MT. Pleasant, S.C.-----Georgia pounded out 14 hits including two home runs to post a 5-3 victory over College of Charleston Wednesday at Patriots Point Stadium.
The Cougars (26-22) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first as Gunnar Heidt and Carl Wise collected an RBI apiece. The Bulldogs (18-28) responded with three runs in the top of the second. Senior right fielder Brett DeLoach led off with a base hit and then picked up his fifth stolen base on the year. Freshman designated hitter Jess Posey cut the deficit in half with a run-scoring single. Freshman catcher Zach Bowers stepped up and smashed his team-leading sixth home run to put Georgia in front 3-2.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision as both teams approached the game as a staff night with several hurlers seeing action. The clubs exchanged single runs in the fourth to make it a 4-3 contest. Georgia took advantage of a Cougar miscue to score its run as sophomore Hunter Cole got an RBI on a groundout while Charleston got a two-out, RBI-single from Blake Butler off sophomore Ross Ripple. In the fifth, Georgia turned to senior left-hander Blake Dieterich as DeLoach moved behind the plate and freshman Sean McLaughlin took over in right field. In the frame, the Cougars threatened to tie the contest, putting a runner at third with one out following a one-out double and a failed pickoff attempt. However, Dieterich retired the next two hitters to maintain the one-run advantage.
In the seventh, freshman Daniel Nichols launched an opposite field home run to start the inning to extend Georgia’s advantage to 5-3. It was his third home run of his career and his second in as many games. Bulldog junior left-hander Patrick Boling provided two innings of sharp relief, allowing just one walk with four strikeouts. In the eighth, Georgia looked to junior Dylan Cole who retired three straight Cougars and then sophomore Jarrett Brown did the same in the ninth. Brown struck out two for his third save while Ripple picked up the win to move his record to 2-1. Charleston starter Nathan Helvey fell to 4-3.DeLoach and Cole registered there-hit games.
“Everybody in the lineup got a hit tonight except Justin (Bryan), and hopefully he’ll get it going Friday, and overall we pitched very well” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We used a lot of guys and that was by design because of the long layoff due to the rainouts and exams, and we haven’t played much the last two weeks. I was really pleased how Patrick Boling came in and shut them down. That’s his role and then Dylan and Jarrett closed it out for us.”
Georgia continues this road trip on Friday when it begins a three-game Southeastern Conference series with 15th-ranked South Carolina (33-14, 13-10 SEC). First pitch versus the Gamecocks will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised by SportSouth.