as the teams combined for 33 hits including the Bulldogs blasting four home runs (three in a row) as part of a seven-run outburst in the fifth inning. Phelps was one of the Bulldogs to go deep in that frame for his first career hit. The Norse (2-5) tied the game in the top of the ninth only to see the Bulldogs respond with a walk-off for the second straight day. On Saturday, Georgia won 7-6 after a four-run ninth.

“You’re hoping to get in there and see how your team responds,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson on the close games. “You check the heartbeat a little bit. Our guys are learning how to slow the game down. When we do that and play the game one pitch at a time and understand they need to get 27 outs on us; we’re going to be just fine.”

In the second, the Norse grabbed a 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run home run by Mitch Wood. The Bulldogs answered with a two-run double by senior Sebastian Murillo. NKU went back on top 4-2 in the third on a two-out, two-run home run by Liam McFadden-Ackman, his third of the year. NKU made it 5-2 in the fifth with a two-out, RBI-single from Jake Paulick. Georgia roared back with a seven-run outburst to claim a 9-5 advantage in the bottom of the inning.

Murillo ignited the rally with a leadoff double followed by a two-run home run by Dillon Carter. Slate Alford had a double and Charlie Condon (4-for-5) brought him on home on a double and advanced to third on an error. The home run barrage began with a blast by Logan Jordan to make it 7-5. Phelps collected his first hit when he homered to left and Kolby Branch made it three in a row with another shot to left for a 9-5 advantage. It marked the first time Georgia has hit back-to-back-to-back home runs since doing it in a 14-2 road win over top-ranked Vanderbilt in 2021.

The teams had an eventful sixth innings with the Norse pushing across three runs and Georgia answering with a pair to make it 11-8. NKU added two in the eighth and tied it in the ninth when Logen Devenport tripled and scored on a base hit by Mitch Wood (3-for-5, 3 RBI).

In the bottom of the ninth with one out, Condon collected his fourth hit of the day. Paul Toetz reached on a walk and then Fernando Gonzalez was intentionally walked after getting ahead in the count 2-0 to load the bases for Phelps. On a 3-2 offering, Phelps was hit by an Aaron Massie pitch to end the game. It marked the first walk-off hit by pitch by the Bulldogs since 2011 when Zach Cone got plunked against Arkansas in a 6-5 contest.

“I wish I could tell you that it didn’t hurt, but it definitely hurt,” said Phelps. “It takes courage. We go over it every day in practice. To be able to come in today and actually do it, especially to win a game is big.”

Graduate Brian Zeldin (1-0) picked up the win for the Bulldogs pitching a scoreless inning while Massie dropped to 0-2. Senior Tyler McLoughlin helped get the Bulldogs out of a jam in the sixth when he entered the game with two on and two outs and Georgia clinging to a one-run lead. He struck out Brennan Rowe on three pitches. He provided 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.

Georgia returns to Foley Field Tuesday against Presbyterian with first pitch set for 3:02 p.m. The game will be available on SECN+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.



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