Baseball Dawgs make it six in a row

ATHENS - Georgia extended its winning streak to six games and won their second consecutive SEC series after defeating Tennessee 3-2 in front of a season high 3,442 fans Saturday at Foley Field.

Bulldog shortstop Gordon Beckham (3-for-4, 2 RBI), who entered the game with a SEC-best .519 batting average, gave the Bulldogs the lead in the fifth with a two-run single for a 3-2 advantage.

Tennessee (13-7, 3-2 SEC) had jumped out to a two-run edge in the top of the second on three hits, including a solo home run by first-baseman Jeff Lockwood. Then, leftfielder P.J. Polk scored the second Volunteer run after Tanner Moore doubled into the left-center gap.

Georgia (12-7, 4-1 SEC) finally broke through against left-hander Bryan Morgado in the fourth. Sophomore first baseman Rich Poythress launched a solo home run, his fith of the year, to make it 2-1. In the fifth, Georgia got a leadoff walk from Bryce Massanari. Then with two outs, Ryan Peisel smacked a double to right field. Michael Demperio reached on a walk to load the bases for Beckham.

Bulldog starter Stephen Dodson (3-1) earned the win, surrendering just two more hits after the two-run second inning. Dodson pitched six strong innings, allowing only five hits and two earned runs. Sophomore Dean Weaver followed Dodson with two innings of scoreless relief, striking out two Volunteers. Morgado struck out 10 in 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits to fall to 3-2.

Senior closer Joshua Fields came in to pitch the ninth and allowed only his third hit of the year in the form of a one-out triple to P.J. Polk. Fields prevented that run from crossing by recording his 22nd strikeout of the year, retiring Tanner Moore. Then, he got Danny Lima to ground out to Beckham to end the game. It was the second save of the series for Fields who now has five for the year and 28th of his career.

"This was a big win today, and it was all pitching," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We got a good start from Stephen Dodson and excellent relief pitching from Dean Weaver and Joshua Fields. Then, we had the right guy up in the right time. Gordon (Beckham) has delivered all year for us, and he did again today. He made some nice defensive plays too."

Through 19 games, Beckham is batting .530 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI, and he's fielding .986 with just one error. In SEC action, Beckham is batting .609-4-13 with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

On Sunday, Georgia aims for its first SEC series sweep since March of last year against Auburn. First pitch is scheduled at 2 p.m. Georgia will start junior left-hander Nathan Moreau (1-0, 2.01 ERA) while the Volunteers counter with sophomore left-hander Nick Hernandez (0-1, 4.95).


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