Dawgs need rally to top Winthrop

ATHENS - Georgia rallied back from a six-run deficit to defeat Winthrop 7-6 Tuesday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 1,003.

Down 6-5 in the ninth, Bulldog freshman Mike Freeman led off with a double off Ryan Mullins. Freshman Matt Cerione put down a sacrifice bunt to move Freeman to third. Junior Ryan Peisel (2-for-4, 3R, 1 RBI) tied the game with a run-scoring single. Then, senior Jonathan Wyatt (3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI) lined a single to left allowing Peisel to advance to third. The Eagles (8-5) turned to closer Jonathan Settle. He got Gordon Beckham to bounce one to third baseman Kevin Nolan, and his throw to second sailed wide of the bag and in to right field as Peisel scored to end the contest.

The Bulldogs (4-4) trailed 6-0 in the fifth before capping their largest comeback of the year in the ninth. The Eagles (8-5) chased Georgia freshman starter Dean Weaver in the third after he allowed four runs on five hits. Junior Nick Montgomery followed and was touched for two runs on four hits with three walks before he was lifted in favor of sophomore Jason Leaver in the sixth.

"Jason (Leaver) came in and settled everything down for us and Ryan (Woolley) and Justin (Earls) were outstanding after him," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Our pitching was our best offense tonight. "After the early struggles, those three came in and really gave us a lift."

Leaver, Woolley and Earls combined four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and had six strikeouts. Earls notched his first career victory while Mullins dropped to 2-2. Winthrop starter Ryan Schwartz was cruising until the sixth when Georgia got a pair of runs aided by a pair of errors by first baseman Bryn Henderson. Freeman and Beckham each had an error in the early going which led to Eagle runs.

Georgia closed the gap in the eighth, scoring three runs on four hits including back-to-back doubles by Wyatt and Beckham. Freshman Joey Lewis added a run-scoring single for his second hit and RBI of the game.

Georgia returns to action Friday at Foley Field when it plays host to the University of Southern California. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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