ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldog offense continued their torrid series mashing 14 hits on the way to a 12-4 win, clinching the series over the visiting Tennessee Volunteers Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.
The Bulldogs (30-13, 12-8) have now won their fourth SEC series and have reached the 30 win total for the first time since 2012, and for the first time under head coach Scott Stricklin. Meanwhile, Tennessee falls to 24-21 overall and 7-13 SEC.
Volunteer left fielder Evan Russell opened the scoring in the top of the second with a two-run home run, but the Bulldogs would answer in the bottom of the inning with four runs of their own. Catcher Austin Biggar ripped a two-RBI single up the middle, and two batters later Tucker Bradley followed with a two-run single giving Georgia an early 4-2 advantage.
After a scoreless frame in the third, the Bulldog offense struck again in the fourth. An RBI groundout by Tucker Maxwell and an opposite field three-run blast by left fielder Keegan McGovern grew the Georgia lead to 8-2. The Bulldogs added three more runs in the fifth inning capitalizing on four Volunteer walks to make it an 11-2 game.
Staked to 11 runs, freshman starter Emerson Hancock matched his career high in innings pitched with seven, striking out eight batters and allowing just four runs without surrendering a walk. Out of the bullpen, senior right-hander Blake Cairnes closed the game out, throwing two innings of scoreless ball and collecting a strikeout.
Second basemen LJ Talley knocked in the Bulldogs 12th and final run of the game in the seventh inning with a long solo home run to right, his fourth of the season.
-Emerson Hancock (5-3) tied a career-high going seven innings, allowing four runs, striking out eight men.
-Keegan McGovern’s fourth-inning home run was his team-leading 13th of the season.
-McGovern also extended his on-base streak to 31 consecutive games.
-Austin Biggar’s three-RBI game ties his career high. Going 2-for-3, Biggar registered his first multi-hit game of the season.
-LJ Talley’s seventh-inning home run was his fourth of the season and second this week. He also homered on the road at Georgia Tech Wednesday night.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the offensive approach…
“I thought we had some really good at-bats, we knew that Garrett Stallings was going to throw a lot of strikes, that’s the scouting report. It’s not overpowering stuff but it’s in the zone and our hitters were ready to swing the bat.”
Junior Second Baseman LJ Talley
On the offense clicking…
“We were confident and we were just being patient up there. The first couple innings he was throwing lots of fastballs. We jumped on him early and got four runs. When he settled in, he started throwing a lot of off-speed pitches. I think for one inning, he got us. I asked Coach Taylor if I could sit on an off-speed pitch, and that’s what we all did. “
The Bulldogs will go for the series sweep of the Volunteers tomorrow afternoon at Foley Field with first pitch scheduled for 1 pm.