Eighth-ranked Georgia extended its winning streak to nine games after rallying for four runs in the ninth to complete a sweep of No. 22 South Carolina here Sunday in front of a crowd of 6,539 at Founders Park.
The Bulldogs (18-2, 3-0 SEC) entered the ninth with just one hit and trailed 1-0 before rallying for four runs on four hits. Sophomore catcher Mason Meadows ignited the rally with a leadoff double and then designated hitter John Cable lifted a run-scoring single to right field to tie the contest. Sophomore C.J. Smith followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners. After hinting at a possible squeeze bunt, Tucker Maxwell smashed a three-run home run to right field for a 4-1 advantage. It was Maxwell’s team-leading fifth home run of the year.
Bulldog junior Zac Kristofak (3-0) picked up the win with two innings of relief after a brilliant outing from junior Tony Locey who struck out a career-high 11 over seven innings. Gamecock reliever Brett Kerry got the loss to fall to 2-1 as South Carolina dropped to 14-6, 0-3 SEC. Georgia has won six consecutive series over the Gamecocks including sweeps the past two years.
Georgia loaded the bases to start the game but failed to push across a run after pair of pop outs and a strikeout. Through five innings, Georgia was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position with four strikeouts. Georgia missed another opportunity in the fifth when Maxwell led off with a double which marked the first hit of the day for the Bulldogs. Meanwhile, Locey was cruising, registering eight strikeouts through four innings.
The Gamecocks broke through with the game’s first run in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs. On a 3-2 count, George Callil lifted a shallow fly ball to right field that Riley King caught and fired home for a double play as Meadows tagged out Chris Cullen. However, Quinntin Perez came through with an RBI-single for a 1-0 lead. Locey came back to record his ninth strikeout to end the frame.
Up next, Georgia welcomes Georgia State to Foley Field on Tuesday. First pitch will be at 5:02 p.m. and be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
- Junior Tucker Maxwell has reached base in 16 straight games after a leadoff double in the fifth and later he provided a decisive three-run home run in the ninth.
- Georgia is off to its first 3-0 start since 2007 when it swept No. 20 Auburn in Athens. The Bulldogs last road sweep during a season came last year at Missouri.
- Georgia’s last SEC road sweep over a top 25 team came in 2004 at No. 16 Florida
- The Bulldogs (18-2) are off to their best start since 2009 when they began 19-2.
- Coach’s Corner
- Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the comeback…
“They guys never panicked. We have a veteran group, a lot of older guys who support each other. Going into the ninth, we had one hit and then Mason (Meadows) gets the double and everyone came through. Credit Tony (Locey) for a great start and Zac (Kristofak) comes in and keeps it a 1-0 game to give us a chance. ”
On Tucker Maxwell’s home run…