Dawgs knock off Gators 7-4

GAINESVILLE, FL - Junior Bryce Massanari drove in four runs, Trevor Holder pitched seven strong innings and senior closer Joshua Fields struck out all five batters he faced to lead fifth-ranked Georgia to a 7-4 win over Florida Friday at McKethan Stadium.

The Bulldogs (29-12-1) have won eight straight over the Gators in Gainesville and ran their current unbeaten streak to 12 in a row in the SEC. Georgia improved to 15-3-1 in the league while the Gators dropped to 25-16 overall and 10-9 in the SEC. Holder earned the win to go to 6-2 on the year while Fields collected his 12th save this season and 35th for his career.

Holder took the mound in the first with a 2-0 lead. With one out in the top of the first, Georgia senior Matt Olson and junior Gordon Beckham (3-for-3, 2 doubles, 1 RBI) reached on base hits and a walk to Rich Poythress loaded the bases. Designated hitter Bryce Massanari (3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI) lined an RBI-single to right and Lyle Allen's sacrifice fly scored Beckham who made a nifty slide around a tag to make it 2-0. In the third, Georgia used a couple of home runs to build a 6-0 lead. Olson led off the frame with his sixth home run of the year. Beckham followed with a double and Poythress reached with a base hit. Then, Massanari crushed a 2-2 offering over the scoreboard in right field for a three-run home run. It was Massanari's fifth home run of the season. With one out, Georgia loaded the bases but UF starter Billy Bullock got out of further trouble when he got Peisel to ground sharply into a double play.

The Gators notched a run off Holder in the fourth. Avery Barnes led off with a bloop double to left. He went to third on a groundout and then scored on a base hit by Cole Figueroa. After a base hit by Josh Adams, Holder got Brandon McArthur to bounce into an inning-ending double play to keep it 6-1 Bulldogs. In the sixth, Peisel led off with a double and one out later, Beckham collected his second double of the night as Peisel scored for a 7-1 lead. Bullock gave the Gators six innings before giving way to Travis Lawler. Bullock (3-3) allowed seven runs on 12 hits and struck out a career high seven.

The Gators made it a three-run contest in the seventh with a two-out rally. McArthur lined a double to left center. Jon Towsend followed with a run-scoring single and then Bryson Barber smashed a two-run home run to make it 7-4.

Holder tied his career-high by going seven innings for the fourth time this season. He allowed four runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Sophomore left-hander Alex McRee started the eight for the Bulldogs but only retired the first Gator before they loaded the bases on a catcher's interference, a walk and a base hit. The Bulldogs looked to All-America closer Joshua Fields. The senior right-hander struck out Gator cleanup hitter Josh Adams and then struck out Clayton Pisani to keep it 7-4. In the ninth, he continued to dominate the Gators, striking out the side to give him five strikeouts in five batter faced on the night. Fields has not allowed an earned run this season in 22.2 innings pitched and has registered 42 strikeouts.

"I was pleased with the way we swung the bats from top to bottom," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Trevor (Holder) did a nice job, our defense turned some great double plays and Joshua Fields was unbelievable. He was as good as I've seen him all year, and he's been real good all year. We got a couple early runs and then had a big inning but credit Florida for coming back. We were cruising there 7-1 and they made a run and got the bases loaded at 7-4. We turned to Joshua, and he showed why he is the best closer in the country."

For Perno, it was his 100th career SEC win. The Bulldogs are off to their best SEC start in school history at 15-3-1.

The series continues Saturday with first pitch slated for 3:07 p.m. as the game will be televised live by Sun Sports. Georgia will start junior right-hander Stephen Dodson (5-1, 3.46 ERA) while the Gators will counter with junior left-hander Stephen Locke (2-2, 3.45 ERA).

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