Georgia senior Cole Tate (15) is greeted with high-fives after scoring. The University of Georgia baseball team lost to no. 10 Tennessee 11-6 in the opening game of the series on March 19, 2021, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

In Georgia’s second game against Tennessee, Cole Tate hit a walk-off single to give Georgia a 5-4 win over the Volunteers and even the series 1-1. The Bulldogs improved their record to 14-4 on the season. Georgia will go for the series win against the Volunteers tomorrow at 1 p.m. Here are some observations from The Red & Black:

Hitting throughout the lineup  

Georgia finished its win over Tennessee with 10 hits on the day and with eight of the nine hitters earning a base hit. Redshirt senior Riley King and freshman Parks Harbor led the team as the only two hitters to finish with two base hits. 

“I think there's a lot to be said for everybody being able to come through and contribute,” said assistant coach Scott Daeley in a virtual postgame press conference. “I think that makes it tough on the opposing pitcher.”

The seven, eight and nine hitters in Georgia’s lineup went a combined 4-for-10 and got on base in the final inning before senior Cole Tate hit a walk-off single to win the second game of the series. 

King led off the inning with an infield single before Chaney Rogers reached first by way of an error to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Shane Marshall put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. 

Ben Anderson popped out to the first basemen before Tate delivered the game-winning hit to score King and Rogers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. 

This was the fifth time this season the Bulldogs have won with a walk-off base hit and the second time Tate has hit a walk-off while at Georgia. His first came on opening day last year against Richmond. 

“Everyone was pretty much swinging the bat really well,” Tate said. “We had, I would say, like five good, hard contact outs today. So I mean, everyone was feeling good at the plate.” 

Georgia’s rough start 

For the second game in a row, Tennessee scored in the first inning. The Volunteers scored one in the series opener, and they scored two in the second game of the weekend to take an early lead. 

In the first game, it was a leadoff home run from Liam Spence to take an early lead. In Saturday’s game, it was a combination of walks and errors that gave the visitors an early advantage. 

Cole Tate made an error at shortstop to put Spence on first base to lead off the first inning. Senior Pete Derkay doubled to center field to put runners on second and third with no outs. Drew Gilbert singled to give Tennessee its first run of the day. Georgia’s starting pitcher Ryan Webb then walked two hitters in a row to give the Volunteers a 2-0 lead. 

“The trouble in the first was self-inflicted by our defense more than anything else,” Daeley said. “[Webb] wasn't perfect but again, I think some of that command issues just had to do with how many pitches we made him throw in that first inning.”

Through the first inning, Webb had thrown 41 pitches. After walking two-straight hitters, Webb went on a run of retiring consecutive Tennessee hitters. 

Webb calms down after first 

With the bases loaded and one out, Webb struck out two straight Tennessee hitters in the first to hold the Volunteers at two runs and strand three runners on base. From then, Webb calmed down and kept the visiting offense off the scoreboard for the rest of his start. 

“He's our best guy. The guy has got swing-and-miss stuff and he's a real competitor,” Daeley said. “We hate to have him go out there for 40 pitches, but he did a great job of coming back and really competing and finishing the game.” 

Webb retired 12 Tennessee hitters in a row before Spence hit a single to center field with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Out of those 12 outs, seven of them were strikeouts. Webb ended the day with eight total strikeouts. 

Following Spence’s single, Webb walked two hitters in a row to load the bases with one out. Gilbert hit a line drive to right field but was not deep enough to score the runner from third, and that marked the end of the day for Webb. He finished throwing 4 2/3  innings allowing three hits, one earned run and four walks.  

Redshirt junior Darryn Pasqua relieved Webb with two outs and the bases loaded. Jordan Beck flew out to left field to once again leave the bases loaded for Tennessee. Pasqua did not allow an earned run until Jake Rucker hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead.