COLUMBIA, S.C. | Georgia defeated No. 30 South Carolina 6-3 Thursday at Founders Park to clinch a spot in next week’s SEC Tournament.
Georgia (24-30, 10-18 SEC), winners of seven of its last nine games, got a tremendous pitching performance from senior Andrew Gist, who tied his career-high by tossing eight innings. The Bulldogs grabbed a 4-0 lead in the second courtesy of a two-out rally. Freshman Austin Biggar made it 1-0 with an RBI-single to deep shortstop. Then, freshman Tucker Bradley followed with a two-run double off the wall in left field. Georgia’s final run scored courtesy of a passed ball.
South Carolina (31-22, 12-16 SEC) ended Gist’s shutout bid in the seventh when Justin Row drew a leadoff walk and scored on a one-out double by Jonah Bride. The Bulldogs got the run back in the ninth when Biggar singled and scored on a base hit by freshman Cam Shepherd (3-for-5). Junior Keegan McGovern followed Shepherd with an RBI-single to make it 6-1. Georgia’s offense collected 14 hits on the night.
Gist provided eight innings, allowing just one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts to improve to 3-4. He faced just 28 batters on the night. Freshman Zac Kristofak took care of the ninth but not before the Gamecocks scored two runs on two hits for the final. USC junior Wil Crowe fell to 5-5, surrendering four runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Georgia’s win coupled with Tennessee’s loss to Missouri clinched Georgia place in the 12-team SEC Tournament, slated for May 23-28 in Hoover, Ala. Georgia will play next Tuesday with the opponent and time of the game to be determined in the next couple of days. Teams are seeded 1-12 based on conference winning percentage with the division winners assured of the top two seeds.
The South Carolina series continues Friday with first pitch set for 7:02 p.m. and available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.