Florida (26-16, 11-9 SEC) took its first lead of the weekend with a run in the second inning courtesy of Matt den Dekker (3-fof-3). He reached on an infield single, stole second and third base and scored on a groundout by Jon Towsend. For the year, den Dekker is a perfect 13-for-13 stolen bases.
The Gators stretched their lead to 5-0 in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits off Bulldog right-hander Stephen Dodson. Townsend added a two-run double and Bryson Barber followed with a run-scoring double to key the outburst. Florida added another run on a passed ball. Georgia got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth on a two-out, run-scoring single by Peisel. However, the Gators responded with a pair of runs off sophomore reliever Justin Earls who started the fifth for Dodson. He allowed five runs on five hits to fall to 5-2. Meanwhile, Earls lasted just an inning, surrendering two runs on one hit with three walks as the Gators extended their lead to 7-1.
Georgia turned to senior right-hander Nick Montgomery in the sixth, and he kept the Gators off the scoreboard the rest of the way with three scoreless innings. Bulldog junior shortstop Gordon Beckham (2-for-3, HR), the NCAA home run leader, hit his 20th home run of the year with two outs in the eighth, a solo shot that made it 7-2. For Beckham, it was his 45th career home run, tying him for second in school history with Doc Brooks and Roger Miller. Beckham is closing on the school record held by Josh Morris, who hit 51 round-trippers from 2004-06. The Georgia single season home run record is 23 held by Morris (2006) and Andy Osbolt (1998).
"We struck out one guy and walked five, and we haven't done that in a long time," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We didn't have real good at bats especially at the DH spot, they saw a combined five pitches and made seven outs. We hit into three double plays, and it was a poor defensive game too. Fortunately, we got a game Sunday, and hopefully we can start another streak. We haven't felt like this in a long time, and I'm looking forward to see how we respond against one of Florida's best pitchers as he hasn't lost this year. "
The rubber game of the series will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs will start junior left-hander Nathan Moreau (1-1, 4.50 ERA) while the Gators counter with junior right-hander Patrick Keating (7-0, 2.68 ERA).