Ninth-ranked Georgia won a 3-1 pitching duel over Georgia Southern Friday in front of a crowd of 2,247 J.I. Clements Stadium.
Georgia (8-1) struck first, scoring a pair of runs on two hits in the third. C.J. Smith led off with a base hit and Cam Shepherd followed with a double down the right field line. Then, Riley King picked up an RBI on a groundout and Aaron Schunk’s sacrifice fly gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
The Eagles (3-5) had plenty of chances to answer, leaving four in scoring position through the first three frames before pushing a run across on a two-out single by Steven Curry in the fourth. It scored Matt Anderson who registered his second double of the night following an 11-pitch at bat. It was the first run allowed by sophomore right-hander Emerson Hancock this season, a stretch of 16.2 innings. Hancock left with a 2-1 lead as Georgia turned to sophomore Ryan Webb to start the sixth. Webb struck out a career-high seven over the next three innings.
The Eagles threatened in the seventh with a pinch-hit leadoff double by Tyler Martin. However, he was stranded there as Webb came back to retire the next three hitters including two via the strikeout. Schunk came on in the ninth to register his second save. The Eagles finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position as the trio of Bulldog pitchers managed eight strikeouts in those situations.
Hancock improved to 3-0, going five innings and striking out five while Seth Shuman was the tough-luck loser to fall to 0-3 despite striking out 11 over seven innings.
With rain in the forecast Sunday, the three-game series will conclude Saturday with a day/night doubleheader. Saturday’s games will be at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Sophomore right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock went 16.2 innings this season before allowing his first run. On Friday, he went 5.0 innings and allowed one run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
- Junior shortstop Cam Shepherd has reached base in all nine games this year1b 7.
- Junior third baseman Aaron Schunk picked up his second save after pitching the ninth.
- Sophomore Ryan Webb collected a career-high seven strikeouts in three innings of relief.
- Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
“We won with pitching and defense and some timely hitting. We need to do a little more offensively, and we know that but you have to tip your cap to (Seth) Shuman and (Hayden) Harris, those guys were good tonight. Now we get ready for a doubleheader, and the goal is to find a way to win the series when you’re on the road against a good team.”