Dawgs Sweep Bees, Advance to World Series

ATLANTA----Seventh-ranked Georgia became the first team to punch its ticket to the College World Series Saturday following a 5-3 win over third-ranked Georgia Tech.

The SEC champion Bulldogs (43-21) will be making their fourth appearance at the CWS in Omaha, Neb., and first since 2001. Freshman centerfielder Jonathan Wyatt (3-for-4, 2 RBI) drilled a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth off Brian Burks to break a 3-3 tie. Sophomore Will Startup came on in the ninth and notched his 10th save including his second in as many days to help send Georgia to Omaha. The Yellow Jackets, who came in as the national number four seed, end their season 44-21. With the win, Georgia also claimed the series 3-2 on the year over the Yellow Jackets including 3-0 at Russ Chandler Stadium where a sell-out crowd of 4,157 watched the Bulldogs celebrate the super regional championship. Georgia has advanced to the CWS in 1987, 1990, 2001 and now 2004. Georgia won the 1987 NCAA Regional in Atlanta too.

"This was another collective effort, and I give all the credit to the players and my assistant coaches, they have done a great job all year," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I'm going to let those guys do all the talking today because they did it."

The Bulldogs took advantage of four Yellow Jacket miscues on the day including one in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Georgia junior right-hander Sean Ruthven carried a no-hitter to the fifth before Georgia Tech rallied back. Clifton Remole drew a leadoff walk and with one out, Whit Robbins reached on a walk. With two outs, Mike Trapani (2-for-3, 2 RBI) lined a two-run double to right that gave the Yellow Jackets a 2-1 advantage. It would be the only hit that Ruthven would allow as he pitched seven innings and struck out five but did not figure in the deicison. Georgia Tech starter Andrew Kown pitched in to the seventh, scattering three runs (two earned) on eight hits before giving way to Brian Burks.

Georgia took a 3-2 lead in the seventh, scoring two runs on three hits and were aided by two more Yellow Jacket errors. However, Georgia Tech came right back in the top of the eighth off Bo Lanier who came on for Ruthven. Trapani singled to start the inning, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Eric Patterson and eventually scored on a fielder's choice by Steven Blackwood to knot the game again at 3-3.

The Bulldogs responded in their half of the eighth. With one out, designated hitter Jason Jacobs was hit by a Burks pitch. Then on an 0-1 pitch, Wyatt smashed a two-run home run over the left centerfield fence as the Bulldogs erupted out of the dugout. It was the first career home run for Wyatt.

"They were throwing me fastballs earlier in the game so I had to make an adjustment, and this time I was looking for one, and I got it," said Wyatt. "I was hustling out of the box after I hit it because that's always important, and I didn't know if it was going out. When I saw it go over the fence, I smiled and it was exciting to see all the guys come out of the dugout and meet me after I crossed home plate."

"Jonathan (Wyatt) has always been a spark for us," said Perno. "When we went through our 12-game SEC winning streak, he was in there, and today we thought it was a good matchup so we put him in there. He has a way of making good things happen, and he did again today. He has been in and out of the lineup all year, and he even started our first game of the season."

At the College World Series that begins June 18, Georgia will face the winner of the Arizona-Long Beach State Super Regional in the first game. The start time will be set later in the week by ESPN/ESPN2 which will televise the entire CWS.

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