OXFORD, Miss. –Matt Smith hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to cut an early Bulldog lead to one run, but Ole Miss (19-13, 4-7 SEC) couldn’t ever move into the lead as Georgia (18-14, 8-3 SEC) scored in each other last four innings to claim an 8-3 win over the Rebels.
All three Rebel runs came on home runs as Smith hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning and Blake Newalu hit his first home run of his career in the sixth inning. With his home run, Smith has now hit a home run against every team in the Southeastern Conference for his career.
Smith and Newalu both went 2-for-4 at the plate.
David Goforth (1-5) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
Michael Palazzone (5-1) picked up the win as he worked a complete game, allowing the three runs on eight hits with one strikeout.
“We didn’t play well in all phases of the game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “If you don’t play well in this league, you don’t have success. We’ve got to do better on the mound. David had the one inning that got away from him, but he put up some zeros and was able to give us a chance. We’ve got to play better. Losing is like an illness. It makes you feel awful, and we haven’t given the fans a lot to get into the game. We haven’t been able to take advantage of big home crowds and get them into the game.”
Georgia got on the board first when Levi Hyams came to the plate with the bases loaded in the second inning and hit a double to right center that drove in three runs and put the Bulldogs on top 3-0.
Smith cut into the lead in the fourth, coming to the plate following a fielder’s choice from Newalu and hit his sixth home run of the season over the wall in left field to cut the lead to one at 3-2.
Georgia extended the lead in the sixth, however, getting two runs back. A wild pitch put two men in scoring position with one out before a groundout deep in the hole and short and a single through the left side pushed both runners home to put the Bulldogs on top 5-2.
Newalu hit his home run into the home bullpen in left field to cut the lead in half at 6-3, but the Rebels would get no closer.
Georgia added two runs in each of the final three innings to move out to the final 8-3 margin of victory.
Ole Miss and Georgia will take the field for the final game of the three-game series at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
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