Home Runs Pace Georgia; Baseball Tied for SEC Lead
BATON ROUGE, La. - Designated hitter Justin Bryan launched two home runs Sunday, including a two-run blast in a four-run fourth inning, to lead Georgia to a 5-3 win over third-ranked LSU in Alex Box Stadium.
Georgia improved to 25-20 overall and 9-12 in the SEC. LSU, which saw its 14-game home win streak end, is 35-10 overall and 14-7 in league play. The Tigers are tied with South Carolina and Kentucky for first place in the overall SEC standings.
The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when LSU plays host to Tulane in Alex Box Stadium.
Bryan's two-run dinger in the fourth inning highlighted a four-run outburst, as the Bulldogs erased a 2-0 LSU lead. Bryan's second homer of the game, a solo shot in the eighth inning, gave Georgia a 5-3 advantage.
LSU loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but UGA reliever Earl Daniels struck out LSU leftfielder Raph Rhymes to end the game and earn his first save of the season.
Right-hander Jay Swinford (1-1), the second of four Georgia pitchers, was credited with the win as he held LSU scoreless from the fifth through seventh innings, allowing three hits with no walks and no strikeouts.
Daniels worked the final 0.2 inning to pick up the save, allowing no hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
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LSU starter Aaron Nola (5-2) was charged with the loss as he surrendered four runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings with no walks and one strikeout.
"I have to tip my cap to (Georgia coach) David Perno and the Georgia program," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "They suffered two very tough losses to start this series, but they came out today and outplayed us in all phases of the game. They outhit us, outpitched us, outcoached us, and they deserve a lot of credit for getting the job done."
LSU opened the scoring in the first inning when rightfielder Mason Katz walked, moved to third on a single by Rhymes and scored on a wild pitch by Georgia starter Luke Crumley.
The Tigers increased the lead to 2-0 in the third when Katz singled, advanced to third on a Rhymes single and scored on a throwing error by UGA catcher Brett DeLoach.
Georgia, however, struck for four runs on six hits against Nola in the fourth. Centerfielder Peter Verdin delivered an RBI single, DeLoach scored from third on a double steal, and Bryan unloaded a two-run homer, his third dinger of the season.
LSU narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a solo homer by catcher Ty Ross, his second dinger of the year.
Georgia 5, LSU 3 (Apr 29, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Georgia............. 000 400 010 - 5 14 2 (25-20, 9-12 SEC)
LSU................... 101 100 000 - 3 9 0 (35-10, 14-7 SEC)
Pitchers: Georgia - Luke Crumley; Jay Swinford(5); Chase Hawkins(8); Earl Daniels(9) and Brett DeLoach.
LSU - Aaron Nola; Brent Bonvillain(5); Kurt McCune(7); Nick Rumbelow(8) and Ty Ross.
Win-Jay Swinford(1-1) Save-Earl Daniels(1) Loss-Aaron Nola(5-2) T-2:52 A-10753
HR UGA - Justin Bryan 2 (4).
HR LSU - Ty Ross (2).
Actual Attendance: 6,673