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Despite Pitching Performance by Roy, Liberty Edged by Georgia, 3-1

March 9, 2013
|  Athens, Ga.
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Brooks Roy

Despite a strong outing by Liberty starter Brooks Roy, the Georgia Bulldogs scored twice in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie, en route to a 3-1 win over the Flames, Saturday at Foley Field.

Roy, who entered the game having allowed only two runs in three starts this season, held Georgia in check for most of the afternoon. The right-hander retired the Bulldogs in order in five out of the eight innings he worked, but ran into trouble in the eighth. He retired seven or more Georgia batters in a row on two different occasions during the game.

Despite his performance, Roy takes his first loss of the season to fall to 2-1. He allowed three runs on six hits, striking out three and walking three batters over 7 1/3 innings.
Liberty falls to 9-5 on the year and has lost three consecutive contests.  Georgia evens its record to 7-7 on the year.

Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Back-to-back singles by second baseman Nelson Ward and third baseman Curt Powell opened the home half of the frame. Two batters later, left fielder Hunter Cole singled to score Ward with the game's first run and a Bulldogs advantage.

After the first inning score, Roy and Georgia starter Patrick Boling squared off in a pitcher's duel, not allowing a run until the sixth frame. Roy retired 10 straight Bulldogs until walking designated hitter Sean McLaughlin to begin the fifth inning. Meanwhile, McLaughlin scattered three hits in keeping Liberty scoreless through the first five frames.

In the bottom of the fifth, Georgia looked to add to its advantage, only to be turned away by Roy. On two walks and a bunt single, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out. But the Flames right-hander got shortstop Kyle Farmer to bounce into a double play to end the inning.

Liberty knotted the game with one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth. Leading off the frame, center fielder Ryan Cordell ripped the first pitch he saw from Boling over the left field wall. The outfielder's second home run of the year tied the game at 1-1.

Roy then retired seven straight batters until Ward reached on an infield single to open the home half of the eighth. After a one-out, intentional walk to Farmer, Cole singled to load the bases. First baseman J.T. Phillips followed with a sacrifice fly off Liberty reliever Justin Richardson to plate Ward to put the Bulldogs in front, 2-1. Catcher Brett DeLoach then singled to left field to score another run, extending Georgia's lead to 3-1.

In the top of the ninth, the Flames attempted to rally.  Catcher Trey Wimmer and first baseman Alex Close opened the inning with singles. However, Bulldog reliever Jared Walsh was able to close out Liberty for the 3-1 victory.

Georgia reliever Bryan Benzor moves to 1-0 on the season. He pitched two innings of scoreless relief. Benzor gave up one hit, while striking out one batter.

Liberty outhit Georgia, 9-7.  Cordell, Close and Wimmer had two hits apiece for the Flames. Cole, Powell and Ward each had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Liberty and Georgia will meet in the final game of the three-game series at Foley Field tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.