June 24, 2008


Blast It Like Beckham

Georgia's home run leader sparks late rally


By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – Two of his past four home runs may have saved Georgia’s season.


Junior shortstop Gordon Beckham has hit two key postseason home runs to put the Bulldogs one game away from Georgia’s second baseball national championship.


With Fresno State having the momentum after scoring three in the top of the eighth to snap a 3-3 tie, Beckham blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame off FS closer Brandon Burke to spark a four-run rally and a 7-6 win in Game 1 of the Championship Series.


“He threw me a first-pitch strike and I choked up after that,” Beckham said. “I choked up about a half an inch. I figured he was going to come with a fastball at some point. I didn’t know it was going to be that pitch. But he threw it and I think it was out over the plate and I pulled it.”


Beckham homered twice in Game 3 of the Super Regionals against NC State to tie the school’s career home run record with 51. He had not gone deep in Georgia’s first three CWS games.


“I told Coach earlier on in the week,” Beckham said, “I just said everybody was giving me a bunch of grief for not hitting a home run and breaking our school record. I turned to Coach and said ‘I’m going to hit it when we need it the most’. Tonight was a pretty good time to do it. I’m happy it worked out, but we still have to win another game.”


Monday’s home run was reminiscent of a key blast Beckham had in the regionals. The Bulldogs were upset at home by fourth-seeded Lipscomb in the opener and trailed 5-2 in the seventh against Louisville. It looked like the season could be over for the No. 8 national seed. But Beckham’s three-run homer sparked a seven-run rally in the seventh as the Bulldogs defeated the Cardinals 9-8. Georgia beat Lipscomb and topped Georgia Tech twice to win the Athens Regional. The Bulldogs took two of three from NC State in the Super Regionals to advance to Omaha.