UGA Defense, Pitching is UF's Biggest Hurdle

With solid arms from the hills and gloves seemingly full of sticky gum, Georgia's defense has proved to be its biggest weapon on the diamond. Its solid plays in the field, which contributed to Friday's extensive, 16-inning matchup, flowed onto Saturday's game, securing the Dawgs a 5-3 win.

Right-hander Michael Palazzone and left-hander Blake Dieterich held Florida's bats from the fourth inning to the close of the game. Palazzone only walked one runner in his eight-inning, 107-pitch outing. Dieterich retired the Gators in order to finish up the ninth. Combined, the two had seven strikeouts in the 34 batters they faced, allowing only six hits.

"He did an outstanding job," Tucker said of Palazzone against Florida last season. "He did it again today. Unfortunately, when we had runners in scoring positions, we couldn't quite get the job done. When a guy like that comes out on the mound, it's tough to get a whole lot of guys on."

Though Tucker pulled a two-run homer in the first inning and fellow senior Daniel Pigott notched a solo homerun off of Palazzone, the two were the only Gators who knocked in runs.

"He didn't walk anybody," coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of Palazzone. "We didn't have a hit after the fourth. I don't know what we could've done different. We just didn't do much."

In addition to pitching, Georgia's defense remained error-less throughout the contest, with solid plays in foul territory. Despite his error in the bottom of the 16th in Friday's UF victory, catcher Joey Delmonico proved quick on his feet Saturday night to retire Casey Turgeon and Nolan Fontana.


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