Sunday, April 5, 2009

LSU Takes Game 3

Mikie Mahtook hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to put LSU ahead and the second-ranked Tigers held on for a 7-5 win over No. 1 Georgia Sunday in front of 3,377 fans at Foley Field.

The Diamond Dawgs (25-5, 8-4 SEC) had taken a 5-4 lead in the fifth off a three-run blast by Matt Cerione, but the Tigers (23-8, 8-4 SEC) came back in the sixth and held Georgia scoreless in the final four innings.

Georgia had the tying run on base with two outs in the ninth, but Matty Ott struck out Zach Cone on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

“The errors and strikeouts caught up with us,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “Offensively we did a better job, but we struck out 12 times. We have to play better. We are fortunate to be 3-2 this week. We have a lot of talent and a great team, but right now we are not doing things consistently that it takes to win a championship. Sometimes it takes a hard loss to send a message to the guys, and I’m confident we will bounce back.”

Cerione finished 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and three RBI. Colby May had his third straight two-hit game and finished the series 6-for-9 with two doubles and two walks. Bryce Massanari also had two hits including his fourth home run of the weekend and eighth in the last 10 games.

Louis Coleman (7-1), who also pitched 2.1 innings in relief on Friday, worked eight innings and allowed five runs on eight hits to earn the win. Ott picked up his sixth save.

Will Harvil (2-1) took the loss after giving up the two-out home run to Mahtook. Both runs were unearned after a dropped fly ball earlier in the inning. Georgia starter Justin Grimm allowed four runs on four hits in 4.2 innings.

LSU loaded the bases with one out in the first and scored to go ahead 1-0. Then in the bottom of the inning, Cerione drew a one-out walk, then scored on a double by Rich Poythress, then Massanari followed with a solo home run to give Georgia a 2-1 lead.

After Grimm retired the first two batters in the fourth, LSU scored three runs off a walk and doubles by Leon Landry and Tyler Hanover.

The Dawgs came back with three runs in the fifth as May doubled to start the inning and Levi Hyams reached on an infield hit. LSU then recorded two outs before Cerione connected on his third home run to give the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead.

LSU regained the lead on Mahtook’s home run in the sixth and scored another run in the eighth. Cerione kept Georgia in the game with a leaping catch over the wall later in the inning to rob Jared Mitchell of a three-run homer.

Otto entered the game in the ninth and allowed two hits and struck out three batters. The Dawgs outhit LSU 10-7.

Georgia plays host to Winthrop in a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday at Foley Field.

The No. 1-ranked Georgia gymnastics team won the NCAA Southeast Regional on Saturday at North Carolina State's Reynolds Coliseum to qualify for the NCAA Championship.

Behind 10.0s from Courtney Kupets and Courtney McCool, the Gym Dogs rolled up a score of 197.7. Kupets was selected as the Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year.

The NCAAs will take place April 16-18 in Lincoln, Neb. The Gym Dawgs will be going for the 10th national title in school history and their fifth in a row.

Sixth-ranked Georgia dropped the series finale to fourth-ranked Alabama, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon at the University of Alabama Softball complex in front of a crowd of 1,949.

With the win, the Crimson Tide completed a series sweep of the Dawgs to improve to 31-6 overall and 10-4 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia dropped to 25-7 overall and 7-5 in league play with the loss.

Rebekah Perry scored her first goal as a Dawg and it proved to be the game-winning strike as the soccer team recorded a 3-2 victory over Central Florida Saturday night in the Second Annual Ovarian Cancer Awareness Tournament in Viera, Fla.

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