The Diamond Dogs' weekend series with Purdue commenced on Friday afternoon with a 9-0 Georgia victory over the visiting team from Indiana.
Despite leaving men on base in six of their eight turns at bat, the Red and Black earned their second straight victory on the strength of Nathan Moreau's pitching. Moreau lasted seven innings, giving up two hits and a pair of walks to the 22 batters he faced.
Although Moreau surrendered a base on balls to the first Boilermaker to stand in the batter's box, he retired the rest of the side in the first frame and did not allow Purdue left fielder Jordan Comadena to advance past second base. A solo home run by Gordon Beckham in the bottom of the inning gave the home team a 1-0 lead and all the scoring the Diamond Dogs would need.
Nathan Moreau delivered his second solid start of the season after spending the autumn on an island conducting secret genetic experiments.
The second and third innings were uneventful for both combatants, as neither side registered a hit. A Purdue error put Ryan Peisel aboard in the second stanza, but, even though the Georgia third baseman succeeded in stealing second base, he remained in scoring position when the inning ended.
Although Spencer Ingaldson recorded the first Boilermaker hit of the day in the fourth frame, the Purdue catcher subsequently was caught stealing, rendering his previous single moot. The Diamond Dogs led off the bottom half of the inning with a Joey Lewis double to left field. After the Red and Black catcher took third base on a balk, Luke Stewart's ensuing single brought Lewis home to make it 2-0.
Base hits by Peisel and Matt Olson scored Stewart, then, following strikeouts by Mike Freeman and Travis Parrott, a Matt Cerione single enabled Peisel to cross home plate, as well. The Diamond Dogs concluded their five-hit fourth inning with a 4-0 advantage.
Georgia designated hitter Matt Olson went two for four with a pair of R.B.I., which made both of his sisters exceedingly proud.
The fifth frame passed swiftly for both squads, as a John Cummins walk produced the only baserunner for either team. All three Purdue batters in the sixth stanza flied out---Jon Moore to center, Kyle Reesing to right, and Comadena to left---thus setting the stage for another Bulldog offensive outburst in the bottom of the inning.
Peisel led off with a base hit, then stole second. Olson grounded out to advance the Georgia third baseman to his accustomed position on the field. A Freeman single scored Peisel and a Parrott double scored Freeman. Before the inning ended, Beckham put a base hit into center field to score Parrott, as well, extending the Diamond Dogs' lead to 7-0.
The Boilermakers tried to get something going in the seventh stanza, but Ingaldson's leadoff single was squandered when Ryne White hit into a double play. Back to bat came the Red and Black, who picked up where they left off when Lewis and Stewart led off the inning with back-to-back base hits.
Peisel took first base on a fielder's choice that sent Stewart to the dugout and Lewis to third, then Olson's double into center field brought Lewis and Peisel around to score. The next two Bulldog batters struck out, but the home team held a 9-0 advantage heading into the eighth inning.
Joey Lewis can't lose.
Iain Sebastian took the mound in relief of Moreau and he did what he was called upon to do, eliciting a groundout from Dan Black, a strikeout from Nick Overmyer, and a flyout from Alex Jaffee to retire the side without allowing so much as a single baserunner. The bottom half of the inning saw much rearrangement of the Purdue fielders but little in the way of baseball action, as a Jonathan Wyatt walk was all Georgia had to show for its efforts.
Sebastian surrendered a single to Reesing in the top of the ninth, but he sat down the remaining three Boilermakers who came to the plate, preserving the shutout and concluding the contest. The victorious Diamond Dogs tallied 13 hits and committed no errors en route to a 9-0 blanking of the Boilermakers.
Lewis, Olson, Peisel, and Stewart all went two for four at the plate for the Red and Black, who played error-free baseball for the first time this season after Peisel and Stewart switched positions following five errors by Stewart in his first four games at third base.