Vols avoid Dawgs' broom

ATHENS - Tennessee avoided an SEC sweep at the hands of Georgia by scoring a pair of unearned runs including one in the top of the 10th for a 4-3 victory Sunday, snapping the Bulldogs six-game winning streak.

The Volunteers (14-7, 4-2 SEC) scored the eventual winning run on a two-out grounder by Cody Brown that was misplayed by senior third baseman Ryan Peisel and allowed Any Simunic to score. Simunic had reached on a one-out single and went to second on a two-out base hit by Yon Gomes (3-for-5, 2 RBI). In the bottom of the frame,

junior reliever Aaron Everett sat the Bulldogs down in order to preserve the win. Everett pitched two scoreless innings to improve to 2-2 while Georgia sophomore Alex McRee got a tough luck loss. McRee pitched 3.1 innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Georgia (12-8, 4-2 SEC) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. Peisel (2-for-5) led off with a double, and then Gordon Beckham launched a double off the right field wall that was nearly caught by Josh Liles, forcing Peisel to only reach third on the play. A sacrifice fly by Rich Poythress scored Peisel.

Junior left-hander Nathan Moreau started for the Bullodg and went 4 2/3 innings, striking out six while allowing only two hits. Moreau blanked the Volunteers until the fourth inning, giving up a two-run homer to Tennessee Gomes before giving way to Nick Montgomery. The senior right-hander pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, highlighted by a two-out strikeout of centerfielder Kentrail Davis with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.

In the seventh, Volunteer shortstop Danny Lima reached on an error by Georgia second baseman Michael Demperio and scored on a double by Simunic to take give Tennessee a 3-1 advantage.

Tennessee starter Nick Hernandez got a no decision but was able to silence the Georgia offense after a shaky first inning, scattering eight hits and two earned runs in six innings of work before giving way to a trio of UT relievers. The Bulldogs were able to break through against Hernandez in the seventh on a home run by junior Bryce Massanari, his 4th of the year. Lyle Allen followed the home run with a sharp single to centerfield and scored on a groundout by Demperio to even to score at three. Then, Davis made a run-saving catch on the warning track to end the Bulldog scoring threat.

"We gave up a couple of unearned runs late and those are tough to come back from, and we didn't," said Georgia coach David Perno. "It was a tough loss for Alex (McRee) because he pitched well. We had a good weekend but not a great weekend. We won the series so that's good but if we would've swept, it would've been great, and that's the difference."

The Bulldogs have a mid-week home and home series against Kennesaw State beginning Tuesday before returning to SEC play against Mississippi State on Friday, March 28th. The Bulldogs face KSU Tuesday in Kennesaw at 6 p.m.


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