June 17, 2008


Georgia rallies again for second CWS victory

Bulldogs score two in seventh to edge Cardinal

Brilliant Bulldog Relievers

Castro Clutch as Cardinal Catcher

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


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 Cerione.


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.”