Florida tops Georgia 7-5

ATHENS - Matt LaPorta hit a pair of home runs to lead Florida to a 7-5 win over Georgia Friday in front of a Foley Field crowd of 2,929.

The Gators (16-13, 5-2) erased a 4-1 deficit with a six-run outburst in the sixth. Laporta (2-for-4, 3 RBI) tied the game with a two-run shot off Georgia starter Nathan Moreau and later in the frame, designated hitter Jake Hicks capped the scoring with a two-run home run for a 7-4 lead. Moreau dropped to 2-1, allowing seven runs on eight hits in six innings. Florida starter Bryan Augenstein evened his record to 3-3, scattering five runs on 10 hits before leaving with one out in the eighth.

LaPorta gave the Gators a 1-0 lead when he smacked a two-out, solo home run in the first. Georgia (10-15, 3-4 SEC) responded with a pair of home runs in its half of the first. With two outs, sophomore Gordon Beckham (2-for-4) connected for a solo shot. After a base hit by Matt Olson, freshman Rich Poythress (3-for-4, 2 RBI) added a two-run blast to left center for a 3-1 advantage. Olson's run-scoring single in the fifth made it 4-1.

Florida threatened again in the seventh, loading the bases with one out off senior Adam McDaniel. However, freshman Ryan Woolley came on and struck out pinch-hitter Chris Petrie and got Cody Near to pop out to keep it a 7-4 contest. Georgia closed the gap to 7-5 in the eighth when Poythress reached on a base hit and later scored on a single by freshman Joey Lewis. With runners at the corners, Florida looked to left-hander David Hurst. Georgia turned to pinch-hitter Matt Robbins, and he bounced in to an inning-ending double play on the first pitch from Hurst. Georgia made some noise in the ninth, putting two on with two outs. Florida brought in Steven Porter, and he got Olson to fly out to end the game and record his second save. Woolley pitched 2.2 scoreless innings for the Bulldogs.

"We had a meltdown in that one inning, but overall I thought we fought hard and played well," said Georgia coach David Perno. "The guy we wanted to go to in the sixth was a late scratch, Nick Montgomery, and we didn't have anybody ready fast enough. Nathan had retired 12 in a row until that inning. Last week, we took Nathan out, and the bullpen gave up a home run and tonight we decided to stick with him because he wants to be our Friday night guy, so it hasn't worked out either time."

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