Dawgs sweep Louisville

ATHENS - Matt Robbins smacked a pair of home runs including a grand slam and a trio of Georgia pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Bulldogs completed a sweep of Louisville Sunday with an 11-0 victory at Foley Field.

Georgia (11-2) got an impressive outing from freshman Trevor Holder who was making his debut as a starter after four relief appearances this season. He tossed six shutout innings for the win including retiring the first 11 batters he faced. Freshman Jason Leaver pitched the seventh and eighth frames while sophomore Joshua Fields took care of the ninth to give the Bulldog staff their second shutout of the year. The Cardinals (5-11) best chance to score came in the fifth after a leadoff double by Jorge Castillo. He made it to third on a deep fly ball out by Isiah Howes and then Holder got the next two Cardinals to ground out. Louisville got a pair of singles in the sixth but the Bulldogs turned a double play to end that threat too.

Offensively, Georgia had another productive day, collecting 17 hits including four home runs. In the third, junior centerfielder Joey Side (2-4, 2 RBI) ignited the offense with an opposite field two-run home run for a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, Robbins (4-for-4, 5 RBI) reached on a base hit, stole second and came home on a run-scoring single by senior Matthew Dunn.

The Bulldog broke open the game in the sixth, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six runs on six hits to build a 9-0 advantage. Georgia began the outburst with three singles when the Cardinals lifted starter B.J. Rosenberg in favor of Brian Halford. Then, Bobby Felmy reached on an infield hit. After a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Peisel, Robbins launched a 2-1 offering over the trees in left center for a grand slam. For Robbins, it was his first home run of the year and second of his career. He missed all of last season due to mononucleosis. Currently, he leads Georgia in batting at .444 and in RBI with 18.

In the seventh, Robbins and freshman shortstop Gordon Beckham knocked back-to-back solo home runs off of Halford to put the Bulldogs up 11-0. For Beckham, it was his third home run of the year. Rosenberg got the loss, surrendering six runs on nine hits through the first four frames.

"We played our best game of the year, and hit some balls out of the park which was good to see," said Georgia coach David Perno. "It was a warm day and there was a little carry to the ball, and we got solid pitching and defense. I'm proud of Matt, he had a big day, and he's been through a lot to get to this point. All our hitters are swinging with a lot of confidence right now."

Georgia batted .406 (43-for-106) in the series while the Bulldog staff registered a 1.33 ERA against the Cardinals.

"This is good timing for us as we head in to SEC play next weekend," Perno added. "We've solidified our lineup and our pitching plans, and it looks like we've found another starter in Trevor. We're still going to look at Stephen (Dodson) and Nathan (Moreau) this week too but Trevor was real good today."

Up next, the Bulldogs continue a season-long nine-game home stand with Kennesaw State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Georgia is 10-0 at home this year, which is the best start in Foley Field history and matches the 1960 squad that won their first 10 games at home.

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