Soon the Atlanta Braves will take the field at SunTrust Park and fans will fill each and every seat.
On Saturday afternoon, Georgia and Missouri had their own chance do just that.
The teams drew in 33,025 spectators, but other than a new location, those spectators didn’t see anything different than they see at Foley Field as Missouri beat Georgia 6-1.
“We’re young,” head coach Scott Stricklin said. “But you can’t use that as an excuse. It is what it is. They’re learning as they go, and like I say, you can’t really teach experience.”
All it took was one hit from Missouri (23-9, 6-6 SEC) in the top of the fourth inning to give the Tigers the lead and the eventual series win.
Junior pitcher Chase Adkins, who took the loss, had a rough day on the mound for Georgia (14-19, 4-8 SEC) after giving up three runs and three hits. Things didn’t start to really go wrong for Adkins (4-3) until the fourth inning, though.
He walked the first two Missouri batters that came to the plate, which let Trey Harris, who hits in the four-spot, come to bat.
Harris hit a home run off Georgia yesterday when he sent one over the right field fence at Foley Field. But this time, he took it to left field for the three-run home run.
“He (Harris) was just sitting,” Stricklin said. “Dead-red fastball and he got it and he put a great swing on it.”
After Adkins was pulled in the fourth inning, he was replaced by sophomore pitcher Ryan Avidano. He threw three innings with five strikeouts while only giving up one hit. But he was pulled and replaced by junior pitcher Blake Cairnes in the top of the seventh inning after getting behind on a few counts.
“We’ve got Cairnes in the bullpen,” Avidano said. “And I was getting a little wild. I mean, long inning right there and we kind of just wanted to stay in that game, so I understand the move.”
Later, Missouri added three more runs to put the game out of reach as Georgia’s pitching staff continued to struggle.
Cairnes gave up those runs on three hits in the eighth inning. Freshman pitchers Tim Elliott and Tony Locey came in to finish the game, holding the score at 6-1.
That one run for Georgia came from sophomore designated hitter Michael Curry, who did most of the offensive work for the Bulldogs. He finished 3-for-3, accounting for all three of Georgia’s hits on the day.
“I did my part,” Curry said. “I did everything I could. I just wish we could have come out on top, but as a team we’ve just got to play better baseball.”