ATHENS, GA. — Despite five solid innings on the mound from Georgia starter Kevin Smith and a late eighth inning rally, it was the Florida Gators (30-13, 13-8) taking the final game of the three-game set 4-3 at Foley Field.
The Gators got on the board early with a second inning two-run home run from first baseman J.J. Schwarz and single tallies in the fourth and sixth. Starting pitcher Jackson Kowar made the early runs stand up after firing seven innings of shutout baseball before running into trouble in the eighth inning.
Georgia catcher Austin Biggar would start the Bulldogs three run rally with a hit-by-pitch followed by a Tucker Bradley single and a Cam Shepherd bases clearing double. A few batters and pitchers later, Mitchell Webb plated Shepherd for the third run in the inning. The Gator bullpen would wiggle out of trouble, stranding Webb and Keegan McGovern who also reached in the inning.
Georgia relief pitcher Zac Kristofak threw four scoreless innings allowing just three hits and keeping the Bulldogs within reach.
Gator closer Michael Byrne would stymie the final Bulldog attempt at a rally after a ninth inning single by Austin Biggar, completing a series win for the Gators.
Georgia (17-28, 5-16) will be back in action this weekend in Lexington, Kentucky where the Bulldogs will meet the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats for a three game series.