ATHENS — Georgia got a grand slam from John Cable and a gutsy two-inning effort from closer Aaron Schunk to beat LSU 9-7 and take Game 3 of their Top 10 baseball matchup at Foley Field.
The victory clinched the series for the No. 5 Bulldogs (21-3, 5-1 SEC), who avenged a 1-0 loss on Friday with 2-0 win on Saturday. The hard-hitting Tigers (17-7, 4-2) scored six of their seven runs in the final two innings before Schunk finally forged a force-out grounder to third base to end the final threat.
Tony Locey (4-0) got the win after holding LSU to one run on two hits over 5.1 innings. But Locey walked five and was lifted for junior Zac Kristofak. Kristofak, Justin Wilcox and Justin Glover all made relief appearances before Schunk finished the game with one out in the eighth.
Then the Bulldogs got home runs from Austin Biggar and Tucker Maxwell in the eighth to put the game away.
“It was a great weekend of baseball,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said afterward. “LSU is one of those historic programs in college baseball, preseason number one and just all around full of talent. We found a way to win the series. We always talk to our guys about how this is every weekend in the SEC. We have to take the wins for what they are when they come. It’s great to have the atmosphere and the sellouts. It was a weekend of three thrilling, excellent baseball games.”
Biggar, who had the game-winning hit in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, came through again with a two-run shot to right field to drive in Chaney Rogers and make a one-run game 8-5. Maxwell added a long shot over the scoreboard to make it 9-5.
Rogers, a first baseman, and Biggar, a catcher, were both filling in for injured starters. Starting catcher Mason Meadows suffered facial fractures from a foul ball early in the game.
Freshman Randon Jernigan, filling in for injured left fielder Tucker Bradley, leapt over the wall to take away what would’ve been a home run in top of the ninth.
“Bottom line, our guys executed when they were called on, again,” Stricklin said.
Cable hails from Roswell but came to Georgia from the University of New Orleans as a graduate transfer. His grand slam came with two out in the third inning after singles to Riley King and Aaron Schunk, who advanced to second and third on a throwing error. Cable hit the home run after L.J. Talley was walked to load the bases. It was Cable’s second grand slam of the season.
The Tigers made a game out of what had looked a long while like a Georgia blowout with a four-run eighth that started with a solo homer by shortstop Josh Smith and included a two-run shot by left fielder Daniel Cabrera to make it 6-5. The Bulldogs used four pitchers in the inning, finally turning to closer Schunk with one out and two out. The SEC’s save leader induced two flyouts to get Georgia out of the inning.
But Georgia answered with three runs in their half of the eighth, led by Biggar’s home run. It was just the third homer of Biggar’s career and came a day after driving home the deciding run on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will now turn their attention to non-conference play, where they’ll travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.