A disastrous fourth inning began Auburn’s downfall in its 11-2 loss to No.7 Georgia on Friday night.
In the fourth, the Tigers allowed the Bulldogs to score six runs. In the seventh, Georgia scored four more to sink the Tigers into a bigger deficit.
The night started off promising with Auburn (29-20, 12-13 SEC) getting on the board first in the bottom of the second, taking a 1-0 lead on a single from Rankin Woley who came home on a double by Kason Howell. Jack Owen got the start for the Tigers, sitting down nine of the first ten he faced, including eight straight.
Then Georgia singled three times in a row to start of the fourth and load the bases with no outs. Owen walked in the first Georgia (38-13, 17-8 SEC) run of the inning, then a double scored two more. Another single scored two more Bulldogs. The sixth run of the inning came via a solo home run.
“Quick game, we shoved the ball in the strike zone,” said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson. “Just a little bit different game to where Georgia hit the baseball and bunched hits.”
Going into Friday’s night game Owen had allowed four runs, only three earned, in 38.2 innings pitched. He allowed six in one inning against Georgia. He earned his first loss of the year, moving him to 4-1 on the season.
Georgia hit a solo homer off of Will Morrison in the fifth, and Auburn brought Bailey Horn in to pitch. A solo homer from Judd Ward cut the lead to 7-2, but that was the last run Auburn was able to get across the plate in the game.
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Horn held Georgia at bay for two innings, but the Bulldogs got a second wind in the seventh. Horn hit a batter then a single, error, walk and another single scored the first two runs. A double scored two more Bulldogs, and Horn was pulled from the game. Kyle Gray came in to pitch.
On the mound for Georgia was Tony Locey who allowed only two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out 10 in seven innings pitched. Steven Williams struck out three times and both Edouard Julien and Conor Davis struck out twice.
“We couldn’t challenge enough tonight,” Thompson said. “I think this is one of those where you tip your hat, and I think Locey had ton to do with that.”
On Saturday the series will continue with a doubleheader. The first game of the day will start at 12 p.m. CST. The next game will start approximately 45 minutes after the end of the first game.
Tanner Burns (4-3, 2.66) will take the mound for Auburn after missing his start last weekend against Alabama due to soreness in his right shoulder. Emerson Hancock (7-2, 1.04) will get the start for Georgia. Game 3 starters are unknown at this time.
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