MSU fell to second place in the Western Division, sitting a half-game behind LSU. The Bulldogs are now 33-18 overall and 17-9 in league play, while Georgia improved to 21-30 and 8-18. MSU will try to win its seventh conference series of the season during Sunday’s rubber match.
“It was a frustrating afternoon,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “Georgia played well and we didn’t do enough things to win. Hopefully, we will come out ready to play and with great energy tomorrow. When you win a series in this league, you have had a good weekend. We have a chance to do that.
“On the mound, we walked too many guys. Offensively, we got swallowed up. We tried to lift and elevate today. This is a hitter’s park. We will be ready to play tomorrow.”
Georgia scored all of the runs it would be need with three two-out runs in the third inning. MSU broke through in the eighth inning but stranded two runners after scoring the only run. Georgia tacked on an insurance score in the home half of the eighth inning.
Smith (4-5) allowed three hits and no runs over seven innings of work, with six strikeouts and four walks. Kristofak finished the contest for his second save.
For MSU, Denver McQuary (2-2) allowed three hits and three runs (all earned) in four innings of work, with one strikeout and five walks. Peyton Plumee allowed one hit over the final four innings. The duo combined to walk 11 with only two strikeouts.
The Bulldogs were also hurt by two errors.
In the Georgia third inning, the big blows were an RBI-double by Mitchell Webb and two-run single by I.J. Talley.
In the MSU eighth inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases when Hunter Stovall and Jake Mangum singled, while Brent Rooker was intentionally walked. Ryan Gridley lined a sacrifice fly, before a popup and strikeout snuffed the threat.
MSU went down in order in the ninth inning.
Mangum had two of MSU’s five hits.
The series concludes Sunday with a noon CT first pitch on SEC Network+, which is available through WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app. Single-game tickets for the finale are still available and are available for purchase through Georgia’s website, or at the ticket office on game day.