KNOXVILLE - Georgia erased an early 4-0 deficit to post a 7-5 win over Tennessee Saturday to even an SEC series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,671.
The Bulldogs (12-16, 2-6 SEC) fell behind 3-0 in the first and 4-0 by the third before chipping away at the deficit. The Bulldogs got a run in the fourth and sixth frames before taking a 5-4 lead with a three-run seventh and then added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Offensively, Georgia was led by freshmen Aaron Schunk (3-for-5, RBI) and Cam Shepherd (4-for-5, RBI) as they combined for seven of the team’s 12 hits on the day. Also, the Bulldogs scored three runs on wild pitches by the Volunteers.
Georgia freshman Zac Kristofak was outstanding out of the bullpen, pitching a career-high 4.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts for his first career win. Tennessee (15-9, 1-7 SEC) chased Georgia sophomore Kevin Smith in the third, tallying four runs (only two earned) on six hits. Bulldog junior Blake Cairnes notched his second save pitching the final 1.1 innings with two strikeouts. Tennessee employed six pitchers, and Daniel Vasquez got the loss to fall to 2-1.
The rubber game of the series will be Sunday with first pitch slated for 2:02 pm EDT and be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
*Freshman RHP Zak Kristofak provided a career-high 4.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts out of the bullpen for his first career win.
* Freshman 3B Aaron Schunk extended his hitting streak to a career-best eight games with a single in the first. He batted in the leadoff spot for the first time in his Bulldog career and finished 3-for-5 including a double, an RBI and superb defense including a diving catch to end the contest.
* Sophomore DH Michael Curry now has a career best 14-game hitting streak after a leadoff single in the fourth.
* Junior LF Keegan McGovern extended his on base streak to 17 games with a base hit in the fifth. He finished 1-for-3 with two walks.
"Zac was outstanding, and we knew we were going to get that out of him. He’s competitive and kept putting up zeros. Blake came in there and got the four-out save and that was big. We left some runs out there and had some chances to stretch out our lead, but overall we battled back after not a good start and came up with a win. Now, we have a chance to win an SEC series, and we need to play well Sunday to do that.”