Dawgs knock out Arizona; Texas next

OMAHA – Georgia escaped elimination by beating Arizona 3-1 in the elimination round of Bracket 1. As a reward the Bulldogs play Texas tomorrow and, should they win, they will play the Longhorns for the third time on Thursday for the right to play for the national title this weekend.

Georgia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 3rd inning after Marshall Szabo, who may have had the game of his career, singled in Josh Smith and then scored on a Joey Side infield single.

The two runs turned out to be all that the Bulldogs would need. For a moment in the bottom of the 7th inning, Arizona clawed to within a run of the Bulldogs. But the Bulldogs answered the very next inning to extent the lead back to two, 3-1, when Szabo scored on a Bobby Felmy single to left.

Szabo said that getting on base in that situation was critical to the Bulldog win.

"Leading off an inning like that you just want to get on base," he said.

"When you score, you need to hang zero just to keep momentum on your side," said Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez. The Wildcats were not able to do that.

The combination of starter Michael Hyle and reliever Will Startup was too much for the Wildcats. Arizona left the College World Series with a 1-2 record. Hyle got the win and Startup recorded his 2nd save of the CWS; both coming against Arizona.

The Bulldogs have used quality pitching all season long to win games. Hyle pitched for 6 innings and only allowed six hits and one run. Startup only allowed one base runner. That impressed Lopez.

"The two performances I've seen, he's pretty dominant," said Lopez of Startup. "He's very impressive. He doesn't lack confidence and that's what you want in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings with a one-run lead," he added.

Georgia Head Coach David Perno was pleased with his starter's performance. "I couldn't be prouder of him and it was a quality win for us," he said of Hyle.

"They pitched very well. That about says it all," said Lopez.

Even though Georgia's pitching was on target, Szabo was the player of the game. He had perhaps his best game yet as a Bulldog. Szabo was a home run away from being only second player ever to hit for the cycle at the CWS. He went 3 for 5 with a RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.

Perno hopes that the Bulldogs have enough in the tank for Texas. "We know they're good, but they're human," he said.

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