The Bulldogs (18-12, 3-6 SEC) now have a modest three-game winning streak while the Gators fall to 23-8 overall, 6-4 in the SEC. Hyle (2-2) allowed two runs on five hits before leaving with one out in the sixth in favor of Startup who notched his fourth save by tossing 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
A pair of singles in the top of the fourth put the Gators on the board 1-0. Second baseman Adam Davis singled and reached second on a throwing error by Georgia shortstop Josh Smith. Brian Leclerc (1-3, 2 RBI) delivered a run-scoring single up the middle to plate Davis. However, Georgia answered with four runs in their half of the inning. Josh Smith and Bobby Felmy had back-to-back base hits to start the frame and then Jason Jacobs reached on an error by Davis which allowed Smith to cross the plate. Derek Smith and Jonathan Wyatt each picked up an RBI on a single and a groundout respectively. Then, junior Kyle Keen (3-for-3) capped the scoring with an RBI-double to make it 4-1.
Senior right-hander Tommy Boss took the loss to fall to 4-2. He went 6.1 innings and allowed five runs but only two were earned on seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out seven.
In the fifth, the Gators missed a scoring opportunity when Brian Jeroloman and Brandon McArthur drew a pair of two-out walks. However, Hyle got centerfielder Jeff Corsaletti to ground out. Corsaletti, the SEC’s leading hitter at .462, went 0-for-4 on the night with three strikeouts while Georgia’s top run-producer, Josh Morris, went 0-4 with four strikeouts.
In the sixth, left fielder Gavin Dickey led off with a double to center and moved to third on a single by Davis. Hyle struck out Matt LaPorta for the first out and then the Bulldogs turned to Startup. He got Leclerc to fly out to deep center but it allowed Dickey to tag up and cut the deficit to 4-2. He got shortstop Justin Tordi to ground out to end the top of the sixth. The Gators managed just one base runner the rest of the way.
Georgia managed to get that run back in the seventh. After, a single by Keen, Joey Side was hit by a pitch, and Justin Niefer reached on a fielder’s choice as Tordi made the third error of the night by the Gators to load the bases. Josh Smith picked up the RBI by also hitting into a fielder’s choice, scoring Keen that made it 5-2.