COLUMBIA, MO.— A two-out home run by junior Michael Curry in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie as No. 20 Georgia clinched another Southeastern Conference road series with a 5-3 win over Missouri Friday at Taylor Stadium.
The Bulldogs (32-14, 14-9 SEC) went up 2-0 in the second on a sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Cam Shepherd and a two-out, RBI-double from redshirt freshman catcher Mason Meadows. In the third, Georgia took advantage of a Tiger error to score an unearned run as sophomore third baseman/closer Aaron Schunk singled and eventually scored for a 3-0 advantage. It extended Schunk’s hitting streak to 14 games. The Tigers answered in the bottom of the frame as sophomore Chris Cornelius connected for his first career home run, a two-run shot that made it 3-2. In the fifth, the Tigers were aided by a couple of Bulldog miscues to score an unearned run and tie the contest at 3-all.
The Tigers (30-17, 9-14 SEC) looked to surge ahead in the sixth when they had runners at the corners and nobody out. However, the Bulldogs behind freshman right-hander Emerson Hancock escaped unscathed. He would go on to match his career-high with seven innings pitched with seven strikeouts and no walks for the victory and move his record to 6-3.
Missouri reliever Nile Ball retired the first two hitters in the eighth before Curry smashed an opposite-field home run to put Georgia back in front 4-3. It was Curry’s eighth home run and team-leading 43rd RBI. Freshman Ryan Webb started the bottom of the eighth and allowed a one-out double and issued a two-out intentional walk before Georgia looked to sophomore Zac Kristofak. He came on and struck out cleanup hitter Brett Bond on a 3-2 offering to maintain Georgia’s edge.
In the ninth, the Bulldogs added an unearned insurance run for a 5-3 lead. In the home half of the final frame, the Tigers put two on with two outs when Georgia turned to Schunk for the final out. He retired Cornelius on one pitch for his seventh save. Tiger starter Michael Plassmeyer went seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts but got no decision. Ball got the loss to even his record at 1-1.
“We found a way to get another win and clinch another SEC road series, and we know we’re going to face another tough pitcher Saturday,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin. “We got some breaks tonight, and if you put pressure on a team, sometimes you’re going to get some, and you have to take advantage of them.”
Also of note, Georgia senior left fielder Keegan McGovern (1-for-3) drew a walk in the third to extend his on-base streak to 34 straight games. Sophomore Tucker Bradley singled in the ninth to give him a career-best 12-game hitting streak.
Georgia will have a chance for a sweep Saturday when the series concludes. First pitch is slated for 3:02 p.m. ET. The game will be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.