Georgia Even's Series with a 5-1 Win Over MSU

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The timely hit alluded Mississippi State Saturday afternoon, as the Bulldogs fell to Georgia 5-1 in Southeastern Conference baseball activity.

A Dudy Noble Field season-high crowd of 7,753 watched as the visiting Bulldogs evened the weekend series at a game apiece. MSU won Friday's series opener, 3-2 in 10 innings on Friday night. With Saturday's victory, Georgia improved to 14-10 overall and 5-3 in league play. MSU is now 11-14 and 2-6.

Georgia opened the scoring in the third inning when Gordon Beckham, the SEC's leading home run hitter, slapped his 14th home run of the year - a solo shot to right field. Beckham, a two-time SEC Player of the Week recipient, was hitless in 15 consecutive at-bats before the round-tripper.

The guests expanded the lead with three more scores in the fourth inning. Matt Olson slapped a solo home run to right field - his fourth of the year. Bryce Massanari and Matt Cerione followed with back-to-back singles. A double play almost worked MSU out of the inning. However, Michael Demperio drew a two-out walk. Both Massanari and Demperio came home on a two-run double by Ryan Peisel.

In the fifth inning, Georgia chased MSU starter Lee Swindle, thanks to a two-out walk to Rich Poythress. Forrest Moore replaced Swindle on the mound. Poythress stole second base and later scored on an RBI single by Olson.

The hosts broke through in the scoring column in the home half of the fifth inning. After back-to-back outs to start the inning, Ryan Collins, Jason Nappi and Cody Freeman bunched together consecutive singles to left field. Freeman's hit scored Collins but MSU could get no closer. From there, relief pitching dominated on both sides as neither scored in the final four innings.

Swindle (2-2) pitched 4-2/3 innings. The junior right-hander allowed seven hits and five runs (all earned), with two walks and a strikeout. Forrest Moore entered in relief for MSU. Moore worked 3-1/3 innings, allowing two hits and no runs, with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Jesse Carver pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Georgia starter Stephen Dodson (4-1) worked seven innings, allowing eight hits and one run (earned), with four strikeouts and one walk. Justin Earls pitched the final two innings for the visiting Bulldogs.

Georgia finished with nine hits. Olson, Poythress and Massanari each had multiple hits for UGA. MSU also finished with nine hits. Ryan Collins led MSU with his second three-hit game of the season. Nappi and Freeman also had multiple hits. A Nick Hardy double was the lone extra-base hit for the homestanding Bulldogs.

The two teams conclude the weekend series with 1:36 p.m. scheduled first pitch Sunday afternoon. UGA is slated to start junior left-hander Nathan Moreau (1-0, 2.36 ERA), while MSU is slated to start sophomore right-hander Ricky Bowen (2-3, 8.04). The contest will be broadcast regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

The Bulldogs then conclude their seven-game homestand by hosting Austin Peay for a pair of midweek games. MSU and Austin Peay play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field.

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