Georgia with three in the ninth to beat Clemson

Wednesday April 1, 2009

CLEMSON, S.C.-----Top-ranked Georgia scored three runs in the ninth to erase a one-run deficit and beat No. 22 Clemson, 4-2, Wednesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Bulldogs (24-3) were limited to just two hits in the first seven innings, but came back with a home run by Colby May in the eighth, then rallied to win in the ninth.

With Georgia trailing 2-1, Matt Cerione led off the ninth with a single followed by a walk to pinch hitter Johnathan Taylor. Rich Poythress singled to right field to drive in Cerione and a fielding error by the Clemson right fielder allowed Taylor to score and Poythress to move to third. Joey Lewis drove in Poythress with an RBI groundout to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.

Will Harvil (2-0) closed the door on the Tigers (18-9) with a perfect ninth.
“We were real lucky tonight,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively the first seven innings. Cerione got going tonight, and that was big for us. Our power threat showed up tonight. They had eight hits and only scored two runs. We played for the big inning and got it in the ninth.”

Clemson’s Justin Sarratt allowed just one run on three hits while striking out a career-high 12 in eight innings. After a double by Cerione to start the game, he sat down 17 straight Georgia hitters. Sarratt gave way to Matt Vaughn (1-1) who allowed three runs on two hits in the ninth.

Cerione and Poythress each had two hits to lead Georgia offensively. Starter Chase Hawkins allowed just two runs—one earned—on seven hits in 4.2 innings. Clemson’s first run in the second inning was unearned, and its second run came off a two-out bunt single in the fifth.

The Bulldog bullpen gave up just one hit and no runs in the final 4.1 innings.


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