Georgia earns sweep with 9-6 Sunday win

Georgia (28-16, 10-11) scored eight runs in the top of the third inning and held on for a 9-6 victory as the Bulldogs swept a three game series from the Florida (24-23, 6-15) in Gainesville. Just as they had throughout the series, the Bulldogs jumped to an early lead courtesy of a big run producing inning and never looked back.

On Friday night, the ‘Dawgs scored three runs in the top of the first. On Saturday, they staked an early four run lead after just one. In those first two games, the Gators only scored in the fifth inning of game two, thanks to a Matt LaPorta three-run home run.

Trailing 8-0, LaPorta again lifted the Gators offense with another three-run home run- this time in the bottom of the third.

The Bulldogs scored their ninth and final run in the fourth. Brian Leclerc, Austin Pride, and Adam Davis singled to load the bases for Florida with two outs in the fourth. However, the Gators left the bases loaded without scoring a run, which would have further cut into the Bulldogs lead and potentially added some much needed momentum.

The Gators scored three more times in the bottom of the fifth. LaPorta reached on an error and moved to second on Cash's single. However, LaPorta was thrown out at third on Chris Petrie's bunt. Why Petrie was laying one down with the Gators trailing by six runs is anybody's guess. Leclerc followed with a walk. Brandon McArthur reached on a fielders choice. Austin Pride then swatted a two-out double down the left field line clearing the bases. The Georgia lead was cut to 9-6.

Unfortunately, Florida could manage only two hits the rest of the way and dropped their sixth consecutive Southeastern Conference series.

Starter Chas Spottswood (1-3) pitched pretty well in the first two innings. However, he seemingly lost his focus and battled behind the Georgia batters through the entire third inning. He was replaced by Kris Gawriluk, who fared even worse. Gawriluk faced five batters without recording a single out.

Josh Edmondson came on in relief of Gawriluk and recorded the final two outs of the inning.

Overall, it was another poor performance by the Florida defense, who gave up two costly errors. However, Davis possibly recorded his finest offensive play of the year from shortstop when he threw out Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham on the first pitch of the sixth. Beckham hit a ball that bounced deep into the hole between third and short. Davis grabbed the ball on a big hop and wheeled throwing a perfect strike to LaPorta at first. It was one of few highlights for a Florida team that watches as its' SEC Tournament hopes fade further away.

The Gators return to action against Mississippi State next weekend in Starkville.


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