LEXINGTON, KY.- Sixth-ranked Georgia outlasted Kentucky 10-8 in 10 innings Saturday to clinch another SEC road series.
The Bulldogs (23-5, 7-2 SEC) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first off Kentucky freshman left-hander Dillon Marsh. Senior LJ Talley got the scoring started with an RBI-double, and then with one out and the bases loaded, redshirt freshman Connor Tate blasted a grand slam over the fence in left field to make it 5-0. It was his second home run and fifth grand slam by a Bulldog this year.
Kentucky (16-12, 1-8 SEC) got on the scoreboard in the second on a two-out, solo home run by Coltyn Kessler and then an RBI-double from Ryan Shinn in the third made it 5-2. In the fourth, the Wildcats trimmed the deficit to one as a pair of unearned runs scored on an errant pickoff attempt at second by freshman catcher Shane Marshall. The Bulldogs responded in the top of the fifth with a two-out rally. Sophomore Riley King connected on his fourth home run and then Aaron Schunk and Talley followed with base hits. For Talley, it was his third hit of the afternoon. Graduate designated hitter John Cable smacked a two-run double off the wall in right field to exend the lead to 8-4. In the eighth, Kentucky tied the contest, getting a three-run home run from Shinn, his seventh of the year, and a solo home run from Jaren Shelby.
Georgia turned to junior right-hander Zac Kristofak to start the fifth in relief of junior Tony Locey. Kristofak provided three scoreless frames until the eighth inning as he finished with 3.2 innings and allowing four runs on eight hits with no walks and a career-high seven strikeouts. Locey went the first four innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts. Junior Justin Glover got the final out of the eighth. In the ninth with the scored knotted at 8-all, Georgia looked to the closer Schunk. He tossed two innings with three strikeouts for his first win of the year. He entered the series as the national leader in saves with nine. Daninel Harper allowed two unearned runs and got the loss to fall to 2-1.
In the 10th, Georgia pushed across a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit thanks to two errors, three walks and a wild pitch. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch while Schunk made it 10-8 with a sacrifice fly. Then, Schunk retired the Wildcats in order in the 10th including a pair of strikeouts. Georgia continues its season long six-game road trip on Tuesday at Clemson (20-6). First pitch will be at 6 p.m. and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network plus streamed on ACC Network Extra. On Wednesday, Georgia plays at Kennesaw State after the original date in February was postponed due to rain. The Bulldogs return to Foley Field Friday for a sold out SEC series against No. 5 Vanderbilt.