Dawgs win with rally in ninth

ATHENS - Georgia used a four-run rally in the ninth for a 9-8 walk-off victory over UNC-Greensboro Saturday at Foley Field.

It was the second straight walk-off win for the Bulldogs who trailed 8-5 going to the ninth Saturday against the Spartans (0-2). Junior Joey Side ignited the comeback with a one-out triple. Pinch-hitter Matt Olson followed with a bloop double, scoring Side to make it 8-6. The Spartans turned to ace Patrick Currin who started Friday's opener. He pitched just one inning Friday as UNC Greensboro has been using a different pitcher in almost every inning through two games against the Bulldogs.

Senior right fielder Bobby Felmy greeted Currin with a double off the wall in left center as Olson crossed the plate to make it 8-7. Senior catcher Jason Jacobs (2-4, 3 RBI) then laced his second run-scoring double of the day to tie the game. After an intentional walk to Ryan Peisel, the Spartans turned to Clinton McKinney.

He struck out freshman Gordon Beckham for the second out and then senior Matthew Dunn kept the rally alive with an infield single to load the bases. Senior Kyle Keen smacked the first offering into centerfield for a game-winning single as Jacobs scored to cap the rally.

"This was another great comeback win, and I'm proud of the team has fought back two days in a row," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We didn't play too well in the middle of the game but everybody hung in there until the end. Joey (Side) got the big hit to get us started in the ninth, Matt (Olson) kept it going and then our seniors came through too."

Bulldog freshman Jason Leaver, a native of Springfield, Ohio, enjoyed a splendid debut, tossing three innings to pick up the win. He scattered four hits and allowed one unearned run with no walks and two strikeouts. Currin got the loss to fall to 0-1, allowing two runs on two hits and did not retire a batter in the ninth.

"I've never been around a team like this, everybody was staying positive and the energy in the dugout in the ninth was great," said Leaver. "I was pleased to do my part."

The Spartans broke open a 2-2 game in the fifth, scoring three runs on two hits and a Bulldog error. Shortstop Guy Welsh (3-4, 2 RBI) notched his third hit of the day in the frame. Georgia got one run back in the sixth but then the Spartans seized control in the seventh with another three-run outburst plus were aided by another Bulldog miscue to build an 8-3 advantage. Georgia closed the gap to 8-5 in the bottom of the frame as Keen led off with a triple and scored on a base hit by Jonathan Wyatt (3-5, RBI). He would later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacobs.

Senior Rip Warren started for Georgia and pitched four innings, surrendering two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Redshirt freshman Stephen Dodson followed for two innings and allowed five runs on five hits. The Spartans employed eight different pitchers Saturday used 17 total in the series.

The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.

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