Second-ranked Georgia defeated Tennessee 7-1 Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium to claim the final game of the SEC series.
Georgia (29-8, 10-5 SEC) wasted no time in scoring, building a 3-0 lead in the first. Tucker Maxwell (2-for-4, 3R) drew a leadoff walk, stole second and Riley King reached on a walk. Aaron Schunk (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) picked up a single to load the bases for LJ Talley. Georgia took a 1-0 lead on an RBI-groundout by Talley and John Cable (2-for-5, 2 RBI) followed with a two-run single. In the second, Chaney Rogers smashed his first career home run, a solo shot and Maxwell reached with a one-out double. He would score on a sacrifice fly by King and a 5-0 lead.
In the fourth, Maxwell collected his second double of the afternoon, and with two outs, Schunk crushed his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot to centerfielder for a 7-0 advantage over the Volunteers (26-11, 6-9 SEC). Evan Russell led off the ninth with his fourth home run to spoil the shutout bid.
Georgia junior right-hander Tony Locey provided six scoreless innings, scattering three hits and four walks with four strikeouts to improve to 6-0. Junior Zac Kristofak came on in the seventh and took care of the final three frames for his third save. Tennessee starter Zach Linginfelter took the loss to fall to 5-4 after allowing five runs on four hits in two innings.
The Volunteers had blanked Georgia in the first two games of the series as they lead the nation with eight shutouts.
– Junior 3B Aaron Schunk extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in his first at bat and then blasted his sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the fourth. He has 16 multi-hit games.
– Junior CF Tucker Maxwell registered two more stolen bases as he leads the team, going 17-for-18 on the year plus had two doubles.
– Junior 1B Patrick Sullivan has hit safely in all four games since returning to action from a concussion when he missed 13 games.
– Sophomore RF Chaney Rogers hit his first career home run.
-Junior RHP Tony Locey improved to 6-0 while junior Zac Kristofak pitched the final three innings for his third save.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game…
“We challenged the older guys to step up after how the first two games went. They didn’t panic. They came out today and played very calm, very clean game. It was a important win for us today. We finish the first half of SEC play at 10-5 and that’s with already playing three series on the road. We’re looking forward to having three of our final five SEC series at home.”
On the early lead today…
“It was big to get those early runs. Obviously, we’ve been struggling the last two games to score runs. It kind of got the monkey off our back. We had a mock cheer in the dugout after we got the first run. It was good to get Tony (Locey) that lead, and he settled in and gave us six strong innings and that was good to see.“
Georgia plays host to No. 16 Clemson Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.