No.4 Georgia Halts UA Win Streak
Feb. 27, 2009
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TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs lived up to their lofty ranking, coming to Tucson and snapping Arizona's modest three-game win streak with an 11-5 victory on Friday evening in front of 2,101 fans at Jerry Kindall Field.
The visitors were on the board early, claiming a 2-0 lead before the home-standing Wildcats even had a chance to hit. Johnathan Taylor led the game off with a single to right field and UA starter Preston Guilmet issued a walk to Michael Demperio. A sacrifice bunt Colby May put two runners in scoring position. Rich Poythress hit an RBI groundout and Bryce Massanari singled home another run to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.
Arizona (4-2) closed the early deficit with a run of its own in the home half of the first inning. Rafael Valenzuela singled to centerfield and stole second base. With one out, Valenzuela scored on a Brad Glenn RBI groundout to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, left fielder Bobby Coyle launched a two-out homerun to right field to even the score at two.
The Bulldogs (5-0) would reclaim the lead two innings later by posting three runs in the top of the fifth. A leadoff walk issued to Demperio set the table for a triple by May and back-to-back singles by Poythress and Massanari to give Georgia a 4-2 lead.
Guilmet, who suffered his first loss of the season, was able to get Joey Lewis to ground into a double play to limit the damage in the inning, but Poythress came in to score on the play and push the Bulldogs' lead to 5-2.
Guilmet threw 87 pitches in 4.2 innings pitched, allowing five runs - all earned - on seven hits.
The Wildcats looked to claw back into the game in the home half of the fifth. Hunter Pace reached on an error by Taylor, who dropped a routine fly ball in centerfield. Pace moved to third on a single to right by Valenzuela to put runners at the corners with one out.
With Bryce Ortega at the plate, UA tried to force the action. Valenzuela took off on a steal attempt, but the throw went through to second base to catch Valenzuela stealing and Pace was unable to score from third.
Ortega kept things alive with an RBI single to right field and scored as Coyle launched a double to the gap in right center. The two-run rally closed the margin to a 5-4 Georgia lead through five innings.
But that was all the closer the Wildcats could get. Georgia added a single run in the sixth and seventh innings, and then exploded for four in the top of the eighth to win going away.
Poythress reached on a one-out throwing error by UA third baseman Jett Bandy. Massanari reached on a walk issued by reliever Cory Burns and scored on a bases-clearing triple by reserve Adam Fuller, who replaced Lewis as the designated hitter an inning before.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the inning to push the lead to 11-4. A lone UA run in the bottom half of the inning set the game at its final, 11-5.
Georgia starter Trevor Holder picked up the win, lasting five innings and allowing four runs on six hits.
The two teams will take to field at 6 p.m. on Saturday for the second game of the three-game series.