‘Dawgs down Gamecocks; English has big day at plate

Despite a four-run rally from third ranked South Carolina in the top of the ninth inning, Georgia’s Joey Delmonico would tally a RBI base hit to left-center in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Bulldogs to a 6-5 win over the Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.

South Carolina is now 38-13 and 17-9 in the SEC with Georgia improving to 29-22 and 13-13 in league play. The rubber game of the series on Sunday is set for 2 p.m.

Trailing 5-1 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Gamecocks stormed back to tie it at 5-5 against the Bulldogs. Adam Matthews doubled with one out and advanced to third base on a passed ball to get things started for Carolina. Former St. James High star Tanner English, who went 4-for-5 day at the plate with two runs scored, followed with a base hit to left field to scored Matthews before the game was delayed by 24 minutes due to heavy rain.

The tarp would be removed and Georgia would go to the bullpen for right-hander Pete Nagel. With two outs and English on third base, Joey Pankake would walk on four pitches and Evan Marzilli would be hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the tying run on base, a wild pitch from Nagel allowed English to score and cut the deficit to two runs. Georgia elected to then intentionally walk Christian Walker bringing LB Dantzler to the plate. Dantzler crushed a pitch from Nagel that went off the wall in right field for a double scoring two runners and tying the game up.

The score remained 5-5 until the bottom of the 10th when Peter Verdin led off with a single and stole second base. He then moved to third base as Colby May grounded out to the right side putting the winning run within 90 feet. That set the stage for Delmonico, who knocked a 1-1 pitch from Matt Price to left-center for a RBI single that lifted the Bulldogs to a one-run victory.

Nagel earned the win in 1.2 innings of relief allowing two runs on one hit with two walks and a strikeout. He is 1-1 on the year. Price suffered the loss and is now 4-4 for the season. He allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout.

Georgia broke ahead early with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Delmonico led off with a base hit to right field and Curt Powell singled to left field giving the Bulldogs runners on the corners. Kyle Farmer put the Bulldogs ahead by two runs with a RBI double to the gap in left-center, just out of the reach of English and Marzilli in the outfield for the Gamecocks.

The Bulldogs struck for two more runs in the fourth inning and knocked South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery from the game in the process. Levi Hyams and Verdin each singled to open the inning. That ended the day for Montgomery, as Carolina went to the pen for right-hander Evan Beal. After a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Hester advanced both runners into scoring position, Delmonico tallied his second hit of the game with a RBI single to right field. Conor Welton drove in Verdin with a sacrifice fly to left field making it 4-0 for the Bulldogs.

South Carolina got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning. Tanner English singled to left field for his second hit of the afternoon and advanced on a fielding error by Welton. With two outs, Joey Pankake knocked a RBI double down the left field line scoring English for the Gamecocks first run of the afternoon. Georgia answered with a run in the bottom half of the fifth. Brett DeLoach drew a two-out walk, Hyams singled up the middle and Verdin knocked a RBI base hit into center scoring DeLoach.

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