Ninth-ranked Georgia outlasted Troy 11-7 Sunday afternoon. The win advanced Georgia to the Athens Regional final where the Bulldogs take on Duke. Georgia improved to 39-19 on the season and are one win away from playing in a Super Regional.
Foley Field appeared to be the home of a home run contest as both teams combined for seven home runs in the matchup. Michael Curry and Keegan McGovern each homered twice for the Bulldogs. They both drove in four runs apiece and led the team on offense. Despite the impressive bats by the Bulldogs they trailed 6-5 after six innings.
With two outs in the top of the seventh and no one on base, Georgia kept the inning alive after a Trojan error. After the error, Georgia strung together three consecutive hits taking an 8-6 lead after an RBI single by McGovern and a two-run double by Curry.
Troy tried to eliminate the lead in the bottom of the frame with a solo tally on a walk and a double. After seven innings the Trojans brought it within one as they trailed 8-7. Georgia tacked on two more insurance runs in the eighth inning capitalizing on the second Trojan error. The Bulldogs added on another run in the top of the ninth which gave them the 11-7 lead.
Kevin Smith started for the Bulldogs, pitching 3.2 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs. He recorded three strikeouts and walked one before Zac Kristofak relieved him. Kristofak got the win and improved to 4-2 on the season. He pitched 3 innings giving up three hits and two runs. Kristofak struck out four batters and walked one before freshman, Ryan Webb closed out the game. Webb pitched 2.2 shutout innings and picked up his fourth save of the season.
Before Georgia’s offense took over late in the game, a Bulldog starter suffered an injury. Georgia’s two-way third baseman/closer Aaron Schunk made a diving attempt on a pop up near the visitors’ dugout and broke his nose on the railing. He didn’t return in the game, however, according to head coach Scott Stricklin he’s day-to-day and could play in the matchup against Duke.
This was very similar to what we saw yesterday, hitters were very comfortable and pitchers were trying to find their way, ” Stricklin says. “I thought Zac Krisofak picked up Kevin Smith, our best guy, who knows maybe had a little rust not pitching in Hoover. He battled and competed go us to the fourth and Zac came in and settled it down. But these guys sitting next to me (McGovern and Curry) hitting 3-4 are pretty scary hitters trying to call pitchers against these guys. Our offense won the game, Zac shut it down, Ryan Webb shut it down, our defense was outstanding but these two guys and our offense won this game.”
Georgia takes on Duke Monday at 1 p.m. in hopes to win the Athens Regional. However, if Duke wins the two face off in another game at 5 p.m.