Senior Mickey Westphal
crafted a six-hit shutout to lead Georgia
(26-16/8-11 SEC) to a 7-0 victory over Florida
(24-21/6-13 SEC) on Friday night at McKethan Stadium.
The southpaw (4-0) tossed his second complete-game of the year with six
strikeouts and zero walks. Junior Joey Side went 3-for-4 with four RBI courtesy
of a double, triple and a two-run homer and senior Jason Jacobs was 2-for-4 to
lead the Bulldogs’ 10-hit attack. Sophomore Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian,
Fla.) (8-3, 2.57), the
SEC's leader in victories, will face UGA junior right-hander Brooks Brown (4-3,
3.84), on Saturday at 4 p.m. in game two of the series.
“Georgia got the game going right
out of the chute tonight,” said head coach Pat
McMahon. “Mickey (Westphal) mixed his pitches
well. I was proud of the way Bryan (Ball) fought back after the first inning.
We just couldn’t string the runs together at the plate. We have to get the line
drives and ground balls to make those offensive plays.”
Georgia jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead with
three hits off senior Bryan Ball (Punta Gorda,
Fla.) in the first frame. Junior
Jonathan Wyatt drew a leadoff walk and scored on Side’s fourth triple of the
campaign. Sophomore Gordon Beckham followed with an RBI single up the middle but
was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by Josh Morris. Senior Jason
Jacobs ripped his 10th double of the year to bring home Morris and put the Dawgs ahead by three runs.
In the second, senior Matthew Dunn
sliced a one-out single through the left side, stole second and advanced to
third when the relay throw wound up in center field. After Ball had Wyatt
ground out, the righty issued a free pass to Side.
Junior Brian Leclerc
(Clearwater, Fla.) made a spectacular diving catch
near the right-field line to rob Beckham of potential extra bases to end the
Wyatt started the fifth with a triple
to right field but was stranded to keep the margin at 3-0. Ball set down Side
on a grounder to third and had Beckham line out to shortstop before plunking
Morris. The right-hander induced an inning-ending fly ball into left by Felmy.
UGA extended its lead to 4-0 in the
sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice by sophomore Ryan Peisel.
Jacobs reached on an infield hit to start the inning and advanced to second on
a throwing error and sophomore Matt Olson legged out a single for runners on
the corners. After Peisel’s grounder to third plated
Jacobs and erased Olson at second, Ball prevented further trouble by having
Dunn line into a 9-3 double play.
A two-run homer in the seventh by
Side ended the night for Ball (4-7), who allowed eight hits and six runs (five
earned) with four walks and three strikeouts. Wyatt drew a leadoff walk and
Side cranked a 1-2 offering into the left-field bleachers for his eighth dinger
of the campaign for a 6-0 cushion. Sophomore Josh Edmondson (LaGrange,
Ga.) replaced Ball and threw
two perfect frames with two K.
The Bulldogs finalized the scoring
in the ninth on a double into shallow right field by Side. Pinch hitter Kyle
Keen greeted freshman reliever J.K. LaCoste (Jacksonville,
Fla.) with a leadoff triple
down the right-field line and Side’s two-bagger provided a final count of 7-0. Georgia
held a 10-6 advantage in hits and each squad stranded six baserunners.
The duo of junior David
Cash (Odessa, Fla.) (3-for-4) and Leclerc (2-for-3) led the Gators.
- The Gators slipped to 1-6 in SEC series openers.
- Florida was blanked for the fifth time
- Gavin Dickey’s career-high 11-game hitting
streak came to an end with an 0-for-4
- Tonight was Greg Quatrino’s
first career start. He was 0-for-3 as the designated hitter.
- Brian Jeroloman caught
Bobby Felmy trying to swipe second, the first
time this season Felmy had been caught stealing.