KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- Georgia snapped a four-game skid with a 2-1 Southeastern Conference road win over Tennessee Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Senior Jared Walsh and freshman Bo Tucker combined to limit the Volunteers to five hits while striking out 14 and Mike Bell's two-run home run proved to be the difference. Walsh (3-0) tied a career-high with seven strong innings and Tucker was dominating in the final two innings, striking out all six batters he faced for his first career save.
Georgia (13-9, 1-3 SEC) jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the second. Freshman Keegan McGovern reached on a leadoff walk and then with one out, Bell smashed a two-run home run. It was Bell's third home run of the year and first since Opening Day when he launched two in a win over Eastern Illinois.
The Volunteers (9-9, 1-3 SEC) cut it to 2-1 with a pair of two-out doubles in the third. Tennessee had a chance for more, loading the bases before Walsh retired designated hitter Jordan Rogers on a flyout. In the fourth, Tennessee threatened with runners at second and third and one out, but Walsh and the Bulldogs maintained their one-run edge. Walsh entered the contest leading the SEC in Earned Run Average and after allowing just one run over seven innings, his ERA stands at 0.96 for the year. Tucker's six-strikeout performance was one of the most impressive by a Bulldog reliever since Josh Fields struck out the first eight batters he faced in a road win over Winthrop in 2005.
"Jared was awesome tonight, and we needed that," Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. "I can't think of two better guys to have as a battery on a Friday night in the SEC then our co-captains, Jared and Brandon Stephens. We were hoping to get six innings from Jared, and he gave us seven. Bo came in and was outstanding in a tight game. Overall, we competed well and their starter, (Bret) Marks was really good too. I'm proud of Mike Bell, he had a couple of hits including the bomb in his first at bat, and that really got us going."
The series continues Saturday with first pitch at 4:05 p.m., and it will be available on SEC Network +.