ATHENS, Ga. — Senior Keegan McGovern capped off Senior Day with a heroic final out, sealing a crucial 3-2 win and series victory for the No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs (37-17, 18-12) over the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks (37-17, 18-12) at Foley Field on Saturday.
McGovern, the Bulldog left fielder playing his final regular season game as a Bulldog, caught a fly ball to left field and rifled a throw to sophomore catcher Austin Biggar at home plate for the final out.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. “I was shaking hands with the Arkansas coaches at home plate and I look out to left field and see our team celebrating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. I’ve never seen a game like that especially with so much at stake. Very fitting that Keegan McGovern made that play. He’s meant a whole lot to this program.”
Fresh off a win against No. 1 Florida last Sunday, junior starting pitcher Kevin Smith (8-1) fired off a career-high 11 strikeouts to earn the win in seven innings, while allowing two runs on four hits. With the victory, Smith touts the most wins of a Bulldog pitcher since Michael Palazzone recorded 10 in 2011.
The Bulldog bullpen preserved the 3-2 lead after Smith’s day concluded. Sophomore reliever Tony Locey pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and freshman Ryan Webb earned his third save by taking care of the ninth.
The Razorbacks drew first blood with a pair of doubles in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. After stranding two batters in each of the first and second innings, the Bulldogs tied the game at 1-1 by way of a McGovern solo home run—his 15th on the season—in the third inning.
Arkansas’ Grant Koch doubled to center field in the fourth inning to bring Luke Bonfield home for a 2-1 Razorback lead, but Georgia followed up with superb bunting in the fifth inning. Biggar laid down a perfect bunt to put runners at the corners, and freshman C.J. Smith dropped a sac bunt to score senior Mitchell Webb for a 2-2 score.
Junior Michael Curry led off the sixth inning and cracked the eventual winning home run, a solo shot of his own to left field for a 3-2 lead. The shot gave Curry his 10th home run of the year to join McGovern in double-digit home runs, the first time two Georgia batters achieved that feat in the same season since 2009.