HOOVER, ALA.-----Georgia dropped a 5-1 decision to 10th-ranked Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament Tuesday at the Hoover Met that ended the 2016 season for the Bulldogs.
Georgia (27-30) got a solo home run from junior Stephen Wrenn in the first for an early lead. It was the fifth of the year for the Bulldog centerfielder. Georgia maintained its lead until the Rebels (41-16) batted around in the fourth, scoring four runs on three hits to chase senior right-hander Heath Holder. All-SEC centerfielder J.B. Woodman delivered a go-ahead two-run triple and two batters later, third baseman Colby Bortles capped the scoring with a two-run double to make it 4-1.
In the fifth, Woodman struck again for an RBI-double, this one off freshman lefthander Kevin Smith, and a 5-1 advantage. It ended a streak of 14.1 scoreless innings by Smith covering a span of six relief appearances. Later in the frame with two on and one out, Georgia went to the bullpen again as Bo Tucker came on for Smith. He got the Bulldogs out of further trouble. Tucker provided a solid relief effort, blanking the Rebels over the final 3.2 innings with four strikeouts.
Ole Miss junior Brady Bramlett, who was on a pitch count, started for the Rebels and went four innings before giving way to the Rebels bullpen. Right-hander Brady Feigl tossed three scoreless innings with three strikeouts while Will Stokes and Wyatt Short pitched an inning apiece. With the predetermined staff day, Bramlett still got the win to move his mark to 8-3. Holder allowed four runs on four hits in 3.2 innings with a walk and three strikeouts to drop to 4-5.
“We had a chance for a big inning in the first after Stephen’s home run, we loaded the bases but Brady got out of it and that was big,” Georgia’s Ike Cousins baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “Heath looked really good early; he had a closer’s mentality those first three innings, and then they got to him in the fourth. Ole Miss has a good lineup, and we saw how good their bullpen was again today. They are a top 10 team. Bo Tucker did a nice job for us taking care of the last few innings, but we weren’t able to get anything going against their bullpen.”
Georgia outhit the Rebels seven to six. Bulldog senior designated hitter Daniel Nichols went 2-for-4 while Wrenn, Nick King, Skyler Weber, Keegan McGovern and LJ Talley each had one hit in front of a Hoover Met crowd of 4,612.
Up next, Georgia will see how the Major League Baseball Draft unfolds from June 9-11. The Bulldogs have a string of 43 straight seasons with at least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.