With a season-high 3,344 fans in attendance, No. 5 Georgia beat 10th-ranked LSU 2-0 in another pitcher’s duel at Foley Field. The Bulldogs (20-3, 4-1 SEC) started the game 1-for-24 at the plate before piecing together a few hits in the eighth inning.
To start the frame, Chaney Rogers singled to right and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Then, Mason Meadows drew the first Georgia walk of the day. Then, Austin Biggar pinch hit and delivered an RBI single to right field for the first run of the day, giving Georgia a 1-0 lead. Biggar said he had no idea he was going into the game.
“It was the best moment ever,” Biggar said with a smile.
After another single, the bases were loaded for Riley King. King picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly to give Georgia a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth.
C.J. Smith started on the mound for Georgia and put together another strong outing. After a tough SEC opener against South Carolina last week, Smith cruised through six innings against LSU and gave up no runs on four hits.
“Last week, my pitches were up in the zone,” Smith said. “The changeup was much better today, I was really aggressive with it.”
The left-hander tied his career high with six innings pitched and his seven strikeouts also tied a career best. Smith was in control during his outing and never ran into much trouble, showing a lot of movement with his pitches.
“I kind of compare it to throwing a wet bar of soap,” head coach Scott Stricklin said. “It just kind of comes out of his hand and you don’t know which way it’s going. Nothing’s straight.”
Smith stranded five Tigers on the base paths and held LSU in check, 1-for-8 with runners on base and 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Cole Wilcox, Justin Glover and Aaron Schunk combined for the final three innings of the contest. Schunk picked up his eighth save of the season with a clean ninth inning.
Offensively, the game was a stalemate for most of the contest.
Georgia had one hit through the first seven innings at the plate, and LSU had five in the entire game. Cam Shepherd was the only Bulldog with a hit in those first seven frames. In the bottom of the first, Shepherd reached on an error and then he singled in the third inning.
LSU starting pitcher Cole Henry had a lot to do with Georgia’s early offensive woes. Henry racked up eight strikeouts in seven and one-third innings pitched before getting chased from the game.
The Bulldog win sets up a series-clinching rubber game on Sunday at Foley Field.
“They have a great pitching staff, and they’re making defensive plays,” Stricklin said. “Really, the two best defensive teams I think in the league are playing right now.”
C.J. Smith – Smith had one of his rougher outings against South Carolina last weekend. On Saturday against LSU, he was lights out. The two-way player for Georgia put together a gem on the mound, but there was no offense behind him. Since Smith exited the game when it was scoreless, he did not receive a decision.
Cole Henry – Henry absolutely dominated on the mound for LSU. Through seven innings, he had only given up one hit. He stifled the Georgia lineup for most of the game before running into trouble in the eighth. Henry gave up a leadoff single in the eighth which eventually led to two Bulldog runs in the inning.
Austin Biggar – Biggar came into the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. With runners on first and second, he singled into right to drive home the first run of the contest and eventually propel Georgia to victory.
"I just got up there, looked at the crowd, and had fun with it,” Biggar said.