"We needed to solidify a mid-week starter," Georgia coach David Perno said. "We hadn't had anybody step up into that role, and I think he did that today."
Georgia (20-10) won its fourth straight in front of 1,742 fans at Foley
Field. It was the second shutout inflicted by the Bulldogs and the fourth suffered by the Bears (14-24) this season.
"I think Georgia is playing as well right now as they have under
David," first-year Mercer coach Craig Gibson said. "It's a tough time
play in Athens."
Dobbs was a starter and closer at Chattahoochee Valley Community
College in Phenix City, Ala., before joining the Bulldogs this year. He
had made only eight relief appearances and pitched 141/3 innings prior
to Wednesday's game.
In a March 28 game against Vanderbilt, he gave up four runs and didn't
record an out in a 12-8 loss.
"I try to think about that a lot and use it as motivation," he
"Today felt great after that rough outing."
Knowing he probably won't be coming out of the bullpen anymore might
feel even better. Dobbs will get the start next Wednesday against
Georgia Tech, Perno said.
"I talked to him before the season, and I had the image of him being
reliever," Perno said, "and he always asked that question: What about
start? What about a start? Well, now he's got them."
Dobbs (3-2) was perfect for 41/3 innings before he surrendered a single
to designated hitter Andrew Einert. He finished with seven strikeouts
and four hits allowed in six innings.
"He's a frontline guy," Gibson said. "I don't know why he
Georgia put the game away early, by sending 10 batters to the plate and
scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning. The big blow was a
bases-loaded double by catcher Derek Smith that drove in three. Mercer
starter Brian Jones also walked home a run.
Jones, the Bears' ace who entered the game with a 3.24 ERA, took the
loss and fell to 6-4. He gave up solo home runs to Joey Side and Smith
in the third and gave way to Philip Morrison for the fourth inning.
"(Smith) is a senior and he's throwing well. We felt like he deserved
the start," Gibson said. "We just didn't play very well behind
Smith, the Bulldogs' reserve catcher, was 2-for-3 with four RBI and
three runs scored before being pulled in the seventh inning.
"Every chance I get, I have to take advantage of it," he said.
The Bears showed signs of life just once, in the sixth inning, when Ty
Megahee, Chase Swanson and Rick Byrd singled consecutively to load the
bases with no outs. However, Dobbs responded by striking out Mercer's
Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters -- Roger Alvarez, Daniel Hurst and Josh Thompson. (Alvarez, Hurst and Thompson were 0-for-10 overall.)
"That was big crunch time," Gibson said. "(Dobbs) just
bowed it, and we
didn't respond. We had our chance."
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