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February 20, 2013
Four games into the season, and Georgia's bats continue to be missing in action.
After scoring just four runs in their final two contests at Georgia Southern, it didn't get any better for the Bulldogs in Wednesday's home-opener as visiting Kennesaw State slipped away with a 2-1 win before a nippy Foley Field crowd of 1,825.
"We're just not turning the lineup over to get more opportunities for some clutch hits," head coach David Perno said after his team mananged just four hits against the Owls. "We're hitting balls hard and they're getting caught. But those kind of thing evens out."
Still, it's frustrating nonetheless.
"It's realy frustrating. As a team, you get good BP and stuff doesn't roll," senior shortstop Kyle Farmer said. "We're hitting a lot in the air, myself included. Hopefully, the baseball gods will help us out this weekend."
The Bulldogs (1-3) couldn't complain about their pitching.
Five different pitchers scattered four hits, before the Owls (4-0) scratched across a run in the ninth for the win.
With runners at first and third, Jared Walsh (0-1) appeared to be out of the inning when he enticed a slow chopper to Farmer at short. Farmer threw to second to try for the force, but the base runner beat the throw allowing the go-ahead run to score.
"I dont want to to throw anybody under the bus, but it was a tough play, a read play," Farmer said.. "I should have thrown it to first."
Georgia stranded a runner in the ninth before James Connell retired the side to pick up his first save.
Offense was in short demand for both teams as the only run that managed to dent the scoreboard, came in the fourth inning when Kennesaw State's Max Pentecost singled in the game's first run off of Bulldog freshman starter David Gonzalez.
The Gainesville native went 3 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs before being replaced by Blake Dieterich (1 2/3 scoreless innings) and later Bryan Benzor (two scoreless inning ) who held the Owls in check until the Bulldogs were able to scratch across a run to tie the game.
A two-out double by Farmer did the trick, driving home Justin Bryan from second before Hunter Cole struck out to end the inning, sending the game to the seventh tied 1-1.
"It's coming," Perno said. "We've just got to give these guys a couple more weeks, then if we're still slugging out four hits per game and scoring one run, then we'll have problems. But not right now."
NOTES: When Brett Deloach threw out Kal Simmons, it was the first caught stealing for the Bulldogs after Georgia Southern went 7-for-7 last weekend. ... Georgia returns to action on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Belmont for two games starting at 1. The three-game set was set to begin on Friday, but was pushed back due to likely inclement weather.