AUBURN, Ala. — Junior Tony Locey struck out 10 over seven innings and the Bulldogs pounded out 14 hits to defeat Auburn 11-2 Friday in front of 3,703 at Plainsman Park.
Georgia (38-13, 17-8 SEC) got a career-high four RBI from redshirt freshman Connor Tate and graduate John Cable drove in three runs to pace the attack. Also, juniors Aaron Schunk and Patrick Sullivan had three hits apiece. Locey improved to 9-1, allowing a pair of runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
The Tigers (29-20, 12-13 SEC) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second. Rankin Wiley led off with a base hit and then with two outs, Kason Howell smacked a double to centerfield to bring Wiley around for the early advantage.
Georgia responded in the fourth with a six-run outburst on six hits. The Bulldogs loaded the bases on singles by Riley King, Schunk and LJ Talley. Then, Cable fell behind 0-2 in the count and worked a walk for an RBI. Tate made it 3-1 with a two-run double to left. Patrick Sullivan followed with a two-run single to right. Then with two outs, freshman Randon Jernigan collected his first career home run, a solo shot over the Green Monster in left field.
“That might have been our best game of the year overall," Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. "Tony really settled in and threw a ton of strikes. John (Cable) had a key at bat and that changed the momentum once we got those six runs in that inning. We had a lot of people contribute up and down the lineup.”
The teams traded solo home runs in the fifth as Schunk hit his eighth on the year while Judd Ward got his third. In the seventh, the Bulldogs erupted for four more runs to make it 11-2. Tate collected his second two-run double of the night while Cable added a two-run single.
Coming in to Friday’s game, Auburn starter Jack Owen (4-1) had allowed just four runs in 38.2 innings before the Bulldogs batted around in the sixth, scoring six runs on six hits. He allowed six runs on seven hits before leaving with two outs in the fourth.
With rain in the forecast the next two days, the teams have scheduled a doubleheader for Saturday starting at noon CT to try and complete the series. The stadium will be cleared between games.
-- Junior Tony Locey improved to a team-best 9-1 as he tied his career high going seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
-- Junior Aaron Schunk extended his hitting streak to seven games while redshirt sophomore Riley King now has a four-game hitting streak. Schunk hit his eighth home run of the year Friday.
-- Freshman Randon Jernigan smashed his first career home run, a solo shot over the Green Monster.
-- Georgia struck for six runs in the fourth and four in the seventh, and it marked the 29th and 30th time the Bulldogs had scored at least four runs in an inning this year.
-- Redshirt freshman Connor Tate tied his career high with 4 RBI on a pair of two-run doubles.
-- Redshirt junior Patrick Sullivan tied his career high with a 3-hit game.
Georgia and Auburn will play a doubleheader starting at 1 pm ET (Noon CT) (SEC Network+) to try and complete the series with rain in the forecast the remainder of the weekend.