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Men’s baseball goes 1–3 in weekend series at Georgia, comes from behind to win final game

Junior outfielder Scott Bandura had a .375 batting average, 3 home runs, 8 runs batted in, and slugged 1.063 en route to winning the Ivy League player of the week
Courtesy of @PUTigerBaseball/Twitter

This past weekend, men’s baseball (1–3 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) headed south to face the Georgia Bulldogs (6–2, 0–0 Southeastern Conference) in a four-game series. After dropping the first three contests, the Princeton batters came alive in the final game, rallying from multiple deficits to win 12–11. 

The Southeastern Conference has consistently been the best conference in college baseball, winning eight of the last 13 national championships. Taking a win off the Bulldogs is a major accomplishment for the Tiger squad, who went 4–15 in out-of-conference play in the 2022 season.


Despite a strong offensive showing by the Tigers in the first game, the Bulldog's early offensive splurge proved to be too much. A 440-foot home run by Georgia outfielder Charlie Condon followed by another bomb by outfielder Corey Collins put Georgia up by three in the second inning. By the end of the fourth, the Bulldog’s hitting had piled on five runs with the Tigers failing to get on board.

Georgia starting pitcher Jaden Woods suffocated Princeton hitters, amassing 11 strikeouts, zero earned runs, and only one hit in 4.2 innings pitched. Once he made his exit from the game, however, the Princeton bats started to wake up.

At the top of the 5th, senior infielder Noah Granet hit the first of Princeton’s five solo blasts of the night. Georgia, however, did not take long to respond, hitting two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 7–1. At the end of the sixth, junior outfielder Matt Scannell hit the second solo home run of the night for the Tigers, making the score 7–2 after six innings.

The contest was then suspended due to rain, continuing the following day on Saturday afternoon. After junior first baseman Kyle Vinci cut the Bulldogs’ lead to four in the top of the seventh, Georgia closed any hope of a Princeton comeback with a five-run seventh inning, leading by nine (12–3) after seven innings. The Tigers, however, managed to end strong in the ninth inning, with a pinch-hit bomb by senior outfielder Nadir Lewis, and another homer by Kyle Vinci to make the final score 12–5.

The second game of the series was defined by Bulldogs starting pitcher Liam Sullivan. Continuing from the performance of Jaden Woods last game, Sullivan dominated the Tiger’s lineup, posting eleven strikeouts, zero earned runs, and a staggering zero hits in seven innings of play. With a barrage of hits from Georgia’s offense, including a 416-foot blast by first baseman Parks Harber in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs steamrolled through the Tigers to a 9–0 final score in game two. 

Princeton, at this point 0–2, looked to rebound in their Sunday doubleheader from a couple of tough losses. Both of the remaining games saw plenty of action and scoring, with standout performances from Princeton’s junior rightfielder Scott Bandura and junior third baseman Nick DiPietrantonio. In the end, Princeton managed to rally from behind during the second game, finishing the series on a strong note.


The first game of Sunday was a back-and-forth battle, with both teams exchanging blows. Bandura started the scoring for Princeton with a RBI double, his first hit of the season. DiPietrantonio then tied the score at three with a two-run double in the third inning, after Georgia’s three-run home run. After Georgia went back on top by two, this Princeton duo struck again in the fourth. With a two-run double from Bandura and an opposite-field single from DiPietrantonio, Princeton found themselves leading 6–5.

However, Georgia’s offense proved to be too much for Princeton’s pitching. Although Bandura would hit a solo homer later in the sixth inning, finishing the game with three hits and four RBIs, Georgia would score three in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one more in the sixth, finishing the game with a 12–7 win over Princeton.

The final game of the series truly showcased the grit of this Princeton team. The Tigers found themselves in a 5–0 hole after just two innings. Despite the early deficit, the Tigers refused to give up and battled back against a tough Georgia team. Vinci got things started for Princeton with a solo home run in the fourth inning, providing a much-needed spark for the offense. Princeton continued to chip away at Georgia’s lead the next inning, scrapping two runs on a single and a groundout, before Bandura delivered a big blow, hitting a clutch three-run homer over the batter’s eye to tie the game at six.

After an even fifth inning, Georgia regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth with two unearned runs, but Princeton refused to back down. In the eighth inning, first-year second baseman Jake Koonin hit a clutch two-run double to give the Tigers a 10–9 lead. Shortly after, Bandura came up big in the ninth inning, hitting his second home run of the game to put Princeton up 12–9. This solo shot provided crucial insurance, as it ultimately proved to be the winning run. In the end, the Tigers secured a hard-fought 12–11 victory.

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Bandura was one of the stars of the day, finishing with six hits, eight RBIs, and three home runs. This was in stark contrast to his first two games of the season, where he went 0–8 with four strikeouts.

When asked about his turnaround, Bandura told the Daily Princetonian that although he felt like he saw the ball well all weekend, his identification of a minor mechanical flaw and recollection of “an important mental cue” made the difference.

Princeton looks to carry the momentum of this much-needed comeback win into their next series this weekend when they head to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils (6–2, 0–0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Brian Mhando is an associate editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Kevin Yang is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

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