Thursday SEC recaps: Georgia slams Auburn; Vols post big win

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Georgia battery mates LHP Ryan Webb and catcher Fernando Gonzalez led the Bulldogs to a 4-0 win over Auburn. Webb tossed six scoreless innings and Gonzalez blasted sixth inning grand slam in the series opener in Athens. Tennessee scored double figures for the second straight SEC game with a 14-4 win over Kentucky. The other five SEC series get underway on Friday.

TEAM OF THE DAY:

Tennessee scored seven runs in the second inning and five runs in the third inning en route to a 14-4 win over Kentucky. The Vols have scored 34 runs in their last two SEC games. Tennessee scored 20 runs in Sunday’s win at Texas A&M. Tennessee has scored double-digits in back-to-back SEC games for the first time since May 8-9, 2010 when the Vols defeated Georgia 25-5 and 14-11. Tennessee’s 14 runs against Kentucky on Thursday were more than the football team scored in the loss to the Wildcats last season. UK defeated Tennessee 34-7 at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 17.

PLAYER OF THE DAY:

Georgia catcher Fernando Gonzalez belted his first career grand slam to lead the Bulldogs to 4-0 win over Auburn. The Bulldogs left runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings before Gonzalez put four runs in the board with one swing of the bat. It was Georgia’s first grand slam of the season.

PITCHER OF THE DAY:

Georgia left-handers Ryan Webb and Ben Harris combined on a two-hit shutout in the 4-0 win over Auburn. Webb tossed six scoreless innings and struck out six batters. Harris logged three scoreless innings and added four strikeouts. It was the fifth shutout of the season for Georgia and team’s second combined two-hitter.

THURSDAY RECAPS:

Georgia 4, Auburn 0 (Athens)

Records: Georgia (27-14, 10-9 SEC); Auburn (17-21, 3-16 SEC)

Series: Georgia leads series, 1-0

After leaving runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings, Georgia finally broke through in the sixth when Gonzalez blasted a grand slam to right field in the 4-0 win over Auburn.

In the bottom of the sixth, second baseman Garrett Blaylock drew and leadoff walk. Right fielder Connor Tate followed with a base hit to extend his one base streak to 21 consecutive games. Mason Barnett replaced Jack Owen on the mound and after a strikeout, DH Corey Collins walked to load the bases. Gonzalez then smacked the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for the grand slam.

It was his second career home run and the Georgia’s first grand slam since Cam Shepherd hit one against Georgia Tech in 2020.

Tate finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

Webb and Harris combined on the two-hit shutout. Webb logged his third win of the season and Harris recorded his second save.

Jack Owen took the loss for Auburn.

Third baseman Rankin Woley and centerfielder Kasen Howell had the only two hits for the Tigers.

Tennessee 14, Kentucky 4 (Knoxville)

Records: Tennessee (33-10, 13-6 SEC); Kentucky (25-14, 9-10 SEC)

Series: Tennessee leads series, 1-0

Tennessee scored seven runs in the second inning and five runs in the third in the blowout win over Kentucky.

UK led 3-0 in the second inning on a solo home run by first baseman TJ Collett and two-run home run by third baseman Jacob Plastiak.

Tennessee answered with two big innings for the win.

Right fielder Jordan Beck, catcher Jackson Greer and centerfielder Drew Gilbert accounted for the seven runs in the second. Beck hit a three-run home runs, Greer hit a two-run home run and Gilbert added a two-run double.

The Vols took advantage of walks and errors to put five runs on the board in the third inning.

First baseman Luc Lipcius also homered for UT.

Chad Dallas worked six innings for the win.

Cole Stupp allowed seven runs in 1 1/3 innings and took the loss.