Georgia Beats No. 4 LSU 5-3

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th 8th 9th   RHE
UGA 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 5 14 2
LSU 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 9 0
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April 29, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA.----Georgia got a pair of home runs from Justin Bryan and five scoreless innings from its bullpen to defeat fourth-ranked LSU Sunday in front of 6,673 at Alex Box Stadium.

Redshirt freshman Jay Swinford pitched three scoreless innings for his first career win and junior Earl Daniels notched his first career save as he struck out the nation's leading hitter in Raphy Rymes with the bases loaded to end the contest. The Bulldogs improved to 25-20 overall, 9-12 in the SEC.

LSU (35-10, 14-7 SEC) scored a run in the first on a couple of Bulldog miscues. With two outs, Mason Katz drew a walk. Raph Rhymes, the NCAA's leading hitter who came in to the game batting .503, popped up to second and senior Levi Hyams lost it in the sun and it fell to the ground. It was ruled a single and Katz made it to third. A wild pitch by freshman right-hander Luke Crumley allowed Katz to score for a 1-0 lead. A throwing error by Bulldog catcher Brett DeLoach led to an unearned run in the third as the Tigers went up 2-0.

The Bulldogs exploded for four runs on six hits in the fourth off freshman Aaron Nola. With one out, five consecutive Bulldogs notched hits and there was a successful double steal including by DeLoach of home. Junior Curt Powell extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Senior Peter Verdin added an RBI-single and freshman designated hitter Justin Bryan smashed a two-run home run to put Georgia in front 4-2. Bryan now has eight hits including three home runs and 10 RBI in 30 career at bats. Also, Bryan's blast snapped a streak of nine consecutive solo shots this season by the Bulldogs as their last multi-run home run came from Hyams against Tennessee on March 17. LSU answered with a solo home run from catcher Ty Ross in the bottom of the frame to make it a 4-3 contest. In the fifth, Georgia freshman Hunter Cole notched his third hit of the afternoon and then Verdin's two-out double ended Nolan's outing. LSU turned to Brent Bonvillain to face Bryan and he got him to ground out to keep it a one-run affair. Georgia went to its bullpen to start the Tiger fifth, bringing in redshirt freshman Jay Swinford. Crumley went a career-long four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits. Nola surrendered four runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched.

Swinford provided a career-high three scoreless innings. In the seventh with one on and one out, he got Rhymes to bounce in to an inning-ending double play. In the eighth, Bryan connected again for a home run, this time off Kurt McCune, for a 5-3 lead. Bryan now has nine career hits including four home runs. Bryan is the first Bulldog to hit two home runs in a game since Hyams against Kentucky last May in Lexington. In the bottom of the eighth, Georgia looked to senior left-hander Chase Hawkins. After two straight games of watching LSU rally to take the lead in that frame, Hawkins and the Bulldogs retired the Tigers in order to send it to the ninth. Hawkins got the first out and gave up a single to Tyler Hanover. Georgia turned to Daniels. He struck out Jacoby Jones for the second out before back-to-back walks to Arby Fields and Mason Katz. Rhymes, who was  4-for-4 with the bases loaded this season, worked the count to 3-1 before Daniels battled back to strike him out.

"We survived and got one today," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We played well, got a big inning and everybody pitched well. I'm proud of the team for hanging in there because LSU is a great team and this is a tough place to play."

Due to final exams, Georgia will not have any midweek games. The Bulldogs return to action Friday for the first of a three-game SEC series with Auburn. First pitch at Foley Field will be at 7:05 p.m., and the game will be televised by Fox Sports South.

 

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