#30 Georgia Cruises Past CSU 8-1

April 5, 2011

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ATHENS, Ga.-- A five-run second inning provided more than enough insurance for Georgia starter Chase Hawkins as the 30th-ranked Bulldogs cruised to an 8-1 win over Charleston Southern in front of 1,991 at Foley Field Tuesday.


Georgia (15-14) broke through against Buccaneer starter Ali Williams in the second inning. First baseman Jonathan Hester smacked a triple to deep centerfield to spark a two-out rally for the Bulldogs. Leftfielder Peter Verdin then dropped down a successful safety squeeze and beat the throw to first to give Georgia a 1-0 lead. Verdin promptly stole second base and moved to third following a Levi Hyams walk and a Curt Powell infield single. Verdin (3-for-3, RBI) stole his team-leading ninth and tenth stolen bases of the year. Shortstop Kyle Farmer lined a double into left, plating Verdin and Hyams (2-for-4, run) and extending the lead to three. Centerfielder Zach Cone continued the two-out rally with a single to left, driving in Powell (2-for-5, double, run) and Farmer (2-for-4, double, three RBI), giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.


 "I'm proud of Peter (Verdin)," stated Georgia head coach David Perno. "He had a great game and he's starting to gain some confidence. That was encouraging. It was good to see  (Chase) Hawkins go out there and give us six strong innings. He's done a great job for us all year against great competition. Cecil (Tanner) gave us a great inning and hopefully he made some strides. He was much better than he has been recently. John Herman also did a great job for us out of the bullpen tonight."

Williams (0-1) lasted only two innings for the Buccaneers, allowing five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two. Williams gave way to right-hander Brennan Dorsett in the bottom of the third. Dorsett was able to quiet the Bulldog bats, surrendering two runs on five hits over five innings of work. 

 The Bulldogs cushioned their lead to 6-0 in the bottom half of the third. Catcher Brett DeLoach led off the inning with a single to left, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Kevin Ruiz groundout. Hester provided an RBI-groundout to drive in DeLoach.


 Georgia starter Chase Hawkins (1-1) kept the Buccaneer bats in check, allowing only two hits in a career-high six innings of work. The sophomore lefty allowed a two-out single in the top half of the first inning before retiring 13 of the next 14 batters he faced. Hawkins scattered three hits with two strikeouts while walking none.


 "Knowing that we only threw five guys this weekend, we knew that we were going to limit Hawkins to around sixty pitches so that we could throw a few more guys," said Perno. "We also wanted to make sure that he'll be ready to help us on Saturday. He's too valuable with his ability to go out there and throw strikes. We're going to want to keep him fresh for the weekend."


The Bulldogs turned the ball over to junior right-hander Cecil Tanner in the top of the seventh. Tanner retired the first batter he faced via groundout before allowing a single to third basemen Jaren Sustar (2-for-4, three stolen bases). The junior then struck out Matt Still and Drew Woodall to end the frame.


Georgia continued their offensive tear in the bottom of the seventh, when junior designated hitter Chase Davidson launched his third home run of the year over the left-centerfield wall. The Bulldogs also tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out RBI-single by Farmer, scoring freshman Conor Welton.


Charleston Southern was able to plate a run in the top of the ninth inning. Georgia right-hander Earl Daniels replaced reliever John Herman in the ninth and struck out the first batter he faced. Daniels then walked Derek Smith (1-for-3, run), who scored on a single by Walt Quattlebaum (1-for-4, RBI) cutting the Georgia lead to 8-1. Daniels retired the final two batters he faced to end the Buccaneer threat and seal the win for Georgia.


Georgia will finish its series with Charleston Southern on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Foley Field. The Bulldogs will send junior right-hander Ben Cornwell (1-2, 5.94) to the mound while the Buccaneers will counter freshman right-hander Levi Mauldin (0-1, 5.71). Live stats are available at georgiadogs.com.



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