Georgia (9-2) used a balanced offensive attack, getting hits from eight different players while seven different Bulldogs drove in a run. Georgia broke open a scoreless game in the fourth as Brooks Brown and Cardinal starter Scott Jenkins were locked in a duel. At that point, Brown had thrown four perfect innings while Jenkins had allowed just one hit and a walk.
Junior first baseman Josh Morris reached on a one out walk. Bobby Felmy lined a single to right that was misplayed by Pete Rodriguez and allowed Morris to advance to third. Then, sophomore Ryan Peisel (2-for-4, 2 RBI) delivered his first RBI on the night to put Georgia in front 1-0. After Jenkins got Kyle Keen swinging, designated hitter Matt Robbins (2-for-3, RBI) came through with a run-scoring single to make it 2-0.
Louisville (5-9) picked up its lone run in the fifth as the Cardinals were aided by a pair of Bulldog errors. Daniel Burton reached on a walk to lead off the frame. Then, an error by Bulldog shortstop Gordon Beckham allowed Burton to move up to second. Next, Derrick Alfonso hit into a fielder’s choice where Peisel threw to Jonathan Wyatt for a force out at second, however Wyatt’s throw to first got past Morris and allowed Burton to come around to score an unearned run.
With one out in the top of the sixth, Cardinal shortstop Chris Cates lined a double to left. Brown struck out designated hitter Logan Johnson but Burton followed with a hard single up the middle. Cates was waved home on the play and centerfielder Joey Side threw a strike to Jason Jacobs at the plate as Cates was thrown out to end the top of the inning. Jenkins got the loss to fall to 0-2 as he allowed two runs on four hits in six innings with a career-high eight strikeouts.
The game remained 2-1 until the Bulldogs broke open the contest with three runs in the seventh and eighth frames. A sacrifice fly by Side brought Robbins home while Beckham singled and scored on a two-out double by Wyatt. Jacobs followed with a run-scoring single to make it 5-1.
In the eighth, Georgia added three runs on four hits extending the lead to 8-1. Felmy got the inning started drawing a walk. Peisel then delivered a run-scoring triple down the right field line. Keen then got a base hit up the middle bringing in another run. Beckham would reach on a base hit to center and a fly out by Side allowed Keen to move up placing runners on the corners. Matthew Dunn added another base hit to center on a hit-and-run bringing in Keen for the final.
Brown gave up just one unearned run on three hits in eight innings. He had one walk and struck out eight to improve to 2-0. Senior Rip Warren pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout.
“When Brooks pitches like that, our whole team feeds off that and we have some momentum.” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We made some adjustments after our first at bat, and I liked how our offense responded. We had good balance in the lineup and got a couple of two-out hits and that certainly helps you win games. I wasn’t happy with our infield defense, but I was excited to see what Joey Side did in centerfield. He made some great plays out there.”
Game two of the three-game set between the Bulldogs and Cardinals at Foley Field will be Saturday. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m.