Dawgs drop game one

ATHENS - Senior left-hander Derek Tharpe pitched a complete game to lead 20th-ranked Tennessee to a 4-1 win over Georgia Friday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 3,030.

Tharpe improved to 6-0, allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts as the Volunteers moved to 27-5 (7-3 SEC) while the Bulldogs dropped to 20-11 (5-5 SEC). Senior left-hander Paul Lubrano (3-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits before leaving with two outs in the seventh.

Tennessee scored three runs in the third with shortstop Brian Cleveland (2-4, 2 RBI) igniting the rally with a solo home run, his third on the year. With two outs, Josh Alley and Eric King had back-to-back base hits and then third baseman Kyle Norrid (2-4, 2 RBI) delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0. Cleveland added a run-scoring single in the eighth for a 4-0 advantage. Georgia avoided a shutout in the bottom of the eighth when senior shortstop Justin Holmes (2-for-3) connected for a solo home run, his third on the year.

Georgia had a few chances earlier in the contest but Tharpe recorded key strikeouts with Bulldogs in scoring position. In the fourth, Georgia had two on and one out, but Tharpe struck out Kyle Keen and Joey Side. In the fifth, the Bulldogs had runners at the corners and two out, and Tharpe struck out Marshall Szabo. Sophomore Bo Lanier came on for Lubrano in the seventh and pitched the final 2.1 innings.

The series continues Saturday with a 4 p.m. start.

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