April 3, 2011
Georgia (14-14, 6-3 SEC) capped a stretch of 11 consecutive games against ranked opponents Sunday, going 6-5 and evened their overall record at 14-14. Eighteen of Georgia's games this year have been against ranked teams, and they are 9-9 in those contests.
Mississippi State (19-9, 4-5 SEC) got on the board first in the second inning when Jonathan Ogden scored on a sacrifice ground out from Adam Frazier which put State ahead 1-0. Georgia pitcher Craig Gullickson (3-1) was able to fight out of a jam in the third inning, getting a ground out and a strikeout with runners on second and third to end the inning, keeping the score at 1-0. Georgia designated hitter Brett DeLoach put the Bulldogs out in front with his second home run of the series, a two-run shot to make it 2-1. Cone was on board after drawing a walk from Nick Routt. The left-hander dropped to 0-1, leaving with one out in the fourth after surrendering two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Gullickson recorded his longest start of his Georgia career, going 5.2 innings en route to his third win of the season. He improved to 3-1, allowing just one run on six hits, striking out three and walking two.
State went through a total of eight pitchers, totaling six walks and six strikeouts. After entering into play in the fourth inning, State's bullpen did not allow a run until the seventh inning when Kyle Farmer singled in Levi Hyams to extend Georgia's lead to 3-1. In the eighth inning, Georgia added one more run when Peter Verdin drove in Brandon Stephens, who led off the inning with a double for his career-high third hit of the game.
Junior Tyler Maloof picked up his league leading 11th save of the season retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning to complete the sweep.
"We felt like if we could make (Mississippi State) earn what they got then we would have a chance late and that's exactly how it worked out. (Craig) Gullickson really settled in after a couple of innings, got the tough outs and then (Blake) Dieterich and (Tyler) Maloof finished it out for us" Georgia head coach David Perno said of his pitchers in the series finale.
"I feel like today was our best fielding game of the season," Perno added. "Zach (Cone) had a great catch, and we were just solid all around. This is a special group of guys and I think we might be on to something here."
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday April 5, 2011 against Charleston Southern at 7 pm at Foley Field in Athens.