Wild! Dawgs come back to beat Clemson

ATHENS - With the bases loaded and two outs, Georgia junior left-hander Will Startup retired Clemson's Brad Chalk on a flyout to right to seal an 11-10 Bulldog comeback victory in front of 2,945 at Foley Field Tuesday.

Junior catcher Jason Jacobs paced Georgia (16-12) offensively, tying his career-high with five RBI, while sophomore left-fielder Jonathan Wyatt posted a career-high three RBI. Jacobs smacked a two-run single into center field in the bottom of the eighth off Josh Cribb to give Georgia it's first lead of the night, an 11-10 edge. Startup opened the eighth for Georgia with the score locked at nine, but allowed three hits and an unearned run to give Clemson (15-12) a 10-9 edge.

"This win is huge for our guys because we're seraching for an identity and I think we made a huge break through tonight," Georgia head coach David Perno said. "We showed a lot of heart and a lot of courage, battling back from two deficits."

After sliding to 5-0 deficit through two and a half innings, the Bulldogs found their first spark of offense with four hits and four runs in the bottom of the third. Senior Justin Niefer recorded two RBI with a deep triple to center field while Jacobs drove in two runs on a base hit into center field to pull the Bulldogs within one. Clemson brought in right-hander Jeff Hahn for starter Drew Fiorenza to close out the inning.

Georgia's starting pitcher, sophomore Brooks Brown, lasted just three innings after giving up eight hits and five runs. Brown opened the third inning by giving up a single to Brad Chalk and advanced him to second on a wild pitch. Tyler Colvin hit a double down the first base line to bring Chalk in and later scored on an RBI double by Travis Storrer. With two outs and one on, Georgia turned to left-hander Rip Warren who promptly retired Clemson's Andy D'Alessio.

Warren held Clemson hitless in the fourth, but gave up two runs and three hits in the fifth for a 7-4 Tiger advantage. Kris Harvey sent Chalk home from third on a double to center field after Chalk opened the inning with a double. He advanced to third on a ground out from Taylor Harbin. Harvey crossed home on an RBI single from D'Alessio. The Bulldogs kept the Tigers on a short leash, however, matching Clemson's two runs off two hits in the fifth. Jacobs run-scoring single brought Felmy home, who reached base on a walk (one of four on the night for him), while Wyatt hit a ground out to drive in Morris, who also walked, for a tally of 7-6.

Warren retired three straight in the sixth, while left-hander Jason Fellows opened the seventh for Georgia. Fellows allowed a double down the third base line followed by a walk before the Bulldogs brought in right-hander Johnny Dobbs. Storrer then reached base on an error to load the bases with no outs. Harvey hit a deep fly into center field to bring in a run and D'Alessio tallied an RBI with a grounder into right field. Dobbs then struck out Adrian Casanova with the bases loaded to bring the Bulldogs to the plate facing a 9-6 deficit. The Tigers opened the seventh with right-hander Stephen Clyne who got two quick outs before giving up a single and a walk. Wyatt delivered a double to left field to bring home both Bulldogs. Kyle Keen followed with a run-scoring double of his own to bring in Wyatt and even the score at nine.

Startup got the win to move to 3-1 on the year while Cribb took the loss to fall to 2-4. Startup allowed one unearned run on four hits in two innings. Cribb surrendered two runs on one hit with three walks in the final 1.1 innings.

Georgia will conclude its two game series with the Tigers on Wednesday in Clemson, S.C. with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will start junior left-hander Mickey Westphal (1-0, 1.59) while Clemson counters with sophomore right-hander Stephen Faris (2-0, 0.33).

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