Dawgs fall to Trojans 4-3 in 9th

ATHENS - Matt Cusicks's run-scoring triple in the ninth lifted Southern California to a 4-3 win over Georgia Friday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 2,134.

The Trojans (11-7) started to erase a three-run deficit with a pair of solo home runs in the third inning as freshman designated hitter Robert Stock and shortstop Grant Green connected off Bulldog sophomore Nathan Moreau. In the fourth, J.J. Owen reached on a leadoff walk, took third on a base hit by Johnny Bowden and scored when Lucas Duda hit into a double play.

Georgia (4-5) struck for three runs in the first off USC sophomore Ryan Cook but then the right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings. He improved to 3-0 and Paul Koss pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

"I have to tip my hat to their pitcher, we had a big inning in the first and then he goes out and shuts us out the rest of the way, and that's rare in college baseball," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I think we let our guard down after the first. He got better and we didn't adjust."

Sophomore Stephen Dodson came in for Moreau in the sixth and cruised for three innings before allowing a leadoff walk to Green in the ninth. Cusick followed with a line drive to left that got past Bulldog junior Blake Cannady.

"The leadoff walk was not a good start and then we didn't make a play in left and that's the game," said Perno. "Blake is one of our best defenders, we expect him to make the plays, and he expects to make the plays. It was a tough loss and we'll have to bounce back."

Dodson fell to 0-1, allowing only the triple over four innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Georgia's three-run first was highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by freshman catcher Joey Lewis.

The Bulldogs and Trojans will be back in action Saturday. First pitch is salted for 2 p.m.

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