June 3, 2008
Georgia pounds out 18 hits in
18-6 win over Georgia Tech
Bulldogs capture Athens Regional; Olson
named Most Outstanding Player
By Phil Stanton
ATHENS, Ga. – O is for…
Offense. Georgia and Georgia Tech combined
for 29 hits and 24 runs in the Championship Game of the Athens
Olson. Bulldog senior outfielder Matt
Olson was scorching at the plate, going 5 for 6 with four runs
and three RBI. The regional Most Outstanding Player was 18-26
(.692) in five games with 10 runs and six RBI.
Oh, so long. The marathon lasted 3:38, but
it was worth the wait for the Bulldogs, as they are
On to the Super Regionals.
Top-seeded Georgia (39-22-1) scored multiple runs
in six of its first seven innings on its way to an 18-6 victory
over second-seeded Georgia Tech (41-21) Monday evening in front
of a sellout crowd of 3,518 at Foley Field.
“First, I want to give the utmost respect to
Georgia Tech and their program,” said Georgia head coach Dave
Perno, “keeping that team together through that tough time, the
death of a teammate. You’ve got to tip your hat to Coach Hall
and his staff and those players for holding it together and
having such a great year. Secondly, I didn’t see it coming
tonight. These guys continue to amaze me. The will, the spirit,
the camaraderie of this team is second to none.”
The Bulldogs will host North Carolina State in
the Super Regionals this weekend. Friday’s opener will be at 12
p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. Saturday’s game will be
at 12 p.m. on ESPN2. If Sunday’s game is necessary, it will be
at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
Georgia put up three in the top of the first.
Ryan Peisel led off with a walk, moved to second on a base hit
by Olson, advanced to third on a flyout to center and scored on
a sacrifice fly by Rich Poythress, his regional-leading ninth
RBI. Olson moved to third on a base hit by Bryce Massanari and
came home on a wild pitch. Massanari went to second on the wild
pitch and scored on an error to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. It
was the first error committed by the Yellow Jackets in the
regional, and the first of six in the contest.
Tech answered in the bottom of the frame. Charlie
Blackmon, Jeff Rowland and Luke Murton had consecutive singles
to plate the first run. Rowland and Murton each moved up on a
wild pitch and Rowland scored on a passed ball on a 3-2 pitch to
Derek Dietrich. That ended the evening for Georgia starter
Justin Grimm, who did not retire any of the four batters he
faced. Tony Plagman’s RBI single brought home Murton, Jason
Haniger’s sac fly drove in Dietrich and Patrick Long’s
run-scoring single knocked in Plagman to make it a 5-3 contest
in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia added another three in the second as
Bryce Massanari ripped a two-out, two-run single and Poythress
scored on Tech’s second error to give the Bulldogs a 6-5 edge.
Massanari leads Georgia with 28 two-out RBI.
“I thought we grabbed the momentum back,” Hall
said. “I thought Massanari had a big two-out hit in the top of
the second to tie the game back up. Then we made an error after
that and we seemed like defensively we just kept breaking down
inning after inning. I think that was the key hit for Georgia in
the game, with two outs he hit that ball into left field and
knocked in two runs.”
In the fourth, Matt Cerione had a two-run double
and two more scored on Tech’s fourth error of the contest as
Georgia took control at 10-5.
The Jackets scored an unearned run in the fourth
to pull to within four at 10-6.
Poythress hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his
third of the regional and 15th for the season to make
it 12-6. Olson had an RBI single and Beckham added a two-run
double in the sixth as Georgia extended the lead to 15-6. David
Thoms had a run-scoring single and Beckham knocked in two more
with a hit in the seventh to complete the scoring.
“We didn’t play obviously to a championship level
tonight,” said Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall. “I’ll take
full responsibility for that. Give Georgia a lot of credit. They
suffered a loss early and won all the games they needed to win
to advance. I’m very proud of my team, everything we went
through this year.”
Olson is 18-37 in his career against Georgia Tech
with 16 RBI.
Georgia is now 15-0 in NCAA Tournament
elimination games at Foley Field, including 4-0 this season
after its opening-round loss to fourth-seeded Lipscomb.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team than I am
right now,” Olson said. “It easily could have been two and done
here if we would have rolled over and died and ended our season.
But everyone came together and everyone stepped up and played as
well as we’ve played all year. A tremendous job from all facets
and I’m really proud of this team.”
The Bulldogs hope the last O is for Omaha.
Athens Regional All-Tournament Team
C – Jason Haniger, Georgia Tech
1B – Rich Poythress, Georgia
2B – Justin McClanahan, Louisville
3B – Ryan Peisel, Georgia
SS – Gordon Beckham, Georgia
OF – Matt Olson, Georgia
OF – Charlie Blackmon, Georgia Tech
OF – Blake Bratcher, Lipscomb
DH – Bryce Massanari, Georgia
P – Nick Montgomery, Georgia
P – Rex Brothers, Lipscomb
Most Outstanding Player – Matt Olson, Georgia