No. 5 Georgia baseball bats awaken in sixth, Emerson Hancock shuts down Missouri

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Georgia sophomore Emerson Hancock fanned 11 in eight shutout innings on Thursday night.

ATHENS — Georgia baseball clamped down on Missouri on Thursday night a Foley Field, scoring a 3-0 victory.

The Bulldogs, apparently, had plenty of energy left after Tuesday night’s record-setting 3-2 win over Clemson in 20 innings.

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Not that sophomore pitching ace Emerson Hancock (7-2) needed a tremendous amount of help.

Hancock, who throws a 96 mph fastball, fanned 11 batters in eight inning, allowing three hits and walking none as the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (31-8, 11-5 SEC) topped the Tiger. Zac Kristofak pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save.

Georgia plays host to No. 21-ranked Missouri (26-13-1, 7-8-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday before closing the three-game set at noon on Saturday.

“(Hancock) was awfully good, he threw eight innings, faced one over the minimum,” UGA coach Scott Stricklin said in a release. “Three baserunners got on, and we got two guys off, picked one off, and threw one out stealing.”

Stricklin said it was only natural his team did have some carryover fatigue from the Clemson game.

“A lot of these guys had some heavy legs,” Stricken said. “We were really light on them yesterday, and we were lighter today pregame than we normally are, trying to get some of those legs back.”

The Bulldogs got their bats going in the sixth inning when Tucker Maxwell led off with a bunt single, breaking up Jacob Cantelberry’s bid for a no-hitter.

Riley King followed with a double to left, scoring Maxwell.

LJ Talley hit an RBI sac fly and John Cable delivered a pinch-hit RBI double that made it 3-0.

“Having Tucker Maxwell get that leadoff base hit was really the push we needed,” King said. “Seeing hits makes it contagious for the dugout and really got us all going.”

Missouri coach Steve Bieser gave proper credit to Hancock.

“Georgia’s Emerson Hancock took control and threw the ball really well all the way through the game,” Bieser said. “He kept us off-balance.”

Georgia baseball notes

• Hancock matched his career high with the eight shutout innings pitched and 11 strikeouts. His ERA dropped to a gaudy 1.04 on the season.

• Kristofak has 10 career saves along with 10 career wins after working the ninth on Thursday night.

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