The UGA baseball team kept their in-state rivals Georgia Tech off the scoreboard in a 4-0 victory and ultimately won this game with their pitching in front of a sellout crowd.
The Bulldogs got one run in the bottom of the fourth off a Mason Meadows single that just barely missed the glove of Yellow Jackets shortstop Austin Wilhite. Adam Sasser came in to score and that was all the offense the Bulldogs would need to pull off their fourth straight victory over the Yellow Jackets.
They only needed this one run because of the outstanding combined pitching performance from Tony Locey, Kevin Smith, Zac Kristofak and Aaron Schunk. All four of these guys were dominant on the mound, but Kevin Smith was head and shoulders above the rest of the group.
Smith gave the Bulldogs 4 1/3 innings of shutout baseball and earned a career-high nine strikeouts. Smith seemed the most comfortable on the mound and was able to have a variety of pitches working for him throughout the night.
“The slider was very sharp today and the fastball was working well against lefties too,” said Smith.
The Bulldogs pitching has been outstanding throughout the season and each member of the pitching staff has had to embrace their roles. Head coach Scott Stricklin continued on this point by saying the accepting of a bullpen role by Kevin Smith really is the turning point in the season.
“He embraced the role, he was on the mound against the Citadel and that was the turning point of our season, When you think about it Tony Locey was great that game, Kevin Smith was great that game and Aaron Schunk made his debut that game.” said Stricklin. “Our bullpen got transformed in that Citadel game 17 games ago and Kevin Smith is a huge reason why.”
The Bulldogs went on to add three more runs in the seventh inning and those insurance runs gave the team some breathing room in the final two frames. The Bulldogs had eleven hits on the night and they were led by Michael Curry who finished with two hits, one walk, and one RBI.
The Bulldogs will look to take their winning habits to Nashville as they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in a three-game series starting this Thursday.