Feb. 26, 2011
ATHENS, Ga.-- Four Bulldog relievers combined to allow only one unearned run in six innings of work to lead Georgia to a 4-3 victory over 16th-ranked Baylor Saturday in front of a crowd of 2,723 at Foley Field.
Baylor (3-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. A one-out single by Logan Vick looked as if it would be erased as Georgia starter Ben Cornwell induced a ground ball to shortstop Kyle Farmer. However, Farmer could not connect on a flip to second baseman Levi Hyams, allowing the runners to reach base safely. First baseman Max Muncy made Georgia pay, doubling home Vick and giving Baylor their first run of the game. The teams combined for seven errors in the contest, three by the Bears and four by the Bulldogs.
Another costly error hurt the Bulldogs in the second. After a double by designated hitter Josh Turley, Levi Hyams could not corral a pickoff attempt by Cornwell, allowing Turley to advance to third. Centerfielder Brooks Pinckard dropped down Baylor's second successful squeeze bunt in as many days, scoring Turley from third, giving Baylor a 2-0 lead. An incredible sliding catch in foul territory by left fielder Jonathan Taylor ended a bases-loaded threat by the Bears in the second.
Georgia (2-4) bounced back in the bottom of the frame. A walk to designated hitter Chase Davidson and a Farmer hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second for the Bulldogs. After a fielder's choice by first baseman Jonathan Hester, catcher Joey Delmonico (2-for-2, double, RBI) delivered a sacrifice fly to center, plating the first Bulldog run. Rightfielder Peter Verdin singled to left, scoring Hester to tie the game.
Singles by Taylor (2-for-4, two runs) and centerfielder Zach Cone started the third inning for Georgia. Farmer gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the weekend, driving in Taylor on a single and a 3-2 advantage.
Cornwell gave way to sophomore left-hander Blake Dieterich in the fourth. The junior allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts over three innings of work. Dieterich (1-0) surrendered only one hit in three innings of scoreless relief while tying a career-high with four strikeouts to notch the victory.
Georgia threatened again in the sixth as Delmonico scorched a double in the right-center gap to start the inning. He moved to third on a Curt Powell groundout before right-hander Dillon Newman and left-hander Crayton Bare teamed up to record the final two outs of the frame. Newman (0-1) allowed one run on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 3.2 innings in relief of starter Jon Ringenberg.
In the seventh, Georgia added an insurance run that proved to be the deciding run in the game. Taylor led off the inning with a single to left, advanced to second on a walk by Cone and moved to third on a fielder's choice. Farmer stepped into the box and provided a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Taylor.
The Bears took advantage of the third Georgia miscue of the day in the top of the eighth. Third baseman Cal Towey laid down a bunt that was fielded by catcher Brandon Stephens and his throw got past Hester and in to the rightfield corner allowing Towey to advance to third. Shortstop Landis Ware drew the Bears within one with a sac fly to center. A diving stop by Hyams and a great pickup at first by Hester ended the Bears rally in the eighth.
Reliever Tyler Maloof sat down the four batters he faced, picking up his second save of the season. Maloof, along with Dieterich, Cecil Tanner and Earl Daniels, allowed only one unearned run on four hits in six innings of relief.
"We got some offense going today," said Georgia head coach David Perno. "Joey Delmonico had some good hits, and we got some timely hitting and fantastic pitching. I can't say enough about the job that Dieterich did today. That was a really special performance by him and the rest of our guys today."
Georgia will have an opportunity to win the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Foley Field. Junior left-hander Craig Gullickson (0-0, 0.00) will make his Bulldog debut, while Baylor will send junior right-hander Trent Blank (0-0, 0.25) to the mound. Live stats will be available through georgiadogs.com.