Dawgs Take 2 of 3 to Stay First in SEC

ATHENS - Georgia took two of three games over the weekend to have a two-game lead in the SEC.

On Saturday Matt Cerione's one-out double in the bottom of the ninth scored Miles Starr from first and gave Georgia its second straight 4-3 win over Arkansas at Foley Field.

It was Cerione's RBI single in the ninth that lifted the Bulldogs to the win on Friday.

"Matt has been playing really well for us lately," Georgia coach David Perno said. "He's huge for this team and when he plays well like he has been we are a much better team."

With the score tied at 3-3, pinch hitter Chase Davidson drew a one-out walk in the ninth, and was lifted for Starr as a pinch runner. Cerione then hit a rocket past Jacob House, the Arkansas first baseman, and Starr narrowly beat the throw home to give Georgia its third straight one-run win in league play.

"We're playing great and doing a bunch of things well," Perno said. "Hopefully tomorrow everyone can come out swinging the bat and we can work our magic a little more."

Cerione led the Bulldogs (31-7, 13-4 SEC) with three hits and two RBI. Colby May and Rich Poythress each had two hits including Poythress' 17th home run.

Dean Weaver (1-0) worked the ninth to pick up the win while Mike Bolsinger (3-3) was charged with the loss for the second straight day.

Georgia starter Alex McRee held Arkansas (25-11, 10-6 SEC) to two runs-one unearned-on four hits in 5.2 innings.

Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with a one-out double by James McCann followed by a single to left by Chase Leavitt.

The Razorbacks scored an unearned run in the fourth and loaded the bases with one out, but McRee struck out Tim Carver, then a double play got Georgia out of the jam. Rich Poythress made a leaping catch over the fence down the first base line on a pop up by McCann, then threw home where Bryce Massanari tagged out Andy Wilkins to complete the double play.

Georgia pulled even with a pair of runs in the sixth. May doubled to right center with one out, then Poythress hit is 35th career home run and drove in his 61st and 62nd runs of the season to tie the score at 2-2.

The Bulldogs grabbed the lead in the seventh as Johnathan Taylor led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Levi Hyams. After a groundout by Michael Demperio, Cerione roped a double to left center to give Georgia its first lead. It was short lived, however, as Wilkins hit a solo home run with two outs in the eighth to knot the score again at 3-3.

On Sunday, Brett Eibner tossed a complete-game one-hitter and struck out 12 as fifth-ranked Arkansas avoided the sweep with a 2-0 win over No. 1 Georgia Sunday at Foley Field.

Eibner and the Razorbacks (26-11, 11-6 SEC) handed the Bulldogs their first shutout loss since a 9-0 setback to Ole Miss on April 8, 2007. It was also the first time Georgia was one-hit since an 8-0 loss to Georgia Tech on April 20, 1994.

Georgia (31-8, 13-5 SEC) had its five-game SEC winning streak snapped despite a solid outing by Justin Grimm (2-2), who tossed a career-high seven innings and allowed just two runs-one earned-on three hits with six strikeouts.

"I'm disappointed for Justin Grimm because he pitched so well today," Georgia coach David Perno said. "You have to tip your cap to Eibner. He was very good. We got our guys up in the right situations today, but just couldn't do anything. We really have to get some guys going again."

Grimm faced the minimum and limited Arkansas to one hit until he ran into trouble in the sixth. After an infield single by Zack Cox to start the inning, Jarrod McKinney reached on an error, then both scored on a double to left center by Chase Leavitt to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs' lone hit came on a one-out double by Matt Cerione in the third. Cerione led off the ninth with a walk, but Eibner (4-2) retired the next three batters.

"We need to regroup offensively," Perno said. "If we keep swinging the bats like we did this weekend we are going to have a rough time. The last two days, we didn't get many hits at all. We were able to jump on them early Friday, but we didn't do much after that."

Jeff Walters entered the game in the eighth for Georgia and retired all six batters he faced.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs still have a two-game lead in the overall SEC standings.

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