Early Georgia Outburst Dooms Tigers

Athens, Ga.—The Georgia Bulldogs (27-23, 11-15) used a six-run fourth inning to blow open the rubber game of the series with the Auburn Tigers on the way to a 10-4 victory on Sunday.

The loss drops Auburn to 31-22 overall and 12-15 in SEC play and leaves them on the outside of the SEC Tournament looking in with just one series remaining in the regular season.

"Up and down the lineup I thought out kids battled," Slater said. "(Jared) Shore was good for a couple of innings and then it got away from him, but Clarence (Nicely) did a nice job. We tried to find a way to get (Michael) Nix into the game, but it just didn't work out for us today."

The damage in Sunday's game was done early as Auburn pitchers Cliff Mullins and Jared Shore both struggled to contain a suddenly hot Georgia offense. In the first inning three consecutive singles to open the game plated a run for the Bulldogs and only a pick off by Mullins kept another run off the board as powerful Josh Morris hit a two-run shot as well to give the home team a quick 3-0 lead.

Jared Shore gave up nine hits and six runs in the Sunday loss.

In the second inning Georgia added to its lead as a lead-off walk from Mullins led to a run on a Bobby Felmy single up the middle. Now ahead 4-0 the Bulldogs would blow the game open in the fourth inning, but not before Auburn gave a small sign of life. In the top of the fourth Josh Bell hit his 10th home run of the season to cut the lead back to 4-1, but unfortunately for Auburn that's as close as this game would get the rest of the way.

After getting through the third inning unscathed, Shore was done in the fourth as A Matthew Dunn double got the fourth inning off to a roaring start for Georgia and, following a ground out, Kyle Keen tripled to score Dunn with the first of six Bulldog runs in the inning. Five hits later and one Auburn error later and Georgia had increased its lead to 10-1 and dashed Auburn's hopes of winning another road series this season.

The Tigers did manage to cut into the lead some in the fifth inning when Ben Sprague led off things with a single and moved to third base with two outs on a Tyler Johnstone double. Right fielder Clete Thomas followed with a single that scored both runners and cut the lead to 10-3. A Bell single sent Thomas all the way to third with still two outs and Karl Amonite doubled to plate Thomas with the final run of the inning and make it 10-4 Bulldogs. That's the way things would stand as reliever Joshua Fields shut down the Tigers the rest of the way to pick up his first save of the season.

At the plate the Tigers were led by Bell, who was too sick to catch because of a stomach bug but still managed three of Auburn's nine hits on the day. Both Johnstone and Amonite added two hits each as the top four in the Auburn order had eight of the nine total hits. On the opposite end of the spectrum Georgia had seven players with at least two hits as the Bulldogs pounded Auburn pitching for 17 hits to win the series.

Box Score

With the loss the Tigers fall out of the race for Hoover at the moment because of an Arkansas (13-14) win earlier in the day against Alabama to give them the series in Tuscaloosa. Earlier on Sunday the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores in game one of a double-header, but because of its Friday win Vandy remains ahead of Auburn in the standings because of a tie-breaker. A Mississippi State 6-5 victory in Sunday's contest over Florida puts them one-half game ahead of Auburn as well with a 12-14 record.

Next weekend the league schedule plays out like this. Auburn welcomes Alabama in what is a huge series for both teams. LSU is at Mississippi State, Ole Miss is at Arkansas, Florida is at Vanderbilt, Georgia is at Tennessee and Kentucky is at South Carolina.

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