The Wolverines (4-2) tied the game in the eighth off Lanier who came on for starter Michael Hyle with one out in the seventh and the Bulldogs (7-2) holding a 4-3 advantage. In the eighth, Chris Getz led off with a base hit, stole second and scored on a double by Kyle Bohm (2-for-4) for his third RBI on the day. In the top of the eighth, Georgia looked to build on its lead. With one out, Joey Side reached on an error by shortstop Leif Mahler. Brandon Masters reached safely on a bunt single to put two aboard. Then, Side was picked off second by pitcher Drew Taylor. Derek Smith singled to left to put runners at the corners before Taylor fought back to strikeout out Kyle Keen and keep it 4-3. In the ninth, Mahler singled to right and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Schmidt. Butler stepped up and ended the game with the two-run blast over the fence in right field.
Michigan pushed a run across in the bottom of the first. Right fielder Doug Pickens lined a one-out double and came around to score on a two-out base hit by Bohm. Georgia answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Junior Bobby Felmy (2-for-4, RBI) led off with a double for his fourth hit of the tournament. Side was hit by a pitch. Matthew Dunn executed a two-strike bunt to put both Bulldogs in scoring position. After Joe Billick struck out, Jonathan Wyatt lined a 3-2 offering into centerfield for a two-run single off Michigan starter Jim Brauer.
The Wolverines reclaimed the lead in the third with two runs on three hits as Getz tied it with a base hit and Georgia was unable to turn a double play on a grounder by Bohm which brough a run home and make it 3-2 Michigan. Bulldog sophomore Josh Morris (2-for-3, RBI) tied the game in the fifth with a two-out, solo home run to left field. For Morris, it was his third home run of the season and his second of the tournament. In fact, all three of Morris’ home runs this season have been solo shots in his third at bat of the day.
Felmy put Georgia out in front 4-3 when he smashed a solo home run to start the sixth.
Neither starter factored in the decision as Brauer was lifted after six innings as he gave up four runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Hyle left with one out in the seventh, scattering six hits, three runs with two walks and three strikeouts. Taylor got the win with two scoreless innings to move to 1-0 while Lanier evened his mark to 1-1 after allowing three runs on four hits over the final two innings.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score some more runs but we couldn’t get that big hit and then the base-running mistakes have been costing us too,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “I was proud of the way Michael Hyle pitched. Bo Lanier got out of one jam in the seventh but he wasn’t fooling anybody after that.”
Up next, Georgia faces host East Carolina Sunday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs will start sophomore Brooks Brown (1-0, 0.00 ERA) while the Pirates have not announced a starter.
“We’re going to have come out Sunday and be ready to get after it,” said Perno. “It will be the first time we’ll be in a hostile environment. The East Carolina team and their fans will be ready for us, and we need to be ready because this one will sit with us for a long time on the ride home.”