Furious comeback gives Georgia 9-8 win over UNCG in baseball action
ATHENS, GA – Kyle Keen drove in the winning run on the first pitch he saw and Georgia scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to take game two of the three-game series 9-8 Saturday evening at Foley Field.
After Georgia (2-0) second baseman Jonathan Wyatt led off the inning with a routine groundout to shortstop, Joey Side ignited the Bulldog rally with a triple to left field. Matt Olson followed with a pinch hit double to centerfield to drive in Side. Friday night’s hero, Bobby Felmy, then plated Olson with a double off the left centerfield wall before Jason Jacobs tied the game with a double of his own down the left field line.
Spartan freshman pitcher Clinton McKinney collected a much needed punchout of Gordon Beckham with two on and only one out in the ninth, but was unable to retire Keen for the final out to send the game into extra innings.
Jason Leaver (1-0) earned the win for Georgia after allowing one unearned run on four hits in three innings on the hill. Senior Patrick Currin (0-1) took the loss for the Spartans after surrendering two runs on two hits.
Welsh put the Spartans out in front 1-0 in the top half of the first as the Tucson, AZ product collected his third RBI of the weekend. Junior Jermaine Mitchell led off the frame with an infield single and then stole second. After Brandon Harvey drew a walk on a 3-2 count, Walsh laced a 2-0 single up the middle to give UNCG an early one run edge.
UNCG’s lead didn’t last long as Georgia plated the equalizer in the bottom half of the inning when designated hitter Matt Robbins drove in Kyle Keen on a groundout to second base. The Spartans (0-2) regained the lead in the top of the third as Mike Mongiello drove home Welsh on a single to the third baseman to give UNCG a 2-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs struck for the game-tying run in the bottom of the fourth off a balk called on Spartan pitcher Clay Gibson. UNCG responded quickly, however, as the Spartans pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Harvey led off the frame with a double to center field and Welsh followed with a single through the left side to drive him in. After McKinney reached on a fielder’s choice, UNCG received some help from the Georgia defense as Adam Deleo’s sacrifice bunt was thrown into right field, scoring Welsh and leaving McKinney at third and Deleo at second. Mongiello’s deep sac fly to right allowed McKinney to score for the inning’s third run.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Georgia inched closer, scoring a run on back-to-back hits with two outs from Bobby Felmy and Jason Jacobs. Junior hurler Nick Starnes prevented any further damage, however, as the Haw River, NC native struck Matthew Dunn out swinging with the bases loaded, leaving the Spartans ahead 5-3 after six.
As UNCG had done all game, the Spartans answered a Bulldog run-scoring inning with one of their own, this time plating three runs for the second inning of the game. UNCG received singles from Deleo, Mongiello and McCall, a sac fly from Greg Feltes and a pass ball to account for the trio of seventh inning runs.
Welsh led UNCG with three hits and two RBI while Deleo also collected three hits. Mongiello had two hits and two RBI for the Spartans and Mitchell also added a pair of hits. Georgia second baseman Jonathan Wyatt paced the Bulldogs with a 3-for-5 afternoon at the plate.
The Spartans and Bulldogs put the finishing touches on their three-game series with game three slated to begin Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.
Georgia Bulldogs 9, UNC Greensboro 8 (Feb 18, 2006 at Athens,
UNC Greensboro...... 101 030 300 - 8 14 3 (0-2)
Georgia Bulldogs.... 100 101 204 - 9 13 2 (2-0)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Jonathan Nichols; Greg Martin(2); Clay Gibson(4); Nick Starne
Ryan Clear(7); Greg Matson(7); Patrick Currin(9); Clinton McKinney(9). Georgia Bulldogs -
Warren; Dodson(5); Leaver(7).
Win-Leaver(1-0) Loss-Patrick Currin(0-1) T-3:26 A-898
- UNCG -