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LSU's Mikie Mahtook (left) with assistant coach Will Davis
Photo by:Hilary Scheinuk, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Georgia Sweeps Abbreviated Sunday Doubleheader
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Published: March 27, 2011, 01:46 PM (CT)
Updated: March 28, 2011, 03:36 PM (CT)
by Bill Franques, Sr. Associate SID

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia capitalized on four LSU errors to score three unearned runs Sunday as the Bulldogs posted a 3-2 victory and completed a sweep of an SEC doubleheader.

Georgia (11-13, 3-3 SEC) captured Game 1 of the twin bill, 9-5, over LSU, which fell to 17-7 overall and 1-5 in league play. Both games of Sunday's doubleheader were seven-inning contests.

LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Tigers play host to McNeese State in Alex Box Stadium.

"We knew going into this series that Georgia's record was very misleading because they had played such a tough schedule," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "They have a great deal of talent and they made some big plays and clutch pitches today. We had a tough outing on the mound in the first game and some miscues in the field really hurt us in the second game. This was the first SEC road series for a lot of our players, so it was a learning experience for them. We're certainly capable of recovering from this, and we'll move forward from this weekend."

Georgia opened the scoring in the first inning of Game 2 to take a 1-0 lead against LSU starter Ben Alsup. Second baseman Levi Hyams singled and moved to second when leftfielder Trey Watkins bobbled the ball. Hyams then moved to third on shortstop Kyle Farmer's single and he scored when Alsup fired a wild pitch.

The Bulldogs added a pair of unearned runs in the third as LSU committed three errors in the inning. Hyams scored from first base when Watkins dropped Farmer's fly ball with two outs. Farmer later scored on an RBI single by centerfielder Zach Cone.

LSU rebounded with a pair of runs in the fourth, narrowing the gap to 3-2. Centerfielder Mikie Mahtook launched a solo homer, his eighth of the season, before shortstop Austin Nola doubled and later scored when Farmer misplayed first baseman Alex Edward's ground ball.

The Tigers narrowly missed on a couple of  chances to tie the game. Nola flied out to deep center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, and Cone threw out pinch runner Beau Didier at the plate in the sixth as Didier attempted to score from second base on pinch hitter Ty Ross' single.

Georgia closer Tyler Maloof earned his eighth save by blanking the Tigers in the seventh inning. Maloof gave up a one-out single to designated hitter Raph Rhymes before third baseman Tyler Hanover popped out and Mahtook grounded to second to end the game.

Georgia starter Craig Gullickson (2-1) earned the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

Alsup (3-3) was charged with the loss as he allowed three runs (none earned) on three hits in three innings with no walks and three strikeouts.

Right-hander Ryan Eades fired three shutout innings to keep the Tigers within striking distance.

Georgia received a complete-game effort from right-hander Michael Palazzone (3-1) to secure the victory in Game 1. Palazzone limited the Tigers to five runs (none earned) in seven innings with no walks and four strikeouts.

LSU starter Kevin Gausman (2-2) endured a rough outing in his first SEC start on the road, surrendering seven runs on six hits in two innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1 when Mahtook delivered an RBI single to score Rhymes, who had reached on an error.

The Bulldogs erupted for six runs on six hits in the second against LSU starter Kevin Gausman, as the uprising was highlighted by Farmer's three-run double.

LSU roared back with four runs in the third, as the Tigers capitalized on two Georgia errors.  Nola lined a two-RBI single to fuel the rally.

Georgia extended its lead to 7-5 in the third on an RBI single by catcher Brandon Stephens against LSU reliever Jimmy Dykstra.

The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the fifth as first baseman Kevin Ruiz unloaded a solo homer and Hyams contributed a sacrifice fly.

 

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