Final Score: Georgia 4, MSU 3
Top 9th: Georgia 4, MSU 2– Bradford flies out to deep right-center. Verdin made the running catch. Parks doubles to almost the exact same spot. Collins pops out to third. Freeman pops a foul ball behind home plate, but Stephens drops what should have been the third out. Freeman singles between second and first to get Parks home. Palazzone comes within one out of his second consecutive complete game, but Georgia goes to the bullpen for closer Tyler Maloof to try to get the final out. Freeman steals second. The tying run is in scoring position. Maloof gets Frazier swinging to end the ball game. That’s Maloof’s 10th save of the season and his second in as many games. Palazzone improves to 4-1. Georgia improves to 5-3 in the SEC.
Bottom 8th: Georgia 4, MSU 2– Statz walks Cone. Cone steals second, then takes third on Freeman’s throwing error. DeLoach goes down on a called strike three on the inside corner. MSU brings on RHP Victor Diaz with a man on third and one out. Probably a smart decision with a couple of right-handers due up for Georgia. MSU can’t afford to give up any more runs here. Hester’s check swing is called a third strike. Diaz faces just one batter before giving way to RHP Caleb Reed, the fourth pitcher MSU has used today. Powell flies out to left. Reed does his job. It’s now up to the MSU bats.
Top 8th: Georgia 4, MSU 1– Palazzone strikes out Johnson. Ogden drives a triple off the centerfield wall. Shepherd grounds out to first but brings Ogden home. Vickerson flies out to center. MSU cuts the lead to 4-2 but will need a big ninth inning.
Bottom 7th: Georgia 4, MSU 1– MSU calls to the bullpen for lefty Tim Statz. Hyams flies out to left. Welton grounds out to the pitcher. Farmer flies out to deep center. Georgia still up, 4-1, after seven.
Top 7th: Georgia 4, MSU 1– Collins flies out to right. Freeman grounds out to short. Frazier flies out to center. As easy an inning as Palazzone will ever pitch.
Bottom 6th: MSU 1, Georgia 0– Stratton gets K number seven on Welton. Farmer gets an infield hit as Ogden can’t quite finish the play. Stratton’s wild pitch sends Farmer to second. This is Georgia’s first runner in scoring position today. Cone hits an infield single to short. Runners on first and second for the Bulldogs. HOME RUN. Brett DeLoach sends a three-run shot over the leftfield wall. That’s his first homer of the year, and Georgia has taken the lead, 3-1. Also DeLoach’s first SEC hit. HOME RUN. On the very next pitch, Jonathan Hester knocks his third home run of the season to center. Powell grounds out to first. Stratton walks Stephens. Verdin strikes out on three pitches. A big inning for Georgia. They hit two home runs on two pitches to take the lead. The last time Georgia hit back-to-back home runs was last year against Furman, when Zach Cone and Colby May did it.
Top 6th: MSU 1, Georgia 0– Vickerson grounds out to short. Bradford flies out to shallow left-center. Cone tracks down a fly ball to center and makes the catch. Three and out. Georgia defense remains strong, but the offense needs some runs.
Bottom 5th: MSU 1, Georgia 0– Powell grounds out to second. Stephens grounds to short. Verdin smacks a single between third and short. Hyams grounds out to first. Stratton is pitching very well, not allowing Georgia batters to get ahead in the count.
Top 5th: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Powell makes a great play to get Freeman out on a tough grounder down the third-base line. Frazier flies out to center. The first extra-base hit of the game comes from Johnson, whose double comes just a few feet short of clearing the right-field fence. Ogden singles down the middle. Johnson rounds third and scores the first run of the contest. Ogden now has 24 RBI on the season. Palazzone fans Shepherd, but MSU has finally taken the lead, 1-0.
Bottom 4th: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Farmer flies out to left-center. Stratton fans Cone for his fourth K of the game. DeLoach earns the first walk of the afternoon. Hester goes down swinging. Five strikeouts for Stratton. Still no score.
Top 4th: Georgia 0, MSU0– MSU finally gets back to the top of the order. Vickerson gets the first MSU hit of the ballgame with a single to left. Bradford pops out to short. Palazzone gets Parks swinging, but Vickerson steals second. He now has 19 stolen bases on the season. Collins grounds out to second, and MSU strands a runner on second.
Bottom 3rd: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Stephens grounds out to the pitcher. Verdin manages to slip a single past the second baseman Frazier. A 10-pitch duel between Stratton and Hyams ends with Hyams fouling out to left. Welton flies out to left. Georgia’s hitters haven’t faired much better than MSU’s. Palazzone and Stratton are both pitching well.
Top 3rd: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Johnson hits the first pitch he sees right back into Palazzone’s glove. Ogden flies out to center. Shephard grounds out to short. Three and out again for MSU. Their bats are unusually silent today. No hits through three innings.
Bottom 2nd: Georgia 0, MSU 0– A fan got nailed by a foul ball back in the first inning. She got some quick treatment and is now being taken out of the park on a stretcher. She has her head wrapped, but she’s able to walk on her own. Cone strikes out looking. DeLoach gets an infield hit. He hit a grounder to short that shortstop Ogden is able to snag, but not able to throw t0 first. Hester goes down swinging. The third strikeout of the game already for Stratton. Powell flies out to right-center to end the inning. Through two innings, not much offense. Game still scoreless.
Top 2nd: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Collins flies out to deep center. Freeman grounds out to second. Frazier then grounds out to short. Palazzone only had to throw seven pitches this inning.
Bottom 1st: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Hyams watches strike three go right down the middle. Welton grounds out to short. Farmer flies out to right for a quick three up, three down.
Top 1st: Georgia 0, MSU 0– Vickerson starts off the game by bunting down the third base line. Powell commits an error on the first play of the game by throwing out of the reach of Hester. Vickerson steals second easily. Bradford lines straight to the second baseman Hyams, who then throws to second for the double play. Parks grounds out to second for the third out.
The stands look a little more than half full on this sunny, windy day. Great weather for this home series. We could see some crazy balls in the air with this wind, though.
Starting Lineup for MSU:
1. LF Nick Vickerson (.269)
2. CF C.T. Bradford (.289)
3. 3B Jarrod Parks (.388)
4. 1B Ryan Collins (.313)
5. C Cody Freeman (.346)
6. 2B Adam Frazier (.368)
7. DH Trey Johnson (.300)
8. SS Jonathan Ogden (.303)
9. RF Jaron Shepherd (.288)
Starting Lineup for Georgia:
1. 2B Levi Hyams (.347)
2. LF Conor Welton (.310)
3. SS Kyle Farmer (.223)
4. CF Zach Cone (.312)
5. DH Brett DeLoach (.250)
6. 1B Jonathan Hester (.241)
7. 3B Curt Powell (.284)
8. C Brandon Stephens (.238)
9. RF Peter Verdin (.167)
Both teams have aces on the mound today. Georgia starts Michael Palazzone (3-1, 2.15 ERA) who has allowed 38 hits with 32 strikeouts in six games. MSU counters with Chris Stratton (4-1, 2.61 ERA), with 32 hits allowed and 40 strikeouts in six games.
Good afternoon, baseball fans. Ken Nasse here to blog the Bulldogs’ second game of a three-game weekend series at Foley Field against 24th-ranked Mississippi State. Georgia took the first game last night, 4-1, the third straight SEC win for Georgia (12-14, 4-3 SEC). Alex Wood was terrific, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings of work, striking out eight. Tyler Maloof picked up his ninth save, the most in the SEC. Kyle Farmer supplied all the offense Georgia needed with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, his third home run of the year. The loss ended a five-game winning streak for MSU (19-7, 4-3 SEC), as teams fight to distance themselves from the rest of the pack in the SEC standings.