TUSCALOOSA, ALA. - Alex Wood pitched seven strong innings and a trio of Bulldogs had three hits apiece to lead Georgia to an 8-4 road win over Alabama Thursday.
With the victory, the Bulldogs (31-22, 14-13 SEC) move one victory closer to likely clinching a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
"It all started with Alex Wood tonight; he was tremendous and didn't walk a batter for the second straight SEC start and we got a big inning early that helped out," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We had a chance to extend it a few times and then got those final three runs in the ninth and that was important. We're in a good spot, but we still have to take care of business the rest of the series. Our bullpen is in good shape and Pete picked up another save. Curt (Powell), Kyle (Farmer) and Colby (May) all had three hits and look out for freshman Jared Walsh. He had some good at bats too."
Georgia erupted for five runs on five straight hits in the second off Spencer Turnbull. With one out, freshman designated hitter Jared Walsh, senior Colby May (3-for-5) and Conor Welton loaded the bases with three singles. Then junior third baseman Curt Powell (3-for-5), who leads the team and ranks eighth in the SEC in batting at .346, notched a run-scoring single. Junior shortstop Kyle Farmer (3-for -6) cleared the bases with a three-run triple. Freshman Hunter Cole brought Farmer home with a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring for the Bulldogs. It was Powell's first hit with the bases loaded this season in nine at bats. Farmer notched his second three-run triple of the week, delivering one this past Tuesday in the win over East Tennessee State in Athens.
Alabama (19-34, 7-21 SEC) got one run in the bottom of the second thanks to a two-out RBI-triple from James Tullidge. Catcher Brett Booth was on after a base hit and Tullidge worked the count full and fouled off three pitches before making it 5-1. Wood retired Andrew Miller to send it to the third. In the fourth, Alabama went to the bullpen, bringing in freshman Justin Kamplain. Turnbull allowed five runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts to fall to 2-6.
Alabama threatened in the sixth taking advantage of a couple of miscues by Wood who made his first error on the year on a potential double play ball and later in the frame was called for his first balk. However, he battled back to register his team-leading seventh pickoff, getting Taylor Dugas at second and collecting two more strikeouts to keep the Bulldogs in front 5-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, Georgia went to its bullpen as junior Blake Dieterich came on for Wood who allowed just one run on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings to move his record to 7-2. Last week, Wood pitched a complete game against fourth-ranked South Carolina. The Crimson Tide scored on an unearned run in the frame to cut the deficit to 5-2. Kamplain provided five scoreless innings of relief and had a career-high six strikeouts as Alabama looked to Case Nixon in the ninth. The Bulldogs responded with two runs on three hits to build their lead back up to 7-2. Senior Levi Hyams reached on a one-out double and after a walk to Peter Verdin, he scored on a base hit by freshman designated hitter Jared Walsh. May notched his third hit of the night, an RBI-single to bring in DeLoach and Alabama went back to the bullpen in Adam Windsor. After a double steal, Georgia added another run on a wild pitch to make it 8-2. The Crimson Tide scored two runs on three hits off Bryan Benzor and brought the tying run to the on deck circle before freshman closer Pete Nagel came on to register the final out for his third save.
The series continues Friday with first pitch slated for 7:35 p.m. ET.