April 6, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- The 30th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs won their fifth in a row, defeating Charleston Southern 3-2 Wednesday at Foley Field.
Georgia (16-14) swept the two game mid-week series against the Buccaneers (17-15) and finished its longest homestand of the year 5-0 following the sweep of then 24th-ranked Mississippi State.
"I think this was as good as they've (the bullpen) thrown the ball all year," said Georgia head coach David Perno. "Our relievers commanded the count and handled situations well. When you throw quality stuff it gives you a big advantage."
Georgia starter Ben Cornwell pitched 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits before giving way to the bullpen. Four Georgia relievers blanked CSU the rest of the way, allowing three hits, no walks and six strikeouts. Sophomore Bryan Benzor earned his first win as a Bulldog and senior Eric Swegman notched his first career save. Clayton McKenney and Patrick Boling combined for 1.2 innings as well. CSU managed to put a runner at third with one out in the ninth and then struck out pinch-hitters Matt Still and Zach Hagaman.
In the first, Georgia second baseman Levi Hyams led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Buccaneers starter Levi Mauldin. Hyams then moved to third on a Conor Welton groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of shortstop Kyle Farmer.
"We didn't do much offensively today," said Perno. "Our batters need to make a few adjustments. Thankfully our pitching stepped up and did a great job."
In the bottom of the third, Peter Verdin, Hyams and Welton hit three consecutive singles to push across another run for Georgia for a 2-0 advantage. First baseman Jonathan Hester hit his second triple in as many days to start the fourth. A Brandon Stephens groundout allowed Hester to score the Bulldogs' third run. The Buccaneers got two runs back in the fifth off Cornwell as Alex Tomasovich and Cody Austin drove in runs.
Up next, the Bulldogs return to Southeastern Conference action with a three-game road series against Ole Miss (19-11, 4-5 SEC). Game one in Oxford will be on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 EDT.