June 25, 2008


Winner-Take-All Wednesday

Fresno State and Georgia to play deciding game of Championship Series

Survivors to Meet One More Time

Day 11 Notes

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – If you like offense, Rosenblatt was the place for you on Tuesday.


The teams combined for 35 hits and 29 runs. After falling behind 5-0 in the third, Fresno State outscored No. 8 Georgia 15-1 over the next three innings on its way to a 19-10 victory in Game 2 of the Championship Series of the 2008 College World Series in front of 17,223 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


The third and final game of the Championship Series will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.


Each team had base-runners in every inning. Fresno State (46-31) had a season-high 19 hits and posted its second-highest run total. The Bulldogs beat New Mexico State 24-6 on April 20 for their largest output of the year. Georgia (45-24-1) surrendered its highest run total of the year.


Eight different Fresno State players had multiple-hit games and six drove in more than one run. Leadoff hitter Danny Muno went 3 for 4 with four runs and two RBI. Erik Wetzel was 2 for 4 with three runs and three RBI. Steve Susdorf (2 for 5, 3 R, 4 RBI) and Tommy Mendonca (2 for 5, 1 R, 3 RBI) each went deep. It was the 19th for Mendonca and the 13th for Susdorf (right, photo courtesy of FS Media Relations). Mendonca tied a CWS record with four home runs.


Holden Sprague (6-2) earned the win in relief, going 3.1 innings with eight hits, three earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts. Jake Hower worked the final three innings without allowing a run and earned his first save. Starter Justin Miller went twice through the lineup, pitching 2.2 innings with six hits, five runs, four walks and three strikeouts.


 “It’s not the first time this club’s answered the bell when they had to,” said Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole. “I’m proud of the way they played today, especially what we did on the mound, not so much the 19 runs. What Justin Miller gave us, what he has left in the tank, and what Sprague gave us, what he has left in the tank, was pretty special. They’re pitching on guts and heart. I thought that was the key. It’s a good win, an important win. It was one win today and puts us in a chance that we get to have another one tomorrow. That’s the important thing.”


Georgia batted around in the top of the first. Ryan Peisel led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out base hit by Gordon Beckham. Rich Poythress singled to right to drive in Peisel and went to second on the throw. After a flyout to short right, Matt Cerione was intentionally walked to load the bases. Joey Lewis hit the first pitch up the middle for a two-run single to plate Beckham and Poythress and give Georgia a 3-0 advantage.


Georgia added a run in the second as Peisel again had a leadoff single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Poythress. David Thoms had an RBI single with two outs in the third to give Georgia a 5-0 lead.


“We got everything we wanted out of the gate,” said Georgia head coach David Perno, “a great start. We had a tough time defending the post pattern across the middle.”


Fresno State took its turn to bat around in the bottom of the frame. Steve Detwiler singled and scored on a wild pitch. Susdorf had a two-run single and Mendonca ripped a three-run homer to give the Californians a 6-5 edge.


“The biggest thing was there was no sense of panic,” Susdorf said. “Nobody was in the dugout panicking ‘Oh my God, we’re down 5-0 and might not play tomorrow’. It was just keep taking good at-bats, get runners on base and make something happen.”


Georgia quickly tied it in the fourth as Matt Olson had a leadoff double and came home on a single by Beckham to knot it at 6-6.


Fresno State sent 10 to the plate in the fourth as Muno had a two-run single, Wetzel added a run-scoring base hit and Ryan Overland blooped a two-run single to give FS an 11-6 lead.


Fresno State added four in the fifth, capped by a two-run homer by Susdorf to extend the advantage to 15-6.


Georgia closed the gap with four in the seventh as runs were driven in by Thoms (single), Olson (fielder’s choice), Beckham (walk) and Poythress (sacrifice fly) to make it a 15-10 contest.


Fresno State put up three more in the seventh as Ahmady had a two-run single and Danny Grubb contributed a sacrifice fly. Wetzel had an RBI single in the eighth for the game’s final run.


“It’s pretty tough,” Beckham said about the loss. “Fresno State had the merry-go-round. They were going around the bases all night. They’re a great team. They showed it tonight. They beat us. We were not fooled. We didn’t let down. We were ready and they just hit.”


Peisel, Beckham and Thoms each had three hits for Georgia. Poythress had two hits and drove in three.


One game remains to decide the national champion.


“It’s another game tomorrow,” Mendonca said. “It doesn’t matter, win or lose, we made it this far. It’s just another game.”