June 17, 2008
Georgia rallies again for
second CWS victory
Bulldogs score two in seventh to edge
Brilliant Bulldog Relievers
Castro Clutch as Cardinal Catcher
By Phil Stanton
OMAHA, Neb. – This time the magic came in
the seventh instead of the ninth.
After rallying for four in the ninth in its 7-4
win over Miami on Saturday, No. 8 Georgia got a two-run single
from Matt Cerione (right, photo courtesy of Georgia Media
Relations Office) with two outs in the seventh to give the
Bulldogs a 4-3 win over Stanford Monday at the 2008 College
World Series in front of 20,087 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Stanford (40-23-2) faces No. 1 Miami on Wednesday
at 7 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The winner plays Georgia
(43-23-1) on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET.
“A lot like the first game,” said Georgia head
coach David Perno, “just tremendous relief pitching. Stephen
Dodson, Alex McRee, Josh Fields down the stretch were
outstanding. I tip my hat to Stanford, a well-coached team.
They’re tough to beat. They only scored in one frame and we got
the big hit when we needed it.”
Stanford used three extra-base hits to score
three in the third. Zach Jones led off with a triple into the
left field corner and scored on a groundout by Jake Schlander.
One out later, Joey August doubled and scored on Jason Castro’s
14th home run to give the Cardinal a 3-0 advantage.
Georgia got on the board in the fourth as Gordon
Beckham led off with a single and scored on a two-out double by
The Bulldogs pulled to within one in the sixth,
but could have had more. With one out, Rich Poythress walked,
Bryce Massanari had a base hit and Cerione drew a base on balls
to load the bases and end the evening for Stanford starter
Jeffrey Inman. Austin Yount took over and promptly walked
pinch-hitter Robbie O’Bryan to force in a run and make it 3-2.
Lyle Allen fell behind 0-2 and then fouled off seven pitches
around three balls before swinging and missing on the 13th
pitch. David Thoms lined out to first to end the threat.
It was an eventful bottom of the seventh that
gave Georgia its first lead. With two outs, Beckham singled to
left and Poythress drew a walk. Massanari hit a ball down the
right line that hit the top of the wall inches foul, just
missing a three-run homer. First-base umpire Mitch Mele made the
correct call, sending Massanari back to the plate. Massanari was
hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Cerione then line a single up
the middle, bring home Beckham and Poythress and giving the
Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
“I knew it was my turn,” Cerione said. “I got a
ball to hit and hit it up the middle. It’s a great feeling.”
Dodson pitched 3.2 innings of relief for Georgia
with one hit, no runs, two walks and two strikeouts. McRee (7-1)
got the last out of the seventh and fanned two in the eighth to
earn the victory. Fields hit one batter and walked another in
the ninth, but got a double-play ball to end the game and
register his 17th save.
“It was a great game,” said Stanford head coach
Mark Marquess. “We had a chance to win it but they came up with
that big two-out hit. That was the difference. We had a chance
there in the ninth, but couldn’t get that hit. Their relievers
really shut us down. Tough loss for us, but congratulations to
Georgia. They did a great job.”