Georgia knocks off State 7-6

STARKVILLE, MISS - Justin Holmes went 3-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBI to lead Georgia to its 10th straight win Friday, a 7-6 win over Miss. State in front of 6,241 at Polk-Dement Stadium.

The Bulldogs (31-15, 13-9 SEC) built a 7-1 lead and then held off a late-charge by MSU (28-19, 9-13 SEC) to extend their season-best winning streak which includes eight in a row in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia moved to just a game out of first in the SEC Eastern Division after Florida fell 2-0 to Alabama and two games out of first place overall in the SEC after Arkansas lost to Ole Miss 1-0.

"It's been a lot of fun and things have been going well for us during this streak," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We have played well in all phases, getting solid pitching, hitting and defense. This was a typical SEC Friday night battle, and we need to win games like this especially on the road, and it was nice to see that we did."

Junior Sean Ruthven notched the win to improve to 5-1, allowing just one run on five hits through the first innings. Will Startup pitched the next three innings, surrendering five unearned runs in the seventh before giving way to Mitchell Boggs in the ninth.

Mississippi State struck first as Brad Corley launched his SEC-leading 16th home run, a solo shot coming with two outs in the first. Georgia tied it at 1-1 in the second courtesy of a MSU miscue. Freshman Jonathan Wyatt reached on a one-out single. Josh Smith grounded one to shortstop with Wyatt running on the play. Wyatt never stopped as the throw went across the diamond to retire Smith and when first baseman Brad Jones tried to get him at third, his throw sailed over the head of Thomas Berkery which allowed Wyatt to score.

Georgia took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a two-out, two-run blast by senior shortstop Justin Holmes. The Bulldogs stretched it to 7-1 with a four-run seventh including a two-run double by Josh Morris but State came right back with five runs on four hits all with two outs to make it a one-run contest at 7-6.

Boggs came on to pitch the ninth and struck out the side sandwiched around a walk and a base hit to notch his first career save. MSU starter Alan Johnson got the loss to fall to 3-3, surrendering seven runs on seven hits in 6.1 innnings.

The series continues Saturday with a 5 p.m. ET start. Georgia will start sophomore right-hander Michael Hyle (4-1, 2.81 ERA) while Miss. State will counter with senior righ-hander Jeff Lacher (3-5, 4.28 ERA).

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