Dawgs sweep Carolina

ATHENS - Georgia won its seventh in a row by completing a Southeastern Conference series sweep of ninth-ranked South Carolina, winning 4-2 Sunday in front a season-high Foley Field crowd of 3,630.

Georgia (20-10, 9-3 SEC) grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first as Bryce Massanari and Matt Cerione drove in runs while a South Carolina throwing error by catcher Kyle Enders also led to a run. The Bulldogs have outscored the opposition 48-14 in the first frame this season.

Georgia's pitching staff limited USC to just five runs in the series – all coming on solo home runs. Also, the Bulldog bullpen extended its streak of not allowing an earned run in an SEC game to 34.1 innings, a span of 10 games. The Bulldogs went 5-0 this past week, posting a two-game home-and-home sweep of Clemson. The Bulldogs have now swept the Gamecocks in their last two regular season SEC series at Foley Field.

South Carolina (20-10, 6-6 SEC) got on the board in the fourth when James Darnell hit his 10th home run of the year and then two batters later Phil Disher followed with his ninth blast to cut the deficit to 3-2. In the fifth, Georgia turned to sophomore Justin Earls in relief of left-hander Nathan Moreau. Moreau allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and one strikeout. Earls pitched the next 2.1 innings before leaving with one out in the seventh and two Gamecocks in scoring position. Georgia called on senior Nick Montgomery to protect a 4-2 lead. He struck out Whit Merrifield and then got James Darnell to fly out to center. After Montgomery, Dean Weaver pitched a scoreless eighth and then Joshua Fields blanked them in the ninth for his eighth save.

Georgia got a run back in the fifth when Peisel drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a groundout by Matt Olson. After an intentional walk to shortstop Gordon Beckham, sophomore Rich Poythress lined a run-scoring single up the middle to make it 4-2.

Earls picked up the win to even his mark at 1-1 while USC starter Blake Cooper fell to 3-3, pitching in to the eighth. He gave up four runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings.

"We're definitely starting to play better in all phases of the game," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We've solidified our roles on the pitching staff and Joshua (Fields) is back doing his thing, closing out ball games. There's a lot of confidence in our dugout. USC's starting pitchers did a nice job against us, and they're the best defensive team we've played and certainly one with the most power. It was three well-played baseball games, and I'm glad we're through with this series."

Georgia returns to action Tuesday when it plays host to Winthrop. First pitch at Foley Field is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Dawg Post Top Stories