ATLANTA-----Senior Matt Gonzalez’s two-run home run lifted No. 22 Georgia Tech past Georgia 6-3 in 10 innings Tuesday in front of a crowd of 19,286 at the 14th annual Spring Baseball Classic at Turner Field.
In the first, Bulldog senior Nick King reached on a leadoff single and made his way around the bases including stealing third and scoring on a two-out base hit by freshman Michael Curry. Tech jumped ahead 3-1 in the third, getting an RBI-single by Kel Johnson and a two-run double from Tristan English. In the fifth, Georgia made it a one-contest as Skyler Weber picked up an RBI on a groundout. Georgia had runners at second and third with nobody out in the frame thanks to a leadoff single by Kegan McGovern and a double off the left field wall by Mitchell Webb, but freshman Keyton Gibson pitched out of trouble. In the sixth, McGovern tied the game with a two-out RBI-single, scoring Curry who had led off the frame with a single and took second on an error by Gonzalez.
The contest remained tied at 3-all until Gonzalez’ one-out shot in the 10th off sophomore Blake Cairnes. Then, Johnson followed with his 11th home run for the final. With the win, Tech improved to 34-18 while Georgia dropped to 26-27. Tech reliever Ben Parr pitched the final 3.2 innings for a win to move his record to 3-2. Cairnes fell to 0-1.
With Tuesday’s victory, Tech salvaged the final game of the series after Georgia had won the two on-campus meetings earlier this year, 3-1 in Atlanta and 13-5 in Athens. Georgia got another stellar relief outing from freshman Kevin Smith who tossed four scoreless innings to extend his streak to 11 shutout frames. He had missed a month due to tendonitis.
“It’s a disappointing loss; they made a few more plays and pitches then we did and had some better at bats in key situations,” Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “We have to turn the page and get ready for Tennessee now, and everything is still in front of us.”
Tuesday’s crowd was the largest at a college baseball game this season, eclipsing the previous best of 15,078 that watched Texas A&M beat Mississippi State 10-6 in Starkville on April 16.
The Bulldogs return to action Thursday for the final SEC series of the regular season as they face Tennessee. First pitch will be at 7:04 p.m. and be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.