ATHENS, Ga.-----A trio of Bulldogs combined on a four-hit shutout as third-ranked Georgia blanked Massachusetts 5-0 Friday at Foley Field.
Georgia (12-2) got its first hit with one out in the fourth when Tucker Bradley lined a single up the middle. Garrett Blaylock followed with a double to left center on a 3-2 offering. UMASS right-hander Sean Harney struck out Chaney Rogers and then junior Kaden Fowler drew a walk to load the bases for Patrick Sullivan. He smashed a ball to the gap in left center but Ryan Coleman hauled it in at the warning track. Georgia missed another scoring opportunity in the sixth. Cam Shepherd led off with a double and took third on a wild pitch. Harney came back to retire Bradley on a shallow flyout, and then got Blaylock and Rogers to groundout sharply to first to keep it a scoreless contest.
Both pitchers carried shutouts to the eighth as Harney had allowed five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts while Georgia's Emerson Hancock had given up just a pair of hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.
Jordan Erbe led off the eighth with a base hit. Nolan Kessinger struck out trying to bunt and then the Bulldogs turned it over to junior Ryan Webb. Hancock tied his career high with 12 strikeouts in 7.1 innings but had to settle for a no decision. Last year in a 6-1 road win over No. 22 South Carolina, Hancock collected 12 strikeouts in seven innings. On Friday, the Minutemen (1-6) loaded the bases with two outs before Webb came back to strike out Anthony Videtto.
Georgia sophomore Ben Anderson led off the bottom of the eighth with a base hit and took second on a wild pitch. Shepherd grounded one to shortstop Chris Pearsons, and his errant throw got past Videtto at first, allowing Anderson to score and Shepherd to take second. UMASS lifted Harney in favor of Daniel Livnat. Pinch-hitter Connor Tate made it 2-0 with an RBI-single and Sullivan gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 edge with a run-scoring single. Catcher Mason Meadows delivered a two-run single to left to extend the lead to 5-0. Georgia freshman Michael Polk took care of the ninth to give the Bulldogs their third shutout of the season as Webb got the win to improve to 2-0.
-With a single in the fourth inning, Tucker Bradley has reached base safely in all 14 games this year.
-Ben Anderson extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games with a single in the fifth. He has reached base in the past 13 games.
-For the second straight start and sixth time in his career, Emerson Hancock registered double-digit strikeouts. He tied his career high with 12 in 7.1 innings but got a no decision.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game....
"Offensively, we weren't very good tonight. Defensively, we weren't very good tonight. Emerson Hancock and Ryan Webb and Michael Polk were really good. We've got to get better offensively, we've got to get better defensively, but our pitching saved us tonight."
#14 Patrick Sullivan
On the win... "It took us a while to get going. It's always good to win, but I think we all know we need to be a lot better. We didn't play that well on Tuesday and then kind of came out today, kind of flat, not playing with a lot of confidence. We need to be a lot better; we need to come ready to go tomorrow."
The series continues Saturday at Foley Field with first pitch slated for 2:02 p.m.