Tigers tumble on Sun. 12-4 - take two of three

Josh Smith went 5-for-6 and Michael Hyle pitched a career-high seven innings to lead Georgia to a 12-4 win over seventh-ranked LSU Sunday in front of 8,102 at Alex Box Stadium.

The Bulldogs (22-15, 6-9 SEC) scored early and often to avoid a sweep by the Tigers (28-10, 8-7). Smith started the game with a double and later scored as Marshall Szabo (3-for-5) followed with a base hit, and he would later score for a 2-0 advantage. In the second, the Bulldogs had a five-run outburst highlighted by a three-run home run by designated hitter Derek Smith (1-3, 4 RBI) to build a 7-0 lead. Meanwhile, Hyle was cruising, allowing just one unearned run over seven innings and scattering eight hits. He improved to 3-1 on the year, walking just one walk while striking out four in the longest outing by a Bulldog starting pitcher this year.

Will Startup pitched the final two frames, surrendering a three-run home run to Nick Stavinoha with two outs in the ninth for the final margin.

"We're showing that we can go toe-to-toe with good teams on the road, and we still got a few tough roadtrips left," said Georgia coach David Perno. "This was a must-win siutation, and we came through. We were losing ground in the SEC and had to respond, and I was pleased to see we did on all fronts."

Perno credited Hyle's performance with setting the tone along with an early outburst by the offense.

"Michael Hyle was the big news, he showed command and a lot of courage," said Perno. "We knew we had to have a big inning early and another later, and we did that. Hyle pitched with a lot of confidence and the three-run shot by Derek Smith gave us some breathing room."

Leading 7-1 in the fourth, Derek Smith lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Smith who led off the inning with a base hit and made his way around to third on a base hit by Szabo plus Josh Morris was hit by a pitch. The Bulldogs went up 12-1 in the eighth, scoring four runs on five hits off the Tiger bullpen. Georgia chased Tiger starter Nate Bumstead in the second after he allowed five runs on six hits. Justin Meier went the next six innings and gave up six runs on eight hits.

Georgia turned a season-high four double plays as Hyle kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for six of the seven innings he pitched. The Bulldog offense collected 17 hits as both Smiths, Joey Side (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Kyle Keen (2-for-4) had multi-hit games.

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