KENNESAW----Georgia posted a 2-1 win over Kennesaw State Tuesday in front of a crowd of 1,455 at Stillwell Stadium.
Georgia (11-19) took a 2-0 lead in the fourth after a couple of miscues by the Owls. Second baseman Nelson Ward reached on a leadoff error and then senior Curt Powell was hit by a pitch. Sophomore outfielder Hunter Cole lined a single to left, scoring Ward as Powell took third on the play. Senior Kyle Farmer made it 2-0 with his team-leading sixth sacrifice fly. The Owls had a chance to answer as their half of the fourth started almost identically to the Bulldogs. The first two hitters reached on an error and a walk. However, Georgia freshman right hander David Gonzalez got Petyon Hart to bounce in to a double play and then retired Chris McGowan to maintain the advantage.
Gonzalez pitched a career-high four scoreless innings, allowing three hits with one walk and one strikeout for his career victory. Sophomore Jared Walsh started the fifth for the Bulldogs. Kennesaw State missed another scoring opportunity, loading the bases with two outs for their RBI leader Kal Simmons. However, Walsh struck him out. In the sixth, Bo Way led off with a double on a sinking line drive to center that DJ Smith dove for and had it just go off his glove. After a walk, Walsh battled back to retire the next three hitters including a pair of strikeouts.
The Owls (17-12) cut the deficit to 2-1 in the seventh. Freshman Palmer Betts started the frame and issued a four-pitch walk to Ryan Raper, a single to Alex Liquori and a wild pitch moved both in to scoring position. Georgia looked to sophomore Luke Crumley to face the top of the order. He struck out Andy Almonte before Simmons earned an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Crumley wound up tossing two scoreless innings. In the ninth, junior Dylan Cole came on and collected his second save by retiring the Owls in order. He picked up his first save of the year this past Saturday against eighth-ranked Kentucky in Lexington.
“I was happy for David Gonzalez, he really came out and gave us a good start and got his first win,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We did enough offensively and defensively we played real well even though we’re banged up right now. David set the tone, we scratched for a couple and the bullpen and defense made it hold up. Kennesaw left nine men on base and that was due in part to our pitching and defense. This should give us a little momentum for Friday when we start a big SEC series.”
The Bulldogs return to SEC action Friday for the first of a three-game series with Missouri. First pitch at Foley Field will be at 7 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans will receive number 13 replica jersey t-shirts.