Early grand slam by Branch sends Georgia cruising past UNC Wilmington for 11-2 win

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kolby Branch hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the second inning and that proved more than enough as Georgia dismantled UNC Wilmington 11-2 on Saturday in the Athens Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

UNC Wilmington will face Georgia Tech on Sunday for the right to face Georgia in the regional championship later in the day.

Tre Phelps singled to center field to start the second for Georgia (41-15) and Dillon Carter was hit by a pitch. Fernando Gonzalez reached on a fielder’s choice, and Phelps advanced to third. Clayton Chadwick drew a walk and that set the stage for Branch — the No. 9 hitter — whose blast created a 5-1 lead that was never threatened.

Slate Alford went 3 for 5 and Corey Collins 2 for 3 for Georgia. Collins put Georgia on the board first with a solo home run before the Seahawks’ Trevor Marsh homered to left field at the top of the second to tie it at 1-all.

Despite surrendering six walks, Kol Smith spread four hits across four innings and struck out five. DJ Radtke got the win for Georgia in two innings of work following Smith.

Brock Wills went 2 for 4 and drove in a run for the Seahawks (40-20) and Alec DeMartino went 2 for 3 and drew two walks.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports

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