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Dogs take broom to Wildcats.


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When Georgia is given a lead late in a game, chances are becoming increasingly slim they will give it up.

Against Kentucky on Sunday, the Bulldogs' bullpen pitched six innings, allowing one run on two hits, propelling Georgia to a 5-4 victory over the Wildcats and its second consecutive sweep in an SEC series.

The victory was No. 11 Georgia's eighth straight in SEC play.

Closer Joshua Fields earned his 10th save of the season, sealing the victory. The save was Fields' 33rd of his career, tying him with Cris Carpenter for the all-time record at Georgia.

"It's pretty exciting to have that honor," Fields said. "Honestly, I wasn't thinking about it today. I was just focused on trying to shut that team down."

Fields' success may have him looking like a member of an 80's metal band by the end of the season. Having not allowed an earned run all season, Fields decided he would not cut his already lengthy hair until he allows one.

"It was probably a couple of weeks ago when I decided it," Fields said. "It's getting kind of annoying under that hat, but maybe I'll be able to put it in a ponytail by the end of the year."

The Bulldogs got the tying and winning runs on a wild pitch and a 65-foot single respectively.

Trailing 4-3 in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs (23-12, 12-3 in SEC) loaded the bases with a Matt Olson single and a pair of walks to Rich Poythress and Bryce Massanari.

With Lyle Allen at the plate, Kentucky reliever Brock Baber's pitch hit the dirt and skipped to the backstop, plating Olson.

One pitch later, Allen tapped a grounder just past the pitcher's mound in front of shortstop Chris Wade.

The throw to first was late, and Poythress scored to give Georgia a 5-4 lead.

"This team's creating a lot of good fortune for themselves," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We out-hit them and I think we outplayed them all weekend."

The Bulldogs' bullpen was almost flawless. When Alex McRee allowed a run in the fifth, it was the first run given up the Georgia bullpen in 40 innings of SEC play. Dean Weaver threw three scoreless innings, setting down all nine Wildcats he faced to earn the win.

"Our bullpen has been great," Fields said. "We lost focus a little bit in the midweek games, but these SEC games are the ones we really want to win. It's great to see the focus out of the younger guys like (Dean) Weaver and (Justin) Earls, and older guys like (Nick Montogmery)."

Shortstop Gordon Beckham continued his great series, going 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. Beckham finished the series 4-for-8 with five runs scored and three RBIs. Beckham was also walked six times, four of which were intentional.

"We're turning it on when we need to," Beckham said. "This was a huge win for us, because I didn't think we had our best stuff."

STORY>Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 041408

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