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Connor Tate (23) hits the ball on March 19, 2019 during a game against Georgia State at Foley Field in Athens, Georgia. Georgia beat Georgia State 11-1. (Photo/Maya Giro)

The Georgia baseball team defeated Columbus State 18-3 in a 14-inning exhibition game on Sunday afternoon at Foley Field. 

The 14-inning game was split up into two 7-inning halves, with both teams getting a chance to change the lineups at the midpoint to allow for more players to receive playing time. 

“It’s nice to basically play in two shifts,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. “I thought our players on both sides of those 14 innings played really well.” 

Senior pitcher Logan Moody received the starting nod for the game, setting the tone by throwing two scoreless innings to start the game for the Bulldogs.

In total, the Bulldogs sent four different pitchers to the mound through the first seven innings, and they allowed only one hit combined during that span. Five more pitchers saw action in the last seven innings beginning with freshman Garrett Brown. Three additional hits and two runs were scored in the final seven innings for the Cougars. 

Georgia totaled 21 hits throughout the game, with most of the damage coming in the first nine innings. 

The two teams were tied 1-1 midway through the fifth inning until Randon Jernigan scored the go-ahead run from a balk. Georgia then loaded the bases for sophomore Connor Tate, who delivered with a 410-foot grand slam to deep center. 

“I knew [from my first at-bat] I had to crowd the plate,” Tate said. “I got a first-pitch curveball in the dirt… I knew he had to be throwing a fastball. He did, and it just happened. It’s the best feeling in the world.” 

Sophomore Shane Marshall provided a home run of his own in the sixth inning to put the Bulldogs up 7-1. 

Entering the eighth inning leading 8-3, Georgia scored eight more runs on seven hits and five errors from Columbus State. Chaney Rogers hit a three-run home run in the inning, one of four home runs in the game for Georgia. The final two runs were scored in the bottom of the 14th inning, sealing the 18-3 final. 

“I thought we had a good day today,” Stricklin said. “A lot of positives, especially [from] the young guys… As the game went on, our bats just got better.” 

Next for Georgia is another exhibition game against Florida on Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Jacksonville, Florida.

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