Georgia Holds Off Late Gamecock Rally To Earn 7-5 Win|
May 6, 2006
Athens, Ga. - Georgia pounded out 13 hits with homers from Matthew Dunn and Joey Side and held off a late Gamecock rally to earn a 7-5 win over 10th ranked South Carolina on Saturday afternoon taking the second straight game in the weekend series between the two schools. Georgia is 30-16 and 12-11 in the SEC with the Gamecocks now 32-15 and 13-10 in the conference. USC is now two games behind Kentucky for first place in the SEC Eastern Division.
The Bulldogs offense backed a solid performance by junior RHP Brooks Brown, who limited Carolina to two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and just one walk allowed. Brown is now 5-3 on the year with the win. Georgia's 13 hits on offense included three from Beckham and two apiece by Joey Side, Josh Morris, Bobby Felmy and Ryan Peisel.
Carolina freshman RHP Mike Cisco dropped his second straight decision and is now 5-2 on the year. Cisco went 5.1 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
For the second consecutive day, Georgia gained the early advantage with a run in the first inning. Gordon Beckham singled with two outs off Cisco and scored on a double by Josh Morris to left center and a misplay by left fielder Jon Willard. The run would be earned though as the next batter, Bobby Felmy reached on an infield base hit. Cisco would get out of a jam though as he coaxed Jason Jacobs into a fly ball to center field, limiting the Bulldogs to just one run.
Georgia would increase its lead to 2-0 in the second inning taking advantage of a leadoff walk to designated hitter Matt Olson. Olson would score on Jonathan Wyatt's one-out sacrifice fly RBI to left field.
Carolina looked to get on the scoreboard in the fourth inning but Brown was able to work his way out of a bases loaded jam with one out as he struck out both Reese Havens and Robbie Grinestaff to end the inning.
Georgia would use the momentum from Brown's work in the bottom half of the fourth with a pair of home runs, Matthew Dunn a two-run homer and a Joey Side with a solo shot as the Bulldogs extended its lead to 5-0. They would score twice more in the seventh inning.
USC avoided the shutout with two runs in the eighth inning as Trent Kline collected his third hit of the afternoon with a two-run triple to right center scoring both Justin Smoak and Chris Brown. The triple for Kline was his team-high third of the season.
The Gamecock rally continued in the ninth inning against Georgia reliever Rip Warren as Reese Havens doubled and Robbie Grinestaff walked, setting the table for Justin Smoak, who crushed a three-run homer to left field that cut the deficit to two runs. Smoak's homer was his 11th of the season that ties the South Carolina freshman record set by Drew Meyer in 2000.
The Bulldogs would bring in closer Joshua Fields, who retired two consecutive Gamecock batters to end the game and earn his ninth save of the year.
Kline's three hits led Carolina at the plate. Freshman Andrew Crisp also extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a base hit in the first inning.
The final game of the series is scheduled for 1 pm on Sunday afternoon with both teams sending a pair of freshman southpaws to the hill. Carolina will start LHP Will Atwood (3-0, 3.24 ERA) with Georgia starting LHP Nathan Moreau (5-1, 4.46 ERA). Mike Morgan and Tom Price call the action on the Gamecock Radio Network and on uscsports.com.