Dawgs bow out of Birmingham

HOOVER, AL - Alabama junior Austin Hyatt pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead the Crimson Tide to a 5-1 SEC Tournament win over sixth-ranked Georgia Thursday.

Hyatt set down 20 in a row following a two-out hit by Bryce Massanari in the first inning before senior Jake Crane singled with one out in the eighth. The loss eliminated the Bulldogs (35-21-1) from the tournament while Alabama improved to 33-25.

The teams exchanged single runs in a 30-minute first inning for starting pitchers Stephen Dodson and Hyatt. With two outs, Bulldog junior shortstop Gordon Beckham reached on a walk and moved in to scoring position with his team-leading 17th stolen base. Massanari delivered his team-leading 21st two-out RBI, a double down the left field line for a 1-0 lead. Alabama looked to answer with a big inning as the first three hitters reached, but Dodson allowed only a sacrifice fly to Matt Bentley.

In the third, Alabama jumped ahead 4-1, scoring three runs on four hits and a Bulldog miscue. Josh Rutledge led off with a double and scored on a base hit by Ross Wilson. With one out, Wilson came around on a run-scoring single by Brandon May to make it 3-1. With two outs, Kent Matthes bounced a high chopper to third that Ryan Peisel gloved but his throw got past first baseman Robbie O'Bryan and allowed May to score.

Dodson was lifted after five innings in favor of sophomore Dean Weaver. Dodson fell to 5-3, allowing four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Weaver went the rest of the way in a fine relief effort, surrendering just one unearned run on no hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

With two outs in the ninth, Beckham laced a double to left. Massanari followed with his first career triple to make it 5-2. The game ended when O'Bryan lined out to right.

"It was a tough couple of games but I thought our pitching is back to where it was about a month ago and that's good to see," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We have to start hitting and I think that will come around when we get healthy. For whatever reason, we have never really played well here."

Bulldog sophomore first baseman Rich Poythress (.365-12-53) missed his second straight game with a sprained wrist after a streak of 89 consecutive starts. Also, sophomore centerfielder Matt Cerione did not play due to a mild concussion that happened in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game.

Up next, the SEC Champion Bulldogs will likely play host to one of the 16 NCAA Regionals with the host sites announced on Sunday, May 25 at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPNews and NCAASports.com. The entire 64-team selection show can be seen live on ESPN on Monday, May 26 at 12:30 pm. EDT. NCAA Regional play begins May 30-June 2 at campus sites around the country.


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