Bulldogs Post 6-4 Win over Alabama

ATHENS – Bolstered by a six-run outburst, 20th-ranked Georgia defeated Alabama 6-4 Sunday at Foley Field to salvage the final game of the Southeastern Conference opening series.

The Bulldogs (14-4, 1-2 SEC) got a solid performance from freshman Trevor Holder, a native of Birmingham, Ala., as he improved to 2-0. Holder allowed one run on five hits in 5.1 innings before giving way to Rip Warren and Joshua Fields who combined to go the rest of the way and preserve the win. Alabama (16-7, 2-1 SEC) had a 1-0 lead until the Bulldogs exploded in the fifth.

Georgia's Kyle Keen drew a leadoff walk from freshman right-hander Tommy Hunter. Ryan Peisel moved Keen in to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Matthew Dunn (2-for-4) singled to right, moving Keen to third. Joey Side (2-for-5) followed with an infield single to tie the contest. Freshman Gordon Beckham, who tied his career high with three hits Sunday, then singled to give Georgia its first lead of the series as Dunn scored. Next, Jason Jacobs was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A single by Josh Morris brought Side home while Beckham scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 lead. Bobby Felmy capped the scoring with a two-run double and a 6-1 advantage.

"I proud of how our guys responded and salvaged a game in the series," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Obviously, you want to win the series but today we hung in there and got a win. We've got a good group and everything is contagious with these guys. In the first couple of games, everybody was trying to do too much and we wanted them to try and relax today. The sixth inning was a huge boost, and we knew at some point we had to break loose and we did. Trevor (Holder) did a nice job again and Rip (Warren) showed he can pitch a couple times in a series and got out of a jam when Alabama was looking to make a run. We're going to get better, there's a lot more games to play."

Alabama tried to answer in the top of the sixth. With two on and one out, Warren replaced Holder. Designated hitter Alex Avila (3-for-4, 2 RBI) chopped a single to center to load the bases. However, Warren struck out pinch hitter David Ferazza and then struck out Kent Matthes to end the threat.

The Crimson Tide did manage to close the gap to 6-4, getting a run in the seventh before the Bulldogs looked to Fields to close it out. He allowed the first two earned runs of the season in the eighth on run-scoring singles by Avila and Matthes. Hunter falls to 3-2 on the year as he was touched for six runs on eight hits before being chased in the fifth. Jake McCarter and David Robertson combined for 3.2 scoreless innings in relief of Hunter.

Georgia will play Georgia State Wednesday in Marietta at the East Cobb Complex. First pitch Wednesday is slated for 5:30 p.m. The Bulldogs return to SEC play on Friday when they travel to Arkansas for a three-game set with the 10th-ranked Razorbacks.

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