Georgia wins SEC East title

ATHENS – Georgia has returned as champions of the SEC East…and they might win the overall SEC title tomorrow.

Going into the day up only two games in the East and tied for the overall lead in the SEC the Bulldogs needed everything to go right from the start. Instead, they spotted mighty South Carolina a 2 run lead off back-to-back homers.

It was not what David Perno had in mind.

Right handed senior Michael Hyle was touched up by Carolina's Landon Powell and clean up hitter Brendan Winn. The back-to-back bombs gave Carolina a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

But Georgia struck back in the next two frames; scoring one run in the 2nd and two more in the third.

That's when Hyde calmed down and pitched well. Good enough, in fact, that he did not get scored on for the rest of the game.

"I knew that I had to come out and throw well," he said.

Timely bunting by the Bulldogs helped manufacture runs the rest of the way. The decisive 5th inning proved too much for Carolina to overcome.

It looked like the Gamecocks might strike in their half of the 5th. But Hyle helped get himself out of a one-out-runners-on-the-corners jam when Powell hit into a 3-6-1 double play.

The Gamecocks' opportunity proved even more costly in the bottom of the 5th when Holmes blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence. The Bulldogs' runs knocked Carolina starter Aaron Rawl out of the game and took control of the game 5-2.

Holmes said that the win was what he had been waiting a long time for.

"I was here last year when it was not too good," he said. "I appreciate how good this is."

"There is no question that these kids stepped up," said Perno. "I don't think that we are done yet."

Georgia is not done yet and therefore, Perno said, there was no dogpile on the pitching mound.

"I thought that we might see a dogpile but it didn't happen because we have more to play for," Perno said.

Georgia takes on South Carolina tommorow at 1 PM in the finale at Foley Field for 2004. The Bulldogs could be SEC Champions as soon as tonight if Arkansas loses to Auburn. Ole Miss lost to LSU this afternoon.

News and Notes:

The games was delayed 20 minutes due to a rain shower that hit the Athens area.

Vince Dooley threw out the first pitch of the day. He will retire from the University on June 30th after serving for 40 years as head football coach and athletic director.

The attendance for the game was 3,152.

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