ATHENS---Down by one run in the bottom of the ninth, the Georgia Bulldogs plated two runs earning a 4-3 walk-off win in the rubber game of the 2018 season series opener against Georgia Southern Sunday at Foley Field.
Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Chase Adkins dominated the Eagle lineup turning in six innings of two-hit shutout baseball, striking out eight hitters, and walking just one. After allowing two men to reach in the first inning with two-outs, Adkins settled into a groove retiring 15 consecutive hitters before allowing a two out double in the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs struck first breaking the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. Mason Meadows patiently led off the inning with a walk and with two outs senior left fielder Keegan McGovern smashed a homerun over the wall in center field giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
Georgia Southern (1-2) would respond in the top of the eighth with three runs of their own scoring on a single, hit by pitch and walk with bases loaded to take a 3-2 lead heading to the ninth inning.
Bulldog first basemen Patrick Sullivan started the rally in the final frame with a leadoff single. Pinch hitter Trey Logan reached on an error and right fielder Tucker Bradley drew a one out walk to load the bases. Keegan McGovern followed with his 100thcareer walk which tied the game, and the next batter Cam Shepherd delivered a sacrifice fly to right field deep enough to score pinch runner Cole Tate giving the Georgia Bulldogs (2-1) their first series win of the season.
Zac Kristofak was the winning pitching of record recording two innings of relief, allowing no runs, striking out two.
-Cam Shepherd’s walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Bulldogs their first walk-off win since Michael Curry’s RBI single in a 1-0 win against Lipscomb on March 12th, 2016.
-Michael Curry (2-for-4) had his second multi-hit game of the season. He had 18 last season.
-Chase Adkins retired 15 straight batters before allowing a two out double in the sixth inning.
-With his 7th inning homerun Keegan McGovern recorded his first multi-hit game of the year and is the only Bulldogs to hit safely in all three games this season.
-McGovern drove in 3 Bulldog runs for his first multi RBI game of the 2018 campaign. He had three all of last season.
-With the series win Georgia improves to 53-37 all-time series against the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Bulldogs have now won the last three series against Georgia Southern including two season opening series wins.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On today’s walk-off victory…
"Really good character win for our team. When we didn't score in the first inning I thought we got a little bit tight. Bases loaded when you don't score it's tough. Chase Adkins did a great job of keeping us in that game. He kept it scoreless and Keegan got that homerun, I wish it would've been the game winner but Zac Kristofak kept it where it was and threw a zero up in the ninth. Patrick Sullivan and Trey Logan and Tucker Maxwell all had really nice at bats and then Cam Shepherd does what he does, he barreled a ball up and Cole Tate, a freshman, did a great job of tagging up at third base. That was a really good team win, and a really good character win for our team."
Senior RHP Chase Adkins
On his dominant outing…
"I guess I felt pretty good, my mindset was there, all five of my pitches were working. When all five pitches are working it's going to be a bad day for the other team so I just like to keep the confidence going."
On the team’s mindset after trailing heading to the ninth inning:
"It's definitely different than last year. When we came back in the dugout after Zac threw that scoreless ninth inning I think everyone in the dugout knew we were about to win. There's just a different vibe around the team."
The Bulldogs will travel to Kennesaw Sate (1-3) to take on the Owls Tuesday at 5pm.