ATHENS, Ga. -- Keegan McGovern had another strong game at the plate, totaling three RBI and hitting his third home run of the season, but Georgia's (4-3) seven-run performance came up just short as the Bulldogs fell 8-7 to Western Kentucky (5-1) on Sunday afternoon at Foley Field.
A back-and-forth affair, the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers traded the lead six times. The home team held a one-run lead heading into the final inning, but a two-run blast gave Western Kentucky the decisive edge. Georgia displayed a gritty team effort in the weekend finale, coming from behind to take the lead in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but they were unable to get anything going in the final frame.
Georgia plated two in the top of the first inning as McGovern sent a moonshot over the wall in right to also bring in Skyler Weber for a quick two-run lead.
The Hilltoppers tied the game in the third, using four walks and a single to push two runs across and draw even. Blake Cairnes took over for starter Kevin Smith in the frame, walking in the second run before inducing a pop up to end the inning.
A two-out RBI double in the top of the sixth gave Western Kentucky the lead, but it was short-lived as the Bulldogs roared back in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own to take a 4-3 lead. Both runs came off free passes, as Daniel Nichols walked to lead off the inning and LJ Talley was hit by a pitch.
Western Kentucky tied the game in the seventh, cashing in on a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity by using a wild pitch to draw even. Once again, the Bulldogs immediately responded, using a leadoff walk from Stephen Wrenn and a McGovern double to jump ahead 5-4.
The Hilltoppers regained the lead in the eighth, pushing two runs across as they totaled three hits and a walk in the frame for a 6-5 edge. Georgia counterpunched, scoring two runs of its own thanks to a RBI single from Weber and a sac fly from Wrenn immediately after to take a 7-6 lead into the final inning.
After a leadoff double in the top of the ninth put Georgia's lead in danger, a two-run home run gave Western Kentucky the decisive 8-7 lead.