May 17, 2011
ATHENS----Georgia used a 16-hit attack to defeat Kennesaw State 9-4 Tuesday at Foley Field.
Junior second baseman Levi Hyams got the Bulldogs going in the first with a leadoff double. Freshman centerfielder Conor Welton (2-for-5, 2 RBI) moved him to third with a groundout, and then sophomore shortstop Kyle Farmer notched his team-leading 50th RBI with a bounce out to shortstop. For Hyams, the double extended his hitting streak to six games. Georgia took advantage of a pair of miscues by the Owls to score four unearned runs on four hits in the second inning to build a 5-0 lead. Welton delivered a two-run single and Farmer added a sacrifice fly to highlight the scoring.
Sophomore left-hander Patrick Boling (1-2) pitched the first three innings for the Bulldogs on a staff day. He allowed just two hits and three walks before giving way to junior left-hander Chase Hawkins. He tossed two scoreless innings and Georgia went to sophomore right-hander B ryan Benzor to start the sixth. KSU starter Sean Fream got the loss to fall to 1-5. He allowed six runs (only two earned) on 11 hits in 4.2 innings.
With one out in the sixth, Farmer and left fielder Zach Cone (3-for-5) notched base hits and then pinch-hitter Brett DeLoach came through with an RBI-single off Caden Feruson to make it 7-0. First baseman Jonathan Hester collected an RBI on a groundout, scoring Cone. Then an error by shortstop Peyton Hart allowed DeLoach to come home for a 9-0 advantage. It marked the Owls fourth error on the night.
Kennesaw State (30-22) spoiled the shutout bid in the seventh with three consecutive singles off Benzor as Ronnie Freeman brought in the first run for the Owls. First baseman Andy Chriscaden drew a one-out walk to load the bases for Hart who made it 9-2 with an RBI-single. At that point, Georgia looked to junior left-hander Craig Gullickson. Second baseman Sean McClurken picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly and right fielder Bucky Smith walked on four pitches to load the bases again. Gullickson battled back to retire Will Howard to send it to the bottom of the seventh with Georgia leading 9-3. Gullickson took care of the eighth inning too and sophomore Earl Daniels pitched the ninth to close it out.
"We didn't play very well towards the end, but we survived," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We've got a shot, and we've got to do something special this weekend. We needed a win tonight, and we got it, although Kennesaw helped us a bit. It's been a while since someone played poorly against us. It was good to see us take care of the baseball ."
The Bulldogs return to action against third-ranked Vanderbilt (42-8, 20-7 SEC) as part of the SEC Baseball Thursday Night Game of the Week on ESPNU. First pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT. It will be the first of a three-game series to close out the regular season.