ATHENS-----Evansville edged 12th-ranked Georgia 3-2 in the season opener for both clubs Friday at Foley Field.
Aces sophomore Shane Gray provided six innings of one-run ball and Jakob Meyers picked up a save with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Bulldog senior left-hander C.J. Smith allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings to fall to 0-1. The Aces scored their final two runs on an error and a wild pitch.
Bulldog freshman designated hitter Corey Collins went 3-for-4 including a leadoff home run in the fifth to make it a 2-1 game. Evansville would add a run in the seventh. Georgia managed a run in the eighth as Cole Tate (2-for-4) pulled the Bulldogs to within one. Bulldog junior Jack Gowen was sharp in relief, tallying three strikeouts over the final 1.2 innings.
The series continues Saturday with a pair of seven-inning games starting at noon.
Bulldog Postgame Comments
Freshman Corey Collins
On how good it feels to be playing a real game...
“It felt amazing, we’ve been talking about it, I think it’s been 340 days coach said, since we’ve played. It just felt good to be back. All of us have been playing this game for a long time, it was just like riding a bike. I know the outcome isn’t what we wanted but it’s good to be back out there.”
Senior C.J. Smith
On his performance
Ultimately it just comes down to me throwing more strikes being able to play more aggressive, attacking hitters. It’s me being better over all, if we are going to win a lot of games this year I’ve got to go longer than four innings.”
Georgia’s Ike Cousins Head Coach Scott Stricklin
On today’s game
“Yeah no, we talk about free bases all the time. A walk, a hit by pitch, an error, pass ball, wild pitch, all of those came into play today. In a close game it’s going to come back to bite you and it did today. We had our opportunities but we didn’t take advantage of them. We have to credit Evansville, Evansville found a way to get it done and they fought hard. We didn’t do enough to deserve to win. It’s disappointing, I hate that, we’ve had such a long layoff and we come back and I just didn’t feel like we played very well. When that happens you’re going to get beat and that is just unfortunate.”