Georgia Wins 4-2 over #3 MSU

STARKVILLE - Georgia claimed another SEC road series with a 4-2 win over third-ranked Mississippi State before a crowd of 6,112 Sunday at Dudy-Noble Field.

Georgia (21-10, 5-7 SEC) improved to 8-3 against ranked opponents this season and handed MSU (25-6, 6-5 SEC) its first two home losses in 20 games. The series attracted an SEC record 29,915 fans over a three-day period. Georgia got stellar pitching from freshman Trevor Holder, senior Rip Warren and sophomore Joshua Fields plus a big day at the plate and in the field from junior left fielder Jonathan Wyatt to key the victory.

Warren improved to 4-2, tossing three scoreless innings in relief of Holder while Fields notched his sixth save.

Georgia grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the first. With one out, Wyatt smacked a single to left and then Bobby Felmy drilled a run-scoring double to right. A pair of wild pitches by sophomore right-hander John Lalor allowed Felmy to score to make it 2-0. In the fourth, Lalor issued back-to-back walks to Josh Morris and Jason Jacobs. A passed ball moved Morris to third and then a bloop single to right by Matt Robbins scored Morris for a 3-0 lead. With two outs in the fourth, MSU turned to Chad Crosswhite as the Bulldogs had a pair of runners in scoring position. He got Dunn to bounce out to end the threat. Lalor got the loss to fall to 2-1, allowing three runs on three hits in 3.2 innings.

MSU got on the board in the fourth on a pair of doubles that centerfielder Joey Side lost in the sun. Brian LaNinfa led off with the first sun-aided double. A pair of groundouts followed as Michael Rutledge notched an RBI to make it 3-1. With two outs, Jeff Butts reached on another sun-aided double. Jeffrey Rea followed with a single to left that Wyatt fielded and fired home to throw out Butts trying to score to end the fourth.

In the fifth, MSU closed the gap to 3-2 on a run-scoring single by Joseph Hunter. In the frame, Georgia looked to Warren in relief of Holder after a leadoff walk and a single to Thomas Berkery who set the MSU record with a hit in 28 consecutive games. Warren maintained the lead with a key strikeout of pinch-hitter Joseph McCaskill with runners at second and third to end the fifth.

Georgia missed a scoring opportunity in the sixth as Morris and Jacobs led off with base hits and Robbins moved them up with a sacrifice bunt. However, Crosswhite struck out Gordon Beckham and got Peisel to fly out to center to keep it 3-2.

Dunn led off the seventh with a double. A fly out to center by Side got Dunn to third. Then with the infield in, Wyatt lined a run-scoring single to left to give Georgia a 4-2 edge. Fields came on in the eighth and tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

"This was a big weekend for us especially coming back after what happened last week with Ole Miss at home and then how the game got away from us here Friday," said Georgia coach David Perno (The Bulldogs were swept last week by Ole Miss and lost 15-5 Friday by MSU). "We're 4-2 against top 15 SEC teams on the road and now we need to take care of business at home. However, we go right back on the road next weekend at nationally-ranked Vanderbilt.

"This was a great experience for us, our team responded and that's great to see. We got a lot of big contributions, a nice effort by the entire team to win this series.

Georgia has won nine of the last 12 meetings with MSU and six of the last seven here in Starkville.

Georgia returns to action Wednesday in Atlanta when it will face 10th-ranked Georgia Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. It will be the first of a three-game set with the Yellow Jackets who are slated to visit Athens on April 26th, and the series finale will be at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, on May 10th.

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