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Bulldogs Blast Hatters 11-5




Christopher Lakos

Georgia Sports Communications


Georgia smashed four more home runs Wednesday for an NCAA-leading 35 on the season as it defeated Stetson 11-5 at Foley Field.

 

Sophomore Kolby Branch (3-for-5, 5 RBI) hit a pair of home runs including a grand slam as part of a five-run outburst to put the contest out of reach. Junior Slate Alford (3-for-5, 4 RBI) smacked a home run and notched a three-run double while sophomore Charlie Condon crushed his team-leading ninth home run of the season to start the scoring.

 

“It’s like a fast break offense in basketball,” said Branch of the Bulldogs lineup this season. “One person gets on, it’s just constant. Somebody’s trying to get it done, and that’s just how this team is.”

 

Condon, who made his first career start in centerfield, made a diving catch on a sinking liner for a highlight and then added a 454-foot home run to put Georgia in front 2-0. He drew three walks including two intentional. This season, Condon has started at third, first and all three outfield positions while ranking among the nation’s top hitters in average, home runs and slugging percentage.

 

“I was excited about the way we played,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson. “You come out and Charlie obviously gets a good punch in. And they punch back. Their freshman hit two home runs tonight and got them off a couple really good swings on pitches that weren’t bad. We come back and punch back. That’s just where we’re at. We know every game is going to be a fight.”

 

Georgia improved to 12-1 behind a stellar pitching outing as six hurlers combined for 17 strikeouts and no walks. Stetson managed three home runs, two by freshman Logan Hughes to account for its scoring. The Hatters took a 4-3 lead in the fifth before Alford’s bases-clearing double put Georgia back in front 6-4. Branch’s slam extended the lead to 10-4 while Alford capped the scoring with his fifth home run of the year.

 

Sophomore Zach Harris (2-0) notched a win with two innings of relief while Stetson reliever Chris Shine dropped to 0-1. Georgia graduate Christian Mracna started and struck out a career-high eight in three innings.

 

The Bulldogs begin a four-game set with Northern Colorado. First pitch Friday will now be at 3 p.m. and be available on SECN+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

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