Dawgs get rid of South Carolina

HOOVER, AL - In one of the all-time great comebacks in school history, ninth-ranked Georgia overcame an early 9-0 deficit to slug its way past South Carolina 16-10 Friday in an SEC Tournament elimination game.

Trailing 9-0 after two innings, the Bulldogs (40-18) scored 14 unanswered runs en route to their 40th win of the season and earn another shot at Vanderbilt. The comeback was the largest in the David Perno era, eclipsing a seven-run deficit to Mississippi State in 2003 that Georgia eventually won 9-8 in 15 innings.

On Friday, the Gamecocks (37-22) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first via a three-run homer to left center from Justin Smoak (3-for-5, 4 RBI) off of Bulldog freshman Nathan Moreau. In the second, the Gamecocks went up 9-0 scoring six runs on six hits highlighted by an Ian Paxton two-run homer and Phil Dixson three-run homer. Smoak added an RBI single through the left side in the frame. The Bulldogs looked to freshman Trevor Holder, a Birmingham native, to simmer down the Gamecock bats. He ended up tossing the next four innings, allowing just two runs as the Bulldogs became their comeback. Holder would earn the win to even his record at 3-3 with the aid of 2.1 innings of scoreless relief from senior Rip Warren and one scoreless inning from sophomore Joshua Fields.

"This was a huge win for several reasons, being down 9-0 and coming back, getting our 40th win and setting us up for consideration as a national seed," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I'm really proud of our team, they all hung in there and this is a great bunch with everybody doing their part."

For the second day in a row, Georgia pounded out 16 runs on 22 hits as the Bulldogs knocked off tenth-ranked Kentucky Thursday by the same score. Against USC, Georgia scored five runs on five hits in the third to cut the score to 9-5. Jonathan Wyatt (4-for-7, 2 RBI), who had his third four-hit game in the last four contests, led off with a single, and Joey Side (2-for-6, 2 RBI) drew a walk to reach. Gordon Beckham (2-for-5, 4R, 2 RBI) followed with a RBI single to center leaving runners at first and second. Then, Bobby Felmy singled advancing the runners and an error by Gamecock left fielder Robbie Grinestaff allowed Side to score. Next, Jason Jacobs (3-for-5, 4 RBI) tripled to right driving in two runs. Jacobs would score on a balk. In the fourth, the Bulldogs added three more runs to pull within one at 9-8. Felmy hit a sacrifice fly to right while Kyle Keen (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Ryan Peisel both added RBI singles.

In the fifth, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game at 10-9 when Side knocked a two-run homer to dead center off Gamecock closer Wynn Pelzer. Wyatt was aboard after a double. Georgia would go on to add four more runs in the frame as Jacobs added an RBI single to center, Keen drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center, and Wyatt pushed across two with a single up the middle to put Georgia up 14-9. Pelzer got the loss to fall to 4-4.

In the sixth, Darnell singled in a run for South Carolina making the score 14-10. Beckham hit his 11th home run of the year in the eighth to give the Bulldogs a 15-10 lead. Jacobs also singled in a run in the inning.

"This was one of the biggest wins of the season for us especially being down 9-0, but we all believed in ourselves and nobody thought we were out of it today," said Side.

"People certainly have gotten their money's worth watching us the last two games," Jacobs added.

The Bulldogs will face Vanderbilt (35-23) who is coming out of the winner's bracket on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET on FSN. If Georgia wins the game, the two teams would square off again Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, and the winner of that contest would advance to the SEC Tournament Championship game.

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