Georgia Slams Past #18 Vanderbilt 9-7

NASHVILLE - Georgia got a grand slam from Josh Morris and a three-run home run from Gordon Beckham to pace a 16-hit attack as the 25th-ranked Bulldogs defeated 18th-ranked Vanderbilt 9-7 Friday before a crowd of 2,533 at Hawkins Field.

Georgia (22-11, 6-7 SEC) chased Commodore ace David Price in the sixth after he allowed five runs on eight hits while Bulldog starter Brooks Brown was gone by the fifth.

Georgia is now 9-4 against the top 25 including 5-2 on the road in the SEC. The Commodores fall to 23-12 overall, 8-5 in the SEC.

Vanderbilt took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo home run by Pedro Alvarez (2-for-4, 5 RBI). In the second, Ryan Davis connected for his first career home run, also a solo shot to make it 2-0. Price, who entered the contest with a 4-0 record and 0.56 ERA in league games, looked to be in cruise control. However in the third, Georgia loaded the bases with a single by Ryan Peisel (3-for-5), a double by Joey Side (4-for-6, 1 RBI) and a walk to Kyle Keen. Morris smashed Price's first pitch over the 375 sign in left center for a grand slam and a 4-2 lead. Price had allowed just two earned runs in league play prior to Morris' blast. For Morris, it was his 39th career home run, six shy of the Bulldog career record.

The Commodores would tie the contest in the fourth with the aid of two walks, two hit batsmen and one hit. Brown issued a bases-loaded walk to Alvarez and then hit Dominic de la Osa which made it 4-4. He got out of further trouble by fanning Ryan Flaherty and getting Brian Hernandez to fly out to right.

In the fifth, Alvarez staked to a Commodores to a 7-4 lead with a two-out, three run double off the "Green Monster" in left that measures approximately 35 feet high but is only 310 feet away from home plate.

Georgia cut the deficit to two with a run in the sixth as Peisel doubled and scored on a base hit by Side. In the seventh, Georgia grabbed the lead for good off of Nick Christiani. Jason Jacobs started the outburst with a single to center. Matt Robbins followed with a double as Jacobs moved to third. Beckham launched a three-run blast giving the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead. The Bulldogs added an insurance run later in the frame on a two-out run-scoring single by Felmy on a 3-2 offering after fouling off four straight.

"I'm real proud of our kids, we showed a lot of resolve tonight and did it against the best pitching in the SEC (2.65 ERA)," said Georgia coach David Perno. "It started with Joey Side who had a great game, he was very confident in every at bat and that set the tempo down the line for us. We played nine innings tonight and hung in there.

"We got some big home runs from Josh Morris with the grand slam and then Gordon Beckham had a three-run shot, everybody in our lineup contributed and that's great to see. We didn't make an error, banged out 16 hits and could've scored more, we left 13 guys on but overall a big start to the series.

Senior Rip Warren got the win in relief of Brown, tossing 2.2 innings and allowing just one run on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Christiania got the loss to fall to 2-2 as he gave up four runs on four hits in 0.2 innings. Bulldog sophomore closer Joshua Fields recorded the final seven outs for his seventh save including the fourth in league play.

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