ATHENS — Georgia baseball reached 40 wins in the regular season for only the third time in school history and the first time since 2001 with a 9-4 win over Alabama.
The Bulldogs battered Tide pitching at Foley Field on Thursday night for 15 hits, the most UGA has had in an SEC game this season.
“Forty wins, that’s pretty special, it’s only been done three times in the history of our program in the regular season,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “It wasn’t necessarily a goal, but getting 40 wins is kind of the benchmark in college baseball.
“For these guys to get that done, it’s pretty cool, pretty special, and I’m really proud of them.”
Bulldogs shortstop Cam Shepherd was 3-for-5 with his sixth home run of the season along with a double and two RBI.
No. 7-ranked Georgia (40-14, 19-9) got six strong innings from Cole Wilcox for the win over Alabama (29-24, 7-21).
Zac Kristofak gave up a run in two innings of work for the Bulldogs and Justin Glover pitched a scoreless ninth, fanning two of the three batters he faced.
The win clinches a first-round bye at the SEC Tournament for UGA, which can be no lower than the No. 4 seed.
Wilcox (3-1) allowed three earned runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, exiting the game with Georgia up 6-3 through six innings.
Shepherd hit a two-out home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the second to open the scoring.
Alabama answered with a run in the top of the third, but the Bulldogs quickly padded the lead with three of their own in the bottom of the frame, making it 4-1.
The Tide closed to 4-3 on Kobe Morris’ fifth inning homer and Joe Breaux’s RBI single in the sixth, but Wilcox fanned Justin King to end the threat.
Connor Tate delivered a 2-RBI double with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. Shepherd had doubled to start the inning, Patrick Sullivan single and Mason Meadows’ walk had loaded the bases.
Alabama closed to 6-4 on Drew Williamson’s solo home run in the top of the eighth.
But Georgia came back with three runs in the bottom of the frame for the final margin.
Aaron Schunk drove an RBI single to right field to get the first run back, and the Bulldogs made it 8-4 when Tide second baseman Tyler Gentry couldn’t handle John Cable’s ground ball.
Shepherd delivered an RBI double to drive another run across the plate and make it 9-4.
Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Friday in the second game of the three-game series with Alabama. The teams will wrap up the regular season at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
- It was Shepherd’s first three-hit game since the UMass-Lowell game on Feb. 23.
- Tucker Maxwell returned from the pulled hamstring he suffered against Florida two weeks ago and was 1-for-5 hitting with a run scored.
- Patrick Sullivan tied his career-high with three hits. Sullivan, a junior, has recorded three hits three times, including twice in the past three games.
- Opponents have hit 38 home runs against Georgia but 32 of them have been solos.
Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin
Georgia shortstop Cam Shepherd
Georgia pitcher Cole Wilcox