ATHENS — First there was left-fielder Hunter Cole’s throwing error that led to a run in the first inning. Then there was third baseman Curt Powell air-mailing a throw to first in the fourth inning. Shortly thereafter Cole let a ground ball get under his glove and roll all the way to the wall.
After the weekend Georgia just had up at Vanderbilt, this was the last thing that coach David Perno wanted — or expected — to see.
Instead it was more of the same. The Bulldogs committed three errors and threw in six walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball on the way to losing to Clemson 10-5 Tuesday night at Foley Field.
It was the third loss in a row for Georgia (17-9, 3-3 SEC), which plays host to No. 10 Kentucky (25-1, 5-1 SEC) for a three-game set this weekend. Clemson improves to 12-11.
“That kind of stuff we did this [past] weekend has a hangover effect,” Perno said. “It really does. We’re down, the guys are tired, [Clemson] played great and we didn’t play well. It’s that simple. If we play like that this weekend, I’ll be concerned.”
The Bulldogs committed only three errors this past weekend against Vanderbilt, but their miscues were extremely costly. An error and three walks in the ninth inning led to a 5-4 loss on Saturday and Georgia followed that on Sunday by giving up four runs on three wild pitches and triple with two outs in the eighth inning.
The good news/bad news of Tuesday’s tilt was the catastrophes came earlier, so at least the Bulldogs had time to recover. But after opening with a three-spot in the first, Georgia gave up three runs to Clemson, then one or more in five of the last seven frames.
Eight UGA pitchers combined to allow 16 hits. Luke Crumley (1-1) took the loss for Georgia. He was pitching in relief of starter David Sosebee, who left with one out in the second inning after giving up four hits and three runs.
“Everybody’s going to pitch like that every once in a while,” Perno said. “We haven’t done that all year. We didn’t throw any of our [weekend] guys. We’re still finding things out. . . .You just can’t let games get away from you like we did this weekend.”
It started off promisingly enough. Georgia’s Levi Hyams and Nelson Ward opened with back-to-back singles and the Bulldogs struck for three runs on a pair of wild pitches and a 2-RBI double from Colby May.
But the Tigers answered in the second with three runs on a pair of singles, a wild pitch and a two-run home run by Richie Shafer. Clemson then scored runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Georgia kept threatening, however. Down six runs in the ninth, the Bulldogs had already scored once and had the bases loaded with two outs with Kevin Ruiz ripped a line drive deep into the gap in left-center field. But converted outfielder Jay Baum, a freshman from Alpharetta’s Centenniel High School, made a diving catch to end the game.
“We’ve just got to put it behind us,” said Cole, who hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. “Every day is a new day. We’ve got a big series against Kentucky at home, so we’ve got to look forward to that, keep our heads up and really clean things up at practice.”