Dawgs take series against Bama

ATHENS -- Fueled by a six-run outburst, Georgia claimed a 7-5 win over Alabama Sunday to win the Southeastern Conference opening series two games to one.

At 16-4 (2-1 SEC), the Bulldogs are off to their best start since 1992 when Georgia had an identical mark after 20 games. Georgia overcame five errors Sunday which led to five unearned runs off the Bulldog bullpen. Junior Sean Ruthven started for the Bulldogs and pitched 5.1 shutout innings with no walks and six strikeouts to move to 2-0 on the season.

Johnny Dobbs, Matt Woods and Will Startup combined to go the rest of the way with Startup notching his third save. Alabama (15-7) starter Brandon Belcher fell to 2-2, allowing six runs on seven hits before being chased in the sixth.

Both starting pitchers cruised through the first four innings. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Georgia's Marshall Szabo started the scoring with a solo home run, his third on the year. In the top of the sixth, Emeel Salem lined a one-out double off Ruthven and the Bulldogs turned the game over to the bullpen. Dobbs came on and kept the Crimson Tide off the board.

In the bottom of the sixth, Georgia sent 11 to the plate, scoring six runs on six hits keyed by a three-run triple by Jason Jacobs. Freshman Josh Morris brought Jacobs home with a base hit and that ended Belcher's afternoon. Kyle Keen's two-run single off Andrew Walker capped the scoring and gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide fought back in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on two hits and the first Bulldog error, one of three in left field on the day. Alabama loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but could only manage to score one on a groundout by Zac Welch. Startup came in and got Allen Rice to bounce into an inning-ending double play. The Crimson Tide cut it to 7-5 in the ninth on a pair of errors by left fielder Jonathan Wyatt who came on for Josh Smith in the eighth. Georgia's regular starter in left field, Bobby Felmy, did not play Sunday to a sore knee.

The Bulldogs wrap up their eight-game homestand on Wednesday against Georgia Tech. First pitch is slated for 7:06 p.m., and the game will be televised live by CSS.

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