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Georgia Opens Weekend Series with Win over Liberty
The Georgia Bulldogs shut out the Liberty Flames, 12-0, Friday night in the beginning of a three-game series at Foley Field.
With back-to-back setbacks, Liberty drops to 9-4 on the year. It is the first time the Flames have been shut out this season. Georgia moves to 6-7 on the year.
The host Bulldogs staked themselves to an advantage in the bottom of the third inning. Second baseman Nelson Ward singled and moved to third bases on a hit-and-run single by third baseman Curt Powell. Shortstop Kyle Farmer then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Ward with the game's first run and give Georgia a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Bulldogs added to their advantage. With one out and no one aboard, catcher Zack Bowers hit his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall for a 2-0 edge.
Later in the frame, Ward worked a two-out walk and moved to second on a single by Powell. Farmer followed with a RBI single to left field, upping the home team's lead to 3-0.
The Flames threatened in the top of the seventh against Georgia reliever Blake Dietrich. With two outs, Liberty shortstop Dalton Britt reached on a pass ball on a third strike and moved to third base, when Powell threw wide of first base on a grounder to third base by Flames third baseman Dalton Sype. However, Dietrich was able to get pinch hitter Justin Sizemore to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, Georgia broke open the contest with seven runs to extend its lead to 10-0. Farmer singled and advanced to second on a walk to left fielder Hunter Cole. After the next two batters were retired, right fielder Jared Walsh doubled into the left field corner to score both runners for a 5-0 lead. Bowers followed with an infield single to bring home Walsh for the inning's third run.
Three straight walks led to more trouble for the Flames, as Powell dropped a two-run single into center field to up the Bulldog advantage to 8-0. Farmer, batting for the second time in the inning, capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run double, upping Georgia's lead to 10 runs.
The Bulldogs added two unearned runs on back-to-back fielder's choice ground balls in the eighth for the final score of 12-0.
Liberty starter Carson Herndon drops to 1-2 on the season. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings, before giving way to reliever Patrick Bankemper. Herndon struck out three and walked three batters. The Flames used six pitchers in the contest.
Three Georgia pitchers combined for the shutout. Starter Sean McLaughlin moves to 3-0 on the year. The freshman right-hander pitched six scoreless innings, giving up four hits. He struck out a career-high six batters and walked one. McLaughlin did not allow a Liberty runner past second base.
The Bulldogs outhit the Flames in the contest, 15-4. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud had two hits for Liberty. Georgia's Farmer had three hits and four RBIs to lead all hitters.
Liberty and Georgia will meet again tomorrow at Foley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.