The Georgia baseball team held on to defeat Georgia Southern 4-3 on Friday night in Statesboro, GA at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Bulldogs (2-3) overcame an early 2-0 deficit, striking for three runs in the third, added their final run in the eighth and held off a late charge by the Eagles (2-3) in the final two frames.
A two-out, run-scoring double in the eighth by Bulldog freshman Will Proctor provided the margin of victory while freshman Tucker Bradley registered a pair of strikeouts for his first career save. Sophomore Kevin Smith (1-1) set a career-high with eight strikeouts over the first 5.1 innings for the win while GSU starter Evan Challenger dropped to 0-1.
Junior Blake Cairnes struck out three over 1.2 innings while freshman Christian Ryder chipped in with 1.1 innings to bridge the gap from Smith to Bradley. With runners at first and second and one out in the ninth, Bradley struck out senior slugger Ryan Cleveland, the No. 3 Eagle in the order, and then caught CJ Ballard looking to end the contest.
Offensively, junior right fielder Will Campbell extended his hitting streak to five games, going 3-for-5 including his first career home run as a Bulldog. Freshman Aaron Schunk added a two-run single to give him a team-leading 7 RBI for the year. Also of note, junior left fielder Keegan McGovern made a tremendous diving catch in the eighth to preserve Georgia’s one-run advantage.
Sophomore left-hander Kevin Smith started and struck out a career-high eight in 5.1 innings for his first win of the year.
Freshman 3B Aaron Schunk delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the third to give him a team-leading 7 RBI on the year. Freshman Tucker Bradley notched his first career save.
Junior RF Will Campbell (3-for-5) extended his hitting streak to five games with a two-out single in the first and then led off the third with his first home run as a Bulldog.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin on Georgia’s performance:
“We had a lot of guys contribute tonight. Kevin Smith gave us a great start; our bullpen did a nice job including freshman Tucker Bradley getting two big outs in the ninth and Keegan McGovern saved the game with a terrific catch in the eighth. Will Proctor had one of the biggest hits of the year, getting a two-out double in the eighth. Our best baseball is still ahead of us, and we’re going to be fun to watch. ”
CLICK HERE for the box score and final stats from game one of the UGA versus GSU college baseball game.
The Bulldogs will play game two of the series with the Eagles tonight at 3:03 p.m. in Statesboro, GA at J.I. Clements Stadium. (ESPN3)