Sweep: Dawgs drop SEC season opener to LSU

ATHENS - Fifth-ranked LSU completed a sweep of Georgia with a 6-4 comeback win Sunday in front of 2,801 fans at Foley Field.

Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, the Tigers (17-4, 3-0) scored three runs off Bulldog closer Will Startup. It marked only the third time in the junior left-hander's career that he has had a blown save. Startup got the loss to fall to 1-1, allowing four runs on six hits in three innings of work. LSU overcame four errors on the afternoon courtesy of the late rally to hand Georgia (10-9) its fifth straight loss.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jason Jacobs led off with a single to left, took second after Bobby Felmy (2-for-3, 2 RBI) was hit by a pitch and eventually came around to score when designated hitter Clay Whittemore executed a hit and run with a base hit to right field. In the third, the Bulldogs increased their lead to 3-0 when Felmy delivered a two-out, two-run single.

With two outs in the fifth, LSU cut it to 3-1. Michael Hollander reached on a single, advanced to second on a balk by Georgia starter Sean Ruthven, and then scored on a single to left by Ryan Patterson. In Georgia's half of the inning, Joey Side was robbed of a home run when LSU right fielder Nick Stavinoha jumped up and made a nifty catch at the wall.

Georgia lifted Ruthven with one on and one out in the sixth inning in favor of Startup. Ruthven allowed two runs on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Startup retired the first hitter but then gave up a couple of hits including a run-scoring single by left fielder Quinn Stewart that made it 3-2.

LSU starter Greg Smith went the first six innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits before Justin Meier came on to start the seventh. With one out, Side reached second on an error. Josh Morris followed with an RBI double down the left field line to put the Bulldogs in front 4-2. However, LSU would battle back in the top of the eighth to take the lead 5-4. Stavinoha led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Matt Liuzza drew a walk, the Tigers sent up pinch hitter Jordan Mayer who delivered a two-run double to tie the game at 4-all. Chris Jackson pinch ran for Mayer and moved to third on a fly out by Will Harris. Shortstop Michael Hollander singled through the left side of the infield scoring Jackson to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, Clay Harris provided an insurance run when he smacked a solo home run to right to make it 6-4. For Harris, it was fourth of the season.

Meier picked up the win to move to 1-1 while Jason Determan recorded the final five outs for his third save and second in as many days.

The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday when they play host to Georgia State at 4 p.m.


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