CLEMSON, S.C.— Fourth-ranked Georgia defeated No. 23 Clemson 5-3 here Tuesday in front of a Doug Kingsmore Stadium crowd of 5,170.
Georgia (24-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first courtesy of a two-run home run by junior Aaron Schunk (2-for-5, 3 RBI and a Save). It was his fifth of the year and brought home sophomore Riley King who was on after a one-out single. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 4-0 on a two-out, two-run double by junior Cam Shepherd.
“It was exciting to get a big win on the road," Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. "Offensively, we got a productive night from Aaron Schunk, Cam Shepherd had a big two-run double and we manufactured a run in the ninth thanks to Tucker Maxwell. Aaron made some plays in the field too and then the save. I think he’s the best two-way player in the country and has a chance to win the John Olerud Award after being a finalist last year.”
Bulldog junior Tim Elliott pitched a career-high 7.1 innings with seven strikeouts to improve to 4-1. He retired 10 in a row to start the contest before Logan Davidson lined a one-out single to left. An errant pickoff attempt allowed him to advance to third. Elliott battled back to strike out the next two Tigers to maintain the 4-0 advantage. The Tigers cut it to 4-1 in the fifth with a two-out, solo home run by designated hitter Davis Sharpe, his third of the year. In the eighth, the Tigers got a sacrifice fly from Jordan Green to make it 4-2 as Justin Glover and Schunk came on in relief of Elliott.
"Tim Elliott was outstanding," Stricklin said. "We were hoping he could give us six innings, and he pitched into the eighth and was really sharp."
In the top of the ninth, junior Tucker Maxwell led off with a walk and then with one out, he stole second and third to give him a team-leading 14 stolen bases in 14 attempts this year. After King drew a walk, Clemson turned to its closer, Carson Spiers to face Schunk who notched an RBI on a fielder’s choice to push the lead to 5-2. In the bottom of the ninth, Logan Davidson led off with a double and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout to close the gap to 5-3. Schunk got the final four outs to collect his SEC-leading 10th save, which ranks second nationally.
Up next, Georgia travels to Kennesaw State on Wednesday. First pitch will be at 6 p.m. and be available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
-- With tonight’s win, Georgia’s starting pitchers are now 18-2 with a 2.05 ERA.
-- Junior 3B/Closer Aaron Schunk (2-for-5, 3 RBI) smashed a two-run home run, his fifth of the year, for a 2-0 lead in the first inning and got the final four outs for his 10th save.
-- Junior right-hander Tim Elliott went a career-high 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits including a solo home run. Opponents have hit 21 home runs against the Bulldogs this year. However, 17 of the 21 have been solo home runs.
-- Junior Cam Shepherd delivered a two-out, two-run double to snap an 0-for-18 stretch and give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
-- In the ninth inning, junior Tucker Maxwell stole second and third to improve to 14-for-14 on stolen base attempts this season.
-- Redshirt sophomore Mason Meadows has been named to the 2019 Buster Posey Award Watch List, it was announced Tuesday. The award goes to the nation’s top catcher as named by the Great Wichita Area Sports Commission for the past 19 years.
-- Coming in tonight, Georgia is 5-1 versus Top 25 teams.