ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs evened the series with No. 9 Mississippi State on Saturday at Foley Field with a 4-1 win.
Georgia starter Kevin Smith earned the win by providing seven scoreless innings of three-hit, six-strikeout work. Freshman Zac Kristofak pitched the final two innings, giving up only one run and retiring the final six batters in order for his second save.
In the third inning, after a pair of walks to Michael Curry and Keegan McGovern, Georgia (21-30, 8-18 SEC) took the lead with a Mitchell Webb RBI double down the third base line. LJ Talley followed with a line drive single up the middle to score McGovern and Webb to cap the first set of Georgia runs.
Mississippi State (33-18, 17-9 SEC) threatened the Georgia lead in the eighth by loading up the bases with a Hunter Stovall single, a Jake Mangum infield hit and a Brent Rooker intentional walk. Ryan Gridley flew out to left field to score Stovall from third, but Kristofak retired the next two State batters to end the inning at 3-1.
Georgia manufactured a final run in the bottom of the eighth frame to make the score 4-1. After walking Talley, he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and to third on a fly ball to right field. He scored on an RBI infield base hit from Tucker Bradley.
*LJ Talley extended his hitting streak to four games with an RBI single in the third inning. Tucker Bradley's hit streak is now a career best 10 games after an eighth inning RBI single.
*Georgia starting pitcher Kevin Smith turned 20 today. The outing marked the second consecutive game Smith has gone seven innings in a win against a top-10 opponent, with the first against No. 4 Kentucky last weekend.
*Michael Curry collected his sixth walk of the series with three more on the day.
*In the fourth inning, Keegan McGovern prevented a potential two-run homerun by bringing a fly ball back into the field of play at the top of the left field wall, keeping it to a single.
Ike Cousins Head Coach Scott Stricklin "It was a big win for us. Every win down the stretch is big. And I think our kids played really hard. We evened up the series with a top-10 team. That team (MSU) is leading the SEC right now. It was a really big win in front of our home crowd."
"It all starts on the mound. Kevin Smith gave us a really good start today, Chase Adkins will be on the mound tomorrow. It starts on the mound, but we've got to play clean defense and have big at-bats. And I think we did all that today."
Sophomore LHP Kevin Smith "A win like this is big for our confidence, especially coming in and holding them to only one run and then scoring four off their pitchers. I feel like I was successful today because I really slowed down and took it pitch-by-pitch. It's something I've been working on the past few weeks and it seems to be working."