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

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


ATHENS, Ga. – O is for…


Offense. Georgia and Georgia Tech combined for 29 hits and 24 runs in the Championship Game of the Athens Regional.


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