Dawgs take series over State

STARKVILLE, MISS. - Georgia tied a 49-year old school record with its ninth straight Southeastern Conference victory Saturday, defeating Mississippi State 8-4 to run its overall winning streak to 11 games.

The Bulldogs (32-15, 14-9 SEC) matched the league winning streak of the 1953 SEC Champion and 1955 SEC Eastern Division champion Bulldog squads with the victory before a crowd of 6,476 at Polk-Dement Stadium Saturday.

Georgia overcame a 3-0 deficit to clinch the series versus Mississippi State with another win as Michael Hyle improved to 5-1 while sophomore Bo Lanier notched his first career save. In the series, Georgia's pitching staff has a 2.50 ERA.

"We've been able to keep our poise no matter the situation through this streak, and I'm real proud of the way we've handled everything to this point," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We got another outstanding pitching performance from a couple of guys who I have seen pitch better, but it's a credit to them that they were able to get the job done on a day they didn't have their best stuff. Michael (Hyle) and Bo (Lanier) battled and were able to grind it out, and that's what we've done as a team."

MSU (28-20, 8-15 SEC) jumped ahead 3-0 in the first getting run-scoring singles from Brad Jones, Craig Tatum and Tyler Scarbrough off Bulldog starter Michael Hyle. Georgia responded in the top of the third. With two outs, Josh Smith drew a walk and then senior Justin Holmes (2-for-5, 3 RBI) launched a two-run home run, his second of the series and sixth of the year, to make it a 3-2 contest.

"Justin Holmes has played as good as any shortstop in the country right now, and he's one of the reasons we are playing real well right now," added Perno.

Georgia took a 4-3 lead in the fifth with more two-out hitting. Freshman Jonathan Wyatt reached on an error, stole second and then scored on a base hit by Holmes. Holmes stole second and then Marshall Szabo gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 advantage when he lined a double down the left field line. After a walk to Josh Morris, MSU lifted starter Jeff Lacher in favor of relief ace Saunders Ramsey.

With two on, Side lined one down the right field line that was speared by first baseman Brad Jones to end any further damage.

MSU made it a one-run game in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Joseph Hunter was hit by a Lanier offering to reach and then went to third on a base hit by Jeffrey Rea. Steve Gendron drove a ball to deep center for a sacrifice fly as Hunter came home to make it 5-4.

Georiga extended its advantage to 7-4 in the eighth has MSU's defense fell apart, making three errors giving them six on the afternoon. Smith had the key hit with a two-run single. In the ninth, Morris added a solo shot for his 15th home run off the season to make it 8-4.

The series concludes Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 2:30 pm ET. Georgia will start senior left-hander Paul Lubrano (5-3, 3.63 ERA) while MSU counters with junior right-hander Todd Doolittle (2-2, 4.91 ERA).

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