Zach Cone went 3-for-4 with four runs scored Wednesday.
March 16, 2011
KENNESAW-----Kennesaw State scored in six of the eight innings it batted to post a 12-8 victory over Georgia and snap the Bulldogs five-game winning streak Wednesday in front of a Stillwell Stadium record crowd of 1,203.
Georgia junior centerfielder Zach Cone (3-for-4) connected for his first home run of the year, a solo shot off Sean Fream to put the Bulldog in front 1-0 in the first. However, the Owls (11-8) responded with three runs on three hits in the second off Chase Hawkins. First baseman Andy Chriscaden tied the game with his second home run of the year to start the scoring. A base hit and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Sean McClurken who delivered a two-out, two-run single to make it 3-1 KSU. The Owls looked to extend their lead but a diving catch by Levi Hyams on a sinking line drive in shallow center ended the inning.
The Bulldogs (8-9) came right back with a three-run outburst in the top of the third to reclaim a 4-3 lead. Chase Davidson, Kyle Farmer and Jonathan Hester drove in runs to highlight the rally. Georgia turned to junior right-hander Ben Cornwell to start the bottom of the inning, and the Owls chased him with another three-run outburst on four hits. The Bulldogs brought in sophomore Blake Dieterich who struck out Will Howard to end the inning with the Owls back on top 6-4. KSU’s offense continued to produce, adding three runs on two hits and were aided by a two-out miscue by third baseman Curt Powell as the Owls pushed their lead to 9-4. Georgia tried to answer in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out and managed a bases-loaded walk by Hester before freshman Austin Wheeler hit into a double play to send it to the bottom of the fifth with KSU leading 9-5. After Bryan Benzor issued two walks, senior John Herman was brought in and KSU added one run after a hit by pitch and sacrifice fly to make it 10-5.
In the sixth, Georgia trimmed the deficit to four with a two-out, RBI-double by Hyams . He extended his hitting streak to nine with a single in the third. Georgia sophomore right-hander Earl Daniels started the sixth, and the Owls got the run right back on a two-out bunt single by Jordan Craft who stole second base, took third on a throwing error on the play by catcher Brandon Stephens and scored on a wild pitch by Daniels for a 11-6 margin. The Owls went to their bullpen to start the seventh, turning it over to Andrew Austin. Fream scattered eight hits over six innings and only two of the six runs he allowed were earned. Fream got the win to even his record to 1-1 while Austin picked up his second save. Cornwell took the loss to fall to 1-2.
“You have to credit Kennesaw State, they outplayed us tonight and got a few big innings early and we never stopped them,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “I take the blame tonight, we didn’t show up ready to play, we didn’t pitch very well and played horrible defense. We were able to score some runs but it wasn’t enough. We’ve been playing some good baseball, but tonight we weren’t very good.”
Georgia returns to action Friday when it begins Southeastern Conference play against defending national champion South Carolina in Columbia. The Gamecocks are ranked as high as fourth nationally and are 11-2. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.