Tennessee scored three runs in the third with shortstop Brian Cleveland (2-4, 2 RBI) igniting the rally with a solo home run, his third on the year. With two outs, Josh Alley and Eric King had back-to-back base hits and then third baseman Kyle Norrid (2-4, 2 RBI) delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0. Cleveland added a run-scoring single in the eighth for a 4-0 advantage. Georgia avoided a shutout in the bottom of the eighth when senior shortstop Justin Holmes (2-for-3) connected for a solo home run, his third on the year.
Georgia had a few chances earlier in the contest but Tharpe recorded key strikeouts with Bulldogs in scoring position. In the fourth, Georgia had two on and one out, but Tharpe struck out Kyle Keen and Joey Side. In the fifth, the Bulldogs had runners at the corners and two out, and Tharpe struck out Marshall Szabo. Sophomore Bo Lanier came on for Lubrano in the seventh and pitched the final 2.1 innings.
The series continues Saturday with a 4 p.m. start.