In the first game of the day, the Bulldogs got a stellar pitching performance from senior left-hander Rip Warren. He tossed a career-high seven innings, limiting the Toreros (7-5) to just one run on three hits while striking out four. Freshman Nick DeSilvio pitched a scoreless eighth, and sophomore Joshua Fields closed out the game with a scoreless ninth to earn his second save on the year.
Bulldog junior Josh Morris blasted a solo home run to left in the second inning off of Torero freshman starter Brian Matusz to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage. Matusz, a fourth-round draft pick of the Angels last season, went eight innings on the day allowing three runs on eight hits with 11 strikeouts.
San Diego tied the game in the top of the seventh on a two-out single to center by Shane Buschini that scored Keoni Ruth from second. Ruth had reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second.
The Bulldogs reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the seventh. Junior Joey Side ignited the offense with a leadoff double down the left field line. Morris followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Then, Bobby Felmy delivered an RBI-single up the middle giving Georgia a 2-1 edge. Jason Jacobs followed and reached on a bunt to load the bases. Matusz got Ryan Peisel to bounce one to second which forced Morris at home for the first out. Then, Matt Robbins picked up an RBI on a ground out to second that scored Felmy. He struck out Gordon Beckham to keep it a two-run contest.
After being held to one run in the first two games, San Diego erupted for four runs in the first inning of game three and built a five-run advantage before Georgia stormed back late to complete the three-game sweep.
The Toreros collected six hits off Bulldog freshman Nathan Moreau in the initial frame highlighted by a Jordan Abruzzo RBI double and a Kevin Hansen RBI single. In the bottom of the first, Georgia’s Morris cut the deficit in half when he smashed a two-run home run off Matt Couch. Joey Side was aboard after reaching on an error by San Diego shortstop Steve Singleton that would have ended the inning.
In the fifth, San Diego’s Daniel Magness extended the Toreros lead to 5-2 with a solo home run to left off of Georgia relief pitcher Trevor Holder. San Diego added another two runs in the sixth to go up 7-2. Logan Gelbrich led off drawing a walk and Shane Buschini followed with a single. Two batters later, Keoni Ruth singled through the right side bringing Gelbrich in to score. Abruzzo would contribute his second RBI double in the inning as well.
Georgia pulled to within one at 7-6 by scoring four runs on three hits in the seventh. Bobby Felmy was hit by a pitch to start the frame, and Jason Jacobs singled to reach base and put two men aboard. Ryan Peisel then delivered a double to left center bringing in a run. Next, freshman Gordon Beckham connected for a three-run homer to left, the first of his career. With one out Couch was lifted in favor of USD closer Josh Romanski. He got the Toreros out of further trouble. Bulldog junior Adam McDaniel pitched a perfect eighth and then the Bulldog offense went right back to work.
With one out, Felmy and Jacobs had back-to-back base hits and Peisel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Beckham hit a slow roller to second and Ruth’s only play was at first and he was erased but Felmy raced home to tie the contest at 7-all. Matthew Dunn stepped up to the plate and a passed ball by Abruzzo allowed Jacobs to score and an alert Peisel also scored from second on an errant throw by Abruzzo that got past Romanski covering home to make it 9-8 Bulldogs. Abruzzo, the starting catcher in the first two games of the series, had entered the game from the designated hitter spot when Romanski came in to pitch.
In the top of the ninth, Georgia looked to freshman Ben Jeffers to finish off the Toreros but they did not go quietly. Ryan Lilly drew a walk and Daniel Magness lined a double to left. Kevin Hansen grounded out to first as Lilly scored to make it 9-8. With the infield in, Jeffers struck out Romanski for the second out and then he struck out Shane Buschini to end the contest.
“We played a very good team in San Diego this weekend and we knew at some point they were going to make a run after we tamed their bats in the first two games,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “They jumped out early in the final game but we had an answer and another good comeback in us. Our team is playing very confident right now, they believe in each other and that’s great to see.”
Up next, the Bulldogs (6-0) travel to Orlando, Fla., Wednesday for an exhibition against the Atlanta Braves. First pitch Wednesday will be at 1:05 p.m. From there, Georgia flys to Los Angeles for a three-game set against nationally-ranked Southern California Trojans that begins Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.