Dawgs blank Cats

ATHENS - The 11th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs tied an 87 year-old school record with their seventh shutout of the season in blanking SEC champion Kentucky 4-0 Sunday to clinch another league series.

The Bulldogs (38-17, 18-12 SEC) used three pitchers to seven-hit the Wildcats (42-13, 20-10) who had not been shutout this year. Freshman Nathan Moreau, senior Rip Warren and sophomore Joshua Fields combined to lead the Bulldogs to their 14th win in the past 15 games before a Foley Field crowd of 3,216. Georgia closes out the regular season 16-7 against ranked opponents including 10-1 at Foley Field. The Bulldogs will enter next week's SEC Tournament as the third seed. The Bulldogs finished second in the Eastern Division.

Offensively, junior left fielder Jonathan Wyatt tied his career-high with a four-hit game and got the Bulldogs on the board in the first. Wyatt led with a base hit, took second on a groundout and scored on a base hit by senior Bobby Felmy (1-for-4, 2 RBI). In the third, the Bulldogs pushed their advantage to 3-0. Wyatt and Joey Side reached on singles and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Gordon Beckham. The Wildcats elected to intentionally walk Josh Morris to load the bases. Then, Felmy picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice in which Morris beat the throw to second. Then, senior catcher Jason Jacobs also got an RBI on a fielder's choice.

The Bulldogs added another run in the sixth for a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Ryan Peisel notched a base hit, advanced to third on a base hit from Matthew Dunn, and scored on a single up the middle from Wyatt.

Moreau kept the Wildcats in check before leaving with two men on and two outs in the fifth. Warren came on and got John Shelby to pop out to end the threat. Warren pitched three innings, allowing just one hit with two walks and two strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 8-2. Then with two outs in the eighth, Fields got the call and recorded the final four outs. Kentucky managed a one-out double from Shaun Lehmann in the ninth but he was left stranded after Fields struck out Antone DeJesus and got Collin Cowgill to pop out to end the contest. Kentucky starter Greg Dombrowski got the loss to fall to 9-2. He surrendered four runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings.

"This was a big win for us for a lot of reasons including winning the series against the SEC Champions, earning the three seed for the SEC Tournament, helping us earn a shot to host a regional plus we didn't want to lose two games in a row," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I told the team this time of year you have to stay away from two-game losing streaks. It's tournament time and you have to get in a tough mindset.

"I was proud of the way we competed and impressed with how Kentucky played as well. They had a chance to win the league outright and they battled all day as well. We got some key double plays today and Nathan, Rip and Joshua did a tremendous job shutting down a powerful Kentucky lineup."

Up next, the Bulldogs will head to Birmingham, Ala., for the SEC Tournament which is played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Bulldogs will leave Monday night, practice Tuesday at the Hoover Met and will face the sixth seed Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

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