June 8, 2008
Wolfpack Bites Back
N.C. State, Georgia Play Rubber Game Sunday
By Tyler Estep
The Red & Black
Tyler Estep is a senior journalism
student and the University of Georgia and a senior
sportswriter/former sports editor at The Red & Black. He's one
of the biggest Braves fans on the planet, and his dream job
would be to cover them for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He
has no (successful) history of actually playing sports, but,
hey, that's why he's a writer.
ATHENS, Ga. -
Georgia will have a chance to improve its spotless Foley Field
record in NCAA elimination games on Sunday after dropping the
second game of its Super Regional with N.C. State Saturday 10-6.
Wolfpack pitching silenced the
rolling Bulldogs bats, and a brief outing from starter Nathan
Moreau made Sunday's "if necessary" game a very necessary rubber
match to decide who will head to Omaha for the College World
"I didn't think we played poorly
yesterday," N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said. "The things
that went bad went very bad for us, and the things that went
good for them went very good. I think they were two similar
games…we got the benefit of some things today, they got the
benefit of some things yesterday."
Things appeared to start off on
the right foot for "visiting" Georgia as third baseman Ryan
Peisel led off the game with a solo shot to left center on just
the second pitch. But N.C. State and centerfielder Marcus Jones
countered with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Jeremy Synan, Russell Wilson and
Tommy Foschi followed suit in the third, all driving in runs on
two-out singles, chasing Moreau after 2.2 innings and putting
the Wolfpack (42-21) ahead for good.
The Bulldogs (40-23-1) pulled to
within one on RBI hits from Joey Lewis and Gordon Beckham in the
fourth and fifth, respectively, and with junior Stephen Dodson
(the Bulldogs' Saturday starter during conference play) throwing
4.1 scoreless innings in relief, Georgia looked to be in a
But pulling Dodson to start the
seventh (after just 48 pitches) would prove to be a crucial move
for the Bulldogs and coach Dave Perno, as four walks led to four
more Wolfpack runs.
"He was a little tired, and
Stephen I think will admit that to you," Georgia coach Dave
Perno said. "I would have liked to have kept him in there, but
in that situation, he really laid it out there. Any time you
come out in a situation like that, you can double your pitches
because of every pressure-packed pitch. And coming in from the
bullpen is not like a start."
After N.C. State third baseman
Drew Martin walked to start the inning, leadoff man Dallas Poulk
(2 for 4) slapped a bunt double over the head of Peisel. That
set the stage for Ryan Pond's sac fly, three more walks
(including walking two in) and an RBI double from Foschi.
"That [double] was a huge play
for us," said N.C. State designated hitter Russell Wilson, who
went 2 for 4 for a pair of RBI. "It was a real momentum carrier
for us. A big-time play."
That was the first extra base hit
for the Wolfpack, as 10 of its 12 hits were singles.
N.C. State starter Jake Buchanan
largely silenced an offense that had scored 51 runs in its
previous four games, going 5.1 and allowing what appeared to be
all three Georgia runs until it struck for three more in the
The Bulldogs won four straight
games on the brink of extinction during last weekend's Regional,
extending their all-time record to 15-0 in NCAA elimination
games at Foley Field. That has them feeling pretty comfortable
going into Sunday's 4 p.m. game.
"We had our backs against the
wall all last week, and we won four straight, so I'm pretty sure
we can win one more to get to Omaha," said Beckham, UGA’s
shortstop who was hit by pitches in his first two at-bats
That said, Avent isn't buying
into an advantage for the Bulldogs.
"That sounds like it covers a lot
of years," Avent said. "We're only playing one team, we're
playing guys that are on this Georgia team. I don't know how
many of these guys have been around for that. The longer a
streak goes, obviously the more chances it's going to be