Dawgs Sweep State

ATHENS – Fourth-ranked Georgia scored seven times in the eighth to erase a two-run deficit and completed a sweep of No. 25 Mississippi State with a 10-6 win in front on 3,689 fans Sunday at Foley Field.

Georgia (19-2, 4-2 SEC) won its fifth straight game and improved to 14-0 at home. The Bulldogs earned their first sweep over Mississippi State (13-9, 2-4 SEC) since 2004.

Mississippi State scored three runs in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead and held a 5-3 advantage going into the bottom of the eighth. Levi Hyams started things off for Georgia with a one-out single followed by another single by Chase Davidson and a walk to Lyle Allen. Rich Poythress delivered a two-run single to knot the score at 5-5, and another two-run single by Joey Lewis gave Georgia a 7-5 lead.

Matt Cerione's two-out double made it 8-5, and Bryce Massanari homered on the first pitch from Greg Houston to extend the lead to 10-5.

"We wore their starter out and made them get to their closer," said head coach David Perno. "They went to the bullpen a little earlier than they wanted, and we had good matchups against them. We were struggling to get the big hit all weekend, but fortunately we finally broke through."

Mississippi State scored a run in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate, but Jeff Walters (2-0) struck out Connor Powers to end the game.

Hyams led Georgia with three hits including a two-run home run in the fourth, and Massanari and Cerione had two hits apiece.

Sophomore Justin Grimm struck out a career-high nine batters and allowed just one run on three hits in 5.2 innings.

Mississippi State took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a two-out single by Scott DeLoach, then Georgia grabbed lead in the bottom of the inning with Hyams' second home run of the season.

Mississippi State regained the lead with three runs in the seventh, and Georgia came back with a run in the bottom of the inning off a solo homer by Cerione, but Mississippi State answered with another run in the eighth to go ahead by two again.

Chad Crosswhite (0-2) allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings to take the loss for Mississippi State.

A record 12,026 fans attended the three-game series, breaking the previous mark of 11,930 against Florida State in the 2001 NCAA Super Regionals.

"That means a lot to me having played here and being here as a coach," Perno said of the attendance record. "To get this kind of interest is special."

Georgia returns to action Tuesday at home against Wright State.

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