Georgia beats Southern Cal 3-2

LOS ANGELES - The 20th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs knocked off Southern California and Trojan ace Ian Kennedy 3-2 Thursday at Dedeaux Field to improve to 7-0.

Senior left-hander Mickey Westphal along with junior Adam McDaniel and sophomore Joshua Fields provided another strong pitching performance as the Bulldogs won in their debut on the West Coast. Westphal (1-0), who was making his debut this season and 33rd career start, allowed two runs on seven hits through five innings. From there, McDaniel and Fields combined to toss four shutout innings to preserve the win. Fields notched his third save on the year, pitching the final two innings with two strikeouts.

Kennedy struck out 11 in 6.2 innings but allowed three runs on a career-high nine hits as the Trojans fell to 8-8. Georgia has now won five one-run games already this season and the 7-0 start is the best in the David Perno era which began in 2002.

Georgia grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second. Senior right fielder Bobby Felmy drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a double by Jason Jacobs (2-for-2). After retiring Ryan Peisel, freshman shortstop Gordon Beckham (2-for-2) lined a single up the middle to bring Jacobs home for a 2-0 edge. In the fourth, Jacobs led off with a base hit, stole second and scored on a two-out double by second baseman Matthew Dunn for a 3-0 advantage. Georgia was four-for-five in stolen base attempts Thursday after entering the game five-for-five on the year.

The Trojans got on the board in the fourth, getting a run with three straight two-out hits off Westphal. In the fifth, they closed the gap to one. Catcher Johnny Bowden had a leadoff double, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Blake Sharpe.

McDaniel and Fields kept it a 3-2 contest as the Trojans managed just one base runner over the final four innings and that came on an error by Beckham. However on the play, Hector Estrella was thrown out trying to reach second as the throw got past Josh Morris at first base. The ball caromed right back to Morris who threw down to Beckham who was covering second. Otherwise, Georgia played another solid game defensively with splendid play from its outfielders in Felmy, Joey Side and Kyle Keen.

"This was a big road win for us, our first-ever game on the West Coast in the program's history and coming a day after the (Atlanta) Braves game down in Orlando," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We had some great at bats against Ian Kennedy, he's really good at putting people away when runners get in scoring position. However, we got a few runs off him early and had him at 100 pitches by the sixth inning. That's a credit to our hitters and their approach at the plate. They battled all game long.

"Also, I have to tip my hat to the performance by Mickey, he did a great job." Perno added. "This is a tough place to win, and Mickey got another big road win for us in his career. He didn't get to start earlier this year due to a rainout, and he's done a lot for us and so we gave him the ball tonight and he did the job as did Adam and Joshua who were lights out. I'm proud of our entire team."

The series continues Friday at 9 p.m. ET, and the Bulldogs will have junior Brooks Brown (1-0, 3.27) slated to start. USC plans to start Ryan Cook (0-2, 7.45).

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