CWS Game One - Georgia wins 8-7

OMAHA – Georgia survived a 5-run 4th inning and a scare in the 8th inning to win their first game of the 2004 College World Series.

Will Startup was there to save the Bulldog effort once more today, but not without some drama. He allowed only one run but had to work his way out of a bases loaded – full count jam in the 8th.

"Startup continues to do his thing," said Georgia head coach David Perno.

Jordan Brown could not catch up with Startup's stuff and the Wildcats were relegated to the loser's bracket soon thereafter.

"I knew that I needed to make a pitch. I was comfortable that our defense would make the play behind me but he just missed the pitch," Startup said.

The Bulldogs now move to the winner's side of Bracket One and will face the winner of tonight's Arkansas-Texas game. It was the school's first win in the CWS since 1990, the year that they won the national title.

"We wanted to forget the 4th inning," said Perno. "We have not had one of those in a while."

Arizona's big 4th inning gave the Wildcats 6-3 lead but only for a half of an inning as Georgia responded in a big way in their half of the inning.

A double from Josh Smith and a two-out Joey Side single gave the Dawgs the lead for good at 7-6. Both hits came with the bases loaded.

Georgia and Arizona did not score in the 5th inning but it appeared that Georgia was going to add an insurance run in the 6th when shortstop Justin Holmes was thrown out at home after tagging on a fly ball to left field.

The play not only resulted in the Wildcats getting out of the inning but Holmes was also thrown out of the game by Home Plate Umpire Dave Buck. Perno explained his displeasure with what he sees as inconsistent interpretation of the rule regarding the play at the plate. He says that it has been occurring for the last few weeks.

"The play at the plate is going to be an issue," said Perno of the play. "There wasn't anything flagrant about it." Bulldog players said that at the Athens Regional two weeks ago they got a different ruling from the same type of play.

"When I looked up we had the collision," said Holmes of the play. "I was not trying to hurt him; it was just baseball."

Georgia said that Arizona catcher Nick Hundley was too far up the 3rd base line on the play; a run would have put the Dawgs up 8-6.

Georgia eventually went up by that score in the 7th inning when Jason Jacobs scored from 3rd on a throwing error. As it turned out the Bulldogs needed the insurance.

They also needed Startup, again.


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