March 27, 2012
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Athens, Ga.-----Clemson used a 16-hit attack to defeat No. 25 Georgia 10-5 Tuesday at Foley Field.
The Tigers improved to 12-11 while the Bulldogs dropped their third straight to fall to 17-9. Georgia freshman pitcher David Sosebee gave up a run in the first and was chased in the second. In the first inning, Clemson second baseman Steve Wilkerson led off with a single up the middle, and three batters later designated hitter, Phil Pohl, singled to left, followed by a walk to Brad Felder to load the bases. Sosebee--who had only allowed one base on balls all season-- walked Georgia native, Spencer Kieboom, to give Clemson a 1-0 lead.
When the Bulldogs came to the plate in the bottom of the inning, they responded with a little help from Clemson starting pitcher, Daniel Gossett. Senior Levi Hyams and freshman Nelson Ward led off the inning with singles. With two outs, Gossett threw back-to-back wild pitches allowing Ward to score to tie the game. Gossett continued to struggle with his control, walking both Hunter Cole and Brett DeLoach. Colby May then gave Georgia a 3-1 lead as he rocketed the ball over right fielder Brad Felder for a two-run double. It would be Georgia's last lead as the Tigers responded by scoring three runs in the second and eventually built a 10-4 advantage going to the ninth.
Clemson's scoring continued in the second frame. Jay Baum and Tyler Slayton began the inning with singles. After a fielder's choice, Georgia made the move to the bullpen and brought in freshman reliever Luke Crumley. Sosebee finished the day with 1.1 innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs and two walks. With two outs and runners on second and third, Crumley threw a wild pitch to allow Slayton to score. Later in the frame, Clemson's third baseman, Richie Shaffer smashed a two-run home run to right center fence to make it 4-3.
Georgia brought in Earl Daniels to pitch the fourth inning, which started off promising with a strikeout to Jason Stolz, but then a fielding mistake by third baseman Curt Powell led to Clemson increasing the lead to 5-3. In the fifth, Clemson added another run to their lead. Kieboom led off the inning with a walk; the Tigers then laid down a bunt followed by a ground out to second to move him to third. Slayton extended the lead to 6-3 when he hit the ball just out of the reach of second baseman Hyams, and into left field. Georgia employed eight pitchers on the ninth.
Bulldog freshman Hunter Cole crushed his fourth home run of the year in the sixth, a solo shot. Georgia scored its final run in the ninth courtesy of a balk..
Gossett (2-2) picked up the win, pitching five innings while allowing six hits and four earned runs. Crumley got the loss to fall to 1-1.
"We didn't play very well tonight," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I liked that we had a big first inning at the plate; we haven't done that in a while. We need to clean up some things with our pitching and offensively, we didn't do much after that first inning. I have to credit Clemson for making some nice defensive plays. They hit the ball well and scored in almost every inning. It's still early in the season and we've got a lot of baseball left."
Georgia will play host No. 10 Kentucky (25-1) this weekend at Foley Field, starting Friday at 7 p.m.