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May 15, 2012
ATHENS ---- The Georgia Bulldogs honored 11 seniors Tuesday night and then defeated East Tennessee State 7-4 in front of a crowd of 1,545 in the final home game of the regular season.
Junior catcher Brett DeLoach went 3-for-4 with two doubles, and junior shortstop Kyle Farmer provided a three-run triple to lead the offense. The Bulldogs (30-22) used a staff approach, getting eight pitchers some action against ETSU. Freshmen Luke Crumley started the game and pitched two innings and allowed one run, earning his third win of the season. Ross Ripple followed him with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. Jarrett Brown also recorded three strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Freshman Pete Nagel pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the year. Georgia's last seven pitchers combined to register nine strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
East Tennessee State (22-30) got on the board first with a two-out RBI single by Cory Betterson in the bottom of the second. Betterson's hit drove in Dylan Pratt from second, after Georgia's Crumley walked both Pratt and Chris Riopedre, who advanced to third on Betterson's single. Crumley was able to avoid a big inning by forcing Zach Waters to ground out to second in the next at bat to end the inning.
Georgia was able even the score quickly, after DeLoach and Jared Walsh hit back to back doubles to lead off the bottom of the second inning to make it a 1-1 ball game. Senior Peter Verdin put Georgia on top 2-1, hitting a single past ETSU third basemen Alex Reynolds, driving in Walsh who had advanced to third on a passed ball. After allowing three straight hits to start the inning, Kerry Doane of ETSU was able to settle in and retire the next three batters he faced, leaving the Bulldogs up 2-1 after two.
Georgia extended its lead to 4-1 in the third inning. After Curt Powell grounded out to start the inning, Kyle Farmer reached on a one out single, then advanced to third on a Hunter Cole double. DeLoach drove in Farmer with a soft single into center field, moving Cole to third. After a strike out by Walsh, Verdin singled into left to bring home Cole. ETSU narrowed the gap to 4-3 over the course of the next two innings, leading off both the fourth and the fifth with home runs. The fourth inning homer came off the bat of Matthew Scruggs and was his team leading 19th of the season. The fifth inning homer came from Betterson, which was his first of the season.
After pitching allowing four runs on nine hits in five innings of worked, Doane was relieved by Logan Rice to start the sixth inning. Kyle Farmer welcomed Rice with a two out bases clearing triple, scoring Kevin Ruiz, Levi Hyams (who pinch hit for Nelson Ward) and Curt Powell, putting the Bulldogs up 7-3. The triple was Farmer's third of his career and first of this season. ETSU cut away at Georgia's lead again in the seventh inning, as Waters doubled down the left field line which brought in Riopedre from first, who reached on an error by Hyams to lead off the inning.
After ETSU scored their fourth run of the game, the Bulldog's bullpen finished off the final 2.2 innings allowing no runs and three hits. Senior Chase Hawkins pitched the final relieved Brian Benzor in the seventh and forced Andrew Green to line into an unassisted double play. Blake Dieterich pitched a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout setting up Nagel for the save. Nagel allowed two hits but forced a 6-3 double play and then struck out Betterson to end the ball game.
"The guys came out and swung the bats well, and I was pleased with our pitching staff did," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We had to get a lot of guys some work to keep them sharp for the upcoming SEC series and SEC Tournament. Overall, I thought they did well. Kyle got the big hit for us with the bases loaded, and several guys looked better at the plate as we finished with 13 hits."
Georgia wraps up the regular season this weekend with a three game series against Alabama starting Thursday in Tuscaloosa at 7:35 p.m. ET. It marks the beginning of an extended stay in the state as the Bulldogs will head to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., as it kicks off on May 22.