The seventh-ranked University of Georgia baseball team beat Alabama 12-2 for its school record-tying 20th SEC win Friday night in front of a Foley Field crowd of 3,093.
The Bulldogs improved to 41-14 overall and matched the 2001 and 2008 Bulldog squads with 20 SEC victories. Those teams won the league with that tally and eventually advanced to the College World Series. Alabama dropped to 30-25 (7-22 SEC). On Friday, Vanderbilt clinched the 2019 SEC title with its 22nd league win.
Junior right-hander Tony Locey provided six innings for his latest victory and became Georgia’s first 10-game winner since Michael Palazzone went 10-5 in 2011. Offensively, Georgia pounded out a season-high 17 hits in an SEC game including a five-for-five night from graduate designated hitter John Cable. Also, junior Aaron Schunk hit a pair of home runs and drove in four.
Alabama put two on with one out in the first two innings, and Locey and the Bulldogs got out of each jam unscathed. In the bottom of the second, Georgia grabbed a 2-0 lead. Senior LJ Talley extended his hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single. Cable followed with his team-leading 15th run-scoring double. He moved to third on a groundout by Cam Shepherd. Then with two outs, freshman catcher Shane Marshall made it 2-0 with an RBI-single. Alabama’s Tyler Gentry connected for his team-high 13th home run in the third to make it a one-run affair. However, Georgia responded its half of the inning on a two-run home run from Riley King, his eighth of the season and a 4-1 lead.
In the fifth, a sacrifice fly by Patrick Sullivan and a two-out, run-scoring single from Chaney Rogers pushed Georgia’s lead to 6-1. The inning began with Cable notching his third hit of the night and a double from Shepherd. Georgia added two in the sixth and Schunk made it 10-1 with a two-run home run in the seventh. It was his 10th home run of the year and gave him an 11-game hitting streak. Alabama scored it second run in the eighth on a wild pitch from Ryan Webb who provided two innings of relief with two strikeouts. Schunk smashed his team-best 11th home run later in the contest for the final.
– Junior Tony Locey became the first Bulldog 10-game winner since 2011 when Michael Palazzone went 10-5.
– Graduate DH John Cable notched his team-leading 15th RBI-double as part of a 5-for-5 night, the first Bulldog to do that since Keegan McGovern in 2016 against Tennessee..
– Aaron Schunk blasted two home runs to give him a team-leading 11 for the year and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
– Riley King hit his eighth home run, a two-run shot in the third for a 4-1 lead.
– LJ Talley extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the second inning
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game…
“I thought we played really well and some guys had big nights at the plate, look at John Cable with five hits, Aaron Schunk with two home runs and Riley King with a home run, LJ Talley had three hits. We had 17 hits, the most we’ve had in an SEC game this season. We had guys pick each other up too. We told our guys to focus on clinching another SEC series and we did that for our 20th SEC win. That’s another milestone that not too many teams have done, and I’m proud of them for that.“
On Tony Locey…
“Tony battles out there each time out. You might think he’s struggling a little bit and then you realize he’s gone six innings and allowed just one run. He got his 10th win and we haven’t had anybody do that in a while. Our defense played well behind him and we were able to get Ryan Webb and James Williams some work too.”
Player Perspective…John Cable
On Friday Night performance…
“I felt very comfortable at the plate all night. I was able to drive the ball and feel good about my swing right now. It’s great to see everybody swinging the bat well these past two nights, and we hope it continues Saturday. The guys are playing very confident right now.”
Georgia will conclude the regular season with the final game of the Alabama series Saturday at 2 p.m. (SEC Network+).