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May 17, 2013
Dawgs salvage some respect
With nothing to play for but personal team pride, the Georgia baseball team showed some Friday night, scoring three runs in the sixth en route to a 3-1 victory over rival Florida before a season-high crowd of 3,016.
"No one wants to end the season with a series loss, especially against Florida," center fielder Hunter Cole said. "It means a lot to the seniors and it was a great game tonight, hitting, defense and pitching-wise. This was a lot of fun."
Despite a dreadful season, at least this week has been fun for the Bulldog baseball squad.
Last Tuesday's victory over Georgia Tech enabled Georgia (20-32, 6-20) to capture the season-series against the Yellow Jackets and with a win in Saturday 2 p.m. finale would capture the series against the Gators (29-26, 14-15) for the first time since 2006.
"It's kind of like the thing with Georgia Tech, it doesn't matter what our records are, anytime you play the Gators the records are pushed aside," said McLaughlin. "It was definitely a goal of our team, to win the Tech series, and hopefully we can beat Florida tomorrow. It would be a big one."
Head coach David Perno is just glad to see his players enjoy some measure of late-season success, considering they didn't qualify for next week's SEC Tournament.
"We won the series against Tech and at least we've got an opportunity to win a series against Florida," Perno said. "It's something we haven't done in a long time. I'm really proud of Sean. He pitched great."
McLaughlin tossed one of his best games this year.
The freshman went seven innings, scattering four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts to run his record to 5-6. Mike Mancuso and Dylan Cole closed Florida out on no hits over the final two innings, with Cole earning his fourth save.
Offensively, Cole went 2-for-3 and keyed a three-run sixth for Georgia with an RBI single.
The start to Friday's contest was eerily similar Thursday's contest won by the Gators 4-2. This time, however, the Bulldogs didn't fold late.
Florida struck for a second-inning run off McLaughlin on an RBI double by Josh Tobias.
That would be the only run scored until the Bulldogs finally broke through against Gator starter Bobby Poyner (3-3) with three runs in the sixth to go up 3-1.
A huge Florida mistake helped spark the rally.
First, it was a bad throw by shortstop Richie Martin on a ball hit by Curt Powell that allowed Heath Holder to score the tying run from third, before RBI singles by Cole and Daniel Nichols extended the lead to 3-1.