Alabama drops series opener to No. 14 Georgia after four-run first inning


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama catcher Dominic Tamez (3) rounds the bases after a home run in the Crimson Tide’s 4-2 loss to the No. 14 Georgia Bulldogs on April 22 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

Alabama starting pitcher Garrett McMillan was able to teach the Bulldogs to behave, but not until enough damage was already done.

14th ranked Georgia scored four runs in the first inning, and rode that all the way to a 4-2 victory on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

“You can win or lose a game sometimes in the first, or the middle, or late in the game,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said. “Besides the top of the first, I thought it was a really good college baseball game. We just didn’t do enough in the top of the first.”

McMillan got off to an uncharacteristic start. A three-run home run by Georgia right fielder Cole Wagner anchored a four spot in the beginning. But after the first frame, McMillan silenced the Bulldogs’ bats. After allowing four runs and four hits to start the game, he allowed just two more the rest of his outing. He ended up throwing six innings, striking out five.

“Garrett McMillan is our best pitcher,” Bohannon said. “He came out tonight and was behind four of the first five batters, and that’s not very typical of him. To Georgia’s credit, they did a good job of making him pay for it. To Garrett’s credit, he did a great job after the first of really settling in and getting to the middle of the game.”

The more important issues were on the offensive end for the Crimson Tide. The 10 hits were not enough, as Alabama only picked up two runs. The Crimson Tide finished the game with just two extra base hits – a home run in the seventh off the bat of catcher Dominic Tamez, and a home run in the eighth from right fielder William Hamiter. It was Tamez’s first home run since opening day against Xavier, when he hit two. Tamez picked up three hits total.

“It wasn’t good enough,” Bohannon said. “You’ve got to score more than two runs to win.”

It’s a little concerning, due to the fact that Georgia ranks last in the SEC in runs allowed this season. The Bulldogs have allowed almost seven runs per contest in 2022. Alabama got the hits, it just couldn’t get the runs. The Crimson Tide went 2-for-16 with runners on and 1-for-9 when they reached scoring position.

Alabama and Georgia play game two of the weekend series Saturday at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. Jacob McNairy (5.68 ERA) will start on the mound for the Crimson Tide.