Baseball tops State - Kentucky next

Athens - Sophomore centerfielder Joey Side drove in four runs to lead Georgia to a 9-5 victory over Georgia State Wednesday as the Bulldogs snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Panthers (14-8) built a 5-1 advantage in the third before the Bulldogs (11-9) rallied back for the win. Eric Suttle led off the game with a single, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. After a fielder's choice moved him to second, he came around to score on a double to left by Chris Dentler. Two batters later, Jean Rochon-Salvas delivered an RBI single to put the Panthers up 2-0.

In the second, senior Johnny Dobbs came on for Georgia starter Jason Fellows. Charlie Pelt (3-for-4, 3 RBI) greeted him with a solo home run, his fifth of the year, to give the Panthers a 3-0 edge. Georgia would manufacture a run in its half of the frame. Brandon Masters reached on a check swing hit to first, stole second, and reached third on throwing error by Panther catcher Nick McEntyre, the first of four committed by Georgia State on the afternoon. Adam McDaniel picked up the RBI as Masters came into score on a groundout to second.

Pelt delivered a two-run single in the third pushing the Panther advantage to 5-1. However, the Bulldogs found some offense in the inning as well. After Josh Smith (2-for-5, 2 RBI) reached on an error and Justin Niefer walked, Side came through with a two-run triple off the center field wall. With one out, Side came in to score on a groundout by Bobby Felmy to pull Georgia to within one at 5-4.

Sophomore Rip Warren silenced the Panthers through the next 2.2 innings to extend his scoreless innings streak this season to 16.2 before giving way to junior Bo Lanier. Lanier got the win to move to 2-1 while Panther reliever John Palmer dropped to 1-2. Lanier pitched three shutout innings and tied his career high with six strikeouts. Palmer allowed four runs on five hits in two innings. GSU starter Matt Handley pitched 4.2 innings and allowed four runs (only one earned) on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Georgia's Brooks Brown pitched a scoreless ninth.

In the sixth, Jonathan Wyatt (2-for-4, RBI) got things started for the Bulldogs with a single through the right side. Wyatt stole second and then scored on a base hit by Smith to tie the game at 5-all. Smith advanced to third on the base hit when right fielder Justin Newman let it get past him, and it rolled to the wall. Then, Side delivered again with a sacrifice fly to center giving Georgia its first lead of the game 6-5.

In the seventh, Georgia stretched the lead to 8-5. Pinch-hitter Jason Jacobs reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error by pitcher John Palmer. Wyatt lined a double to right to bring Jacobs around to score. Smith then added another RBI single to right for an 8-5 lead. In the eighth, Side blasted a solo home run to dead center for the final run. It was Side's third home run of the year.

Georgia returns to SEC play Friday when it travels to Lexington, Ky., for the first of a three-game set with Kentucky (12-7, 0-3 SEC).


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