Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dawgs Shutout Hogs


Georgia junior Michael Palazzone pitched eight innings of shutout baseball en route to the Dawgs 3-0 victory over No. 14 Arkansas Saturday at Foley Field.

Palazzone improved to 8-1 overall with a 1.94 ERA and notched his fifth win over a ranked team. In the SEC, he is 6-0 this season with a 1.74 ERA. Palazzone scattered four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five through eight innings. Also, junior Tyler Maloof came on to pitch the ninth to register his NCAA-leading 15th save.

“Michael throws all three pitches to both sides of the plate,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “That’s what makes him so good. I think everybody in their lineup saw fastballs, breaking balls and changeups at some point today.”

The Dawgs (23-21, 12-8 SEC) took an early lead when junior catcher Joey Delmonico scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third after junior Peter Verdin (2-for-3, 2 RBI) singled to right field. Delmonico led off the frame with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Conor Welton.

The Dawgs increased their lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning. Junior first baseman Jonathan Hester reached on a base hit and later was driven in by Verdin. Junior second baseman Levi Hyams collected his second career triple, both this season, to drive in Welton for a 3-0 advantage.

“Levi (Hyams) was on it all day,” said Perno. “He hit the ball hard. I had a good feeling about him.”

The Razorbacks (29-12, 10-10 SEC) had runners on third in the fourth and eighth frames but were unable to capitalize. Saturday marked the first time they had been shutout this season and the first since the 2010 SEC Tournament when Vanderbilt blanked them.

Georgia, playing the nation’s most difficult schedule, improved to 12-14 against Top 25 teams this season.

The Dawgs wrap up the series against the Razorbacks Sunday at 2 p.m. at Foley Field. The Dawgs will start junior left-hander Craig Gullickson (3-2, 7.11 ERA) while the Razorbacks will counter with sophomore left-hander Cade Lynch (4-2, 2.89 ERA).

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