Dawgs Beat Georgia State

ATLANTA - Each Georgia starter had at least one hit and the fourth-ranked Bulldogs scored runs in five of the first six innings in an 11-6 win over Georgia State Wednesday in Atlanta.

Lyle Allen had a season-high three hits for the Bulldogs (16-2) including an RBI double and scored three runs, and Matt Cerione, Bryce Massanari, Colby May and Chase Davidson had two hits apiece. Davidson and Massanari both homered and Levi Hyams had a season-high four RBI. Hyams played the entire game at shortstop for the first time this season, and Michael Demperio moved to second.

Freshman Chase Hawkins (2-0) pitched 2.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three in his second win in eight days. Steve Esmonde worked 1.2 scoreless innings in relief, and Cecil Tanner and Jeff Walters worked the final three innings and allowed no runs and no hits. Alex McRee started the game for Georgia and pitched one inning in his first appearance since March 5.

"We played a lot of guys and that is huge for momentum going into this weekend," said head coach David Perno. "We made some bad base running mistakes but our guys hung in there. Our pitching was solid those last three frames. Cecil and Walters were good, and Esmonde and Earls did a nice job. We pitched six guys tonight and we only walked two."

After the Panthers (12-6) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Rich Poythress led off Georgia's second inning with a double, then scored on a single by Allen. Davidson followed with a home run to center field to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

Matt Cerione hit his second triple of the season in the third, and scored on May's single to right field to make it 4-2. Another Georgia run in the fourth stretched the lead to three runs before Georgia State cut the deficit to 5-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning.

Hyams cleared the bases with a three-run double in the fifth to give Georgia an 8-4 lead, and Massanari hit an opposite-field two-run home run in the sixth to extend the lead to six runs. Georgia State scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, and Georgia scored it's final run in the eighth.

John Locklear (3-1) took the loss for Georgia State after he allowed five runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings. Georgia plays host to Mississippi State in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. The games on Friday and Sunday will be televised by CSS.

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