ATHENS, Ga. -- A five-run outburst helped fourth-ranked Georgia defeat 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech 6-5 Friday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 3,294.
The Bulldogs (9-1) claimed round one of the three-game weekend series over Tech (7-2). Saturday's contest will be on the Tech campus at 2 p.m. followed by a Sunday tilt at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville at 2 p.m.
Georgia starter junior Emerson Hancock (2-0), struck out 10 batters over 5.2 innings while junior pitcher Ryan Webb earned his first save of the year by throwing the final 3.1 innings. Jonathan Hughes (2-1) started for the Yellow Jackets and pitched four innings, giving up five runs on five hits with four strikeouts.
After a scoreless three innings, the Yellow Jackets pushed a run across in the top of the fourth. After loading the bases with one out, Drew Compton singled to left field plating Luke Waddell. However, Hancock was able to retire the next two Yellow Jackets, limiting the damage to just the one run.
The Bulldogs exploded in the bottom half of the inning. After base hits by Chaney Rogers and Buddy Floyd, sophomore Ben Anderson laced a single to left field, scoring Rogers and tying the game. Cam Shepherd followed with another RBI-single for the lead. Then, junior Tucker Bradley launched a three-run home run to the left of the scoreboard, giving the Bulldogs a 5-1 advantage. It was his team-leading fifth home run of the year.
The Yellow Jackets got a run back in the top of the fifth on an RBI single from Michael Guldberg. In the sixth, the Yellow Jackets began the inning with three straight hits to score another run. After Hancock struck out the next two batters, he was lifted in favor of Webb.
In the seventh inning, the Bulldogs added an insurance run when senior pinch-hitter Patrick Sullivan singled up the middle, scoring Cole Tate from second base. This run would prove to be the difference as the Yellow Jackets made it interesting in the ninth, loading the bases and making it a one-run game after a sacrifice fly. However, Webb was able to strike out Jackson Webb on a high fastball preserve the victory.
- With a walk in the first inning, junior Tucker Bradley has reached base safely in all ten games this season. In the fourth inning he hit his 5th homerun of the season - a team high to go with 16 RBI.
- Sophomore Ben Anderson extended his hitting streak to five games with an RBI single in the fourth.
- Junior Emerson Hancock struck out 10 batters, which is the fourth time he has accomplished this feat in his career, and the first time this season.
- Georgia is 4-0 in one run games this season.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the importance of tonight's game...
"A lot of emotion in this rivalry, two top-25 teams that are competing and then you put the in-state aspect into it. It was great to come out on top, but now we've got to win the series.We had a couple guys come off the bench and they were ready to pinch-hit and got the job done including Patrick Sullivan with a big RBI-single."
Junior LF Tucker Bradley
On the five-run fourth inning...
"It was timely hitting. We noticed the bats weren't going [in the first three innings]. When we had the opportunity, we were able to strike. It was really big to capitalize on stuff like that.
On Ryan Webb...
"He has been electric for us since the get-go. He has come on right after Emerson and shut [other teams] down. It has been fun to watch him pitch because he is a big loud guy and he shows a lot of emotion. It is amazing to see."
Fourth-ranked Georgia travels to Atlanta to play 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m. (ACCNX).