Memphis Rallies Past Georgia

ATHENS - Memphis rallied for four unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to defeat Georgia 7-6 Sunday at Foley Field.

It marked the third straight Sunday one-run loss for the Bulldogs who dropped to 5-5 while the Tigers improved to 5-8. The Bulldogs fell 9-8 to top-ranked Arizona on Feb. 24 and 5-4 to #12 Oregon State in Portland on March 2. Georgia junior left-hander Nathan Moreau has missed out on a win in all three Sunday contests and instead has been left with no decisions.

On Sunday, Georgia carried a 6-3 lead to the eighth when Memphis struck for four runs on two hits, three walks and one Bulldog miscue. Junior left-hander Jason Leaver started the inning and struck out Robby Graham. Then, he walked Chris Kirkland. He got pinch-hitter Alex Fennell top pop out for the second out. Next, he issued back-to-back walks to Chad Zurcher and Eric Farrell to load the bases. Georgia turned to sophomore Justin Earls. He got leadoff batter K.K. Chalmers to bounce one to third but senior Ryan Peisel caught a spike while making throw and fell to the ground as the throw was wide of the bag. A pair of runs scored on the play. Adam McClain (3-for-4, RBI) and Brett Bowen (3-for-5, 2 RBI) followed with run-scoring singles for a 7-6 lead.

Georgia had an excellent chance to answer in the bottom of the inning off Memphis closer Matt Yokely. With one out, Georgia loaded the bases as Matt Cerione reached on a walk, Peisel was hit by a pitch and Michael Demperio reached on a bunt single. However, Yokely got junior Gordon Beckham (3-for-4) to pop out and then struck out sophomore Rich Poythress to maintain the lead.

"You have to give Memphis credit, they got back in it and their pitcher got Beckham and Poythress out in the eighth," said Perno. "We missed some other scoring opportunities today too. When we get in league play, you'll see Joshua (Fields) in there pitching to clean things up in the eighth. Right now, we're focusing on him getting an inning each time out, and he pitched yesterday so we're getting ready for SEC action."

Yokely got the win to go to 1-0, allowing one run on three hits over the final three innings. He walked one and struck out four. Earls took the loss to fall to 0-1.

Georgia erased a 2-0 Tiger lead with a four-run fourth. Bulldog freshman Lyle Allen (2-for-4, 2 RBI) got the Bulldog scoring started with a two-out, two-run single. He went 5-for-10 with five RBI in the series. Sophomore Joey Lewis (3-for-5, 2 RBI) and Cerione (1-2, 2 RBI) also drove in two runs apiece.

Beckham extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games while Poythress has hit safely in all 10 games this season. Beckham is hitting .543 with six home runs and 12 RBI on the year while Poythress is at .462-4-13.

Georgia returns to action Tuesday for the first of a two-game series at #20 Florida State. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised by Sunshine Sports.

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