Feb. 28, 2009
Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats
TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs scored early and often, cruising to 12-5 victory over host Arizona on Saturday night in front of 1,523 fans at Jerry Kindall Field.
Matt Cerione drove in four runs and went 4-for-6 at the plate in his season debut, and Joey Lewis went 5-for-6 at the plate with four runs scored and two runs batted in to pace the visitors offensively.
Georgia (7-0) put a run on the board in the first inning off UA starter Matt Veltmann, who made his second career start. Johnathan Taylor singled to right and stole second base with one out to lead off the game. Rich Poythress singled Taylor home to stake the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead.
Veltmann, who dropped to 0-2 on the season, gave up three runs – all with two outs – in the top of the second inning. Cerione capped the inning with a two-run single to centerfield to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Arizona offense didn’t offer Veltmann much help early, going hitless until the third inning when a scoring threat was thwarted by back-to-back strikeouts by Bryce Ortega and Bobby Coyle.
Georgia starter Alex McRee dominated in his second start of the season, striking out six Wildcats while going five innings to improve his record to 2-0 on the young season. More impressive were the zero runs allowed for the second straight outing.
The Wildcats (4-3) were in jeopardy of being shutout at home for the first time in over three seasons even beyond McRee’s five innings of work. Reliever Jeff Walters kept the Arizona offense scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, before yielding two runs in the eighth to end the shutout bid.
In the eighth, Coyle doubled to left center and Brad Glenn followed with a walk. Dillon Baird then singled Coyle home with a base hit to right field to set up one of the more interesting plays of the night.
Steve Selsky blasted a pitch off the left field wall, but passed Baird, who was waiting to see if the ball would be caught before advancing, between first and second and was ruled out on the play. Selsky was credited with a single, but Glenn and Baird could only advance one base as the ball was quickly relayed to the infield.
With two outs, Jett Bandy hit a single to centerfield to bring home Glenn and Baird, capping the three-run eighth.
Even with the mini-rally, Arizona trailed 12-3 after eight innings.
The Bulldogs chased Veltmann from the game in the fourth with four runs on five hits, pushing the lead to 8-0.
Kyle Simon came on to stabilize things for the Wildcats, pitching four innings in relief and allowing only three runs on eight hits.
Georgia tallied 21 hits on the evening and left 12 runners on base. The Wildcats only mustered eight hits on the evening, five of which came in their final two at-bats when they trailed by as much as 12-3.
UA added two more runs in the bottom of the ninth as Daniel Butler and Mike Weldon led off the innings with a pair of walks. Butler scored later in the inning on a balk by reliever Chase Hawkins, and Weldon scored on an infield single by Glenn, setting the score at its final, 12-5.
Arizona will send starter Donn Roach to the mound on Sunday to square off with Justin Grimm. First pitch is scheduled for Noon at Jerry Kindall Field.