The Saga Continues - Dawgs too much for Noles

ATHENS – Georgia coach David Perno wanted a big home run from cleanup hitter Josh Morris in the NCAA Tournament's Athens Regional finale. He got one instead from No. 2 hitter Joey Side, and he didn't care a bit about the difference on Monday night. Side's home run powered the Bulldogs to a 3-2 victory over Florida State and into next weekend's Super Regional action.

Georgia, the nation's No. 7 seed, had to win three straight games after losing to the Seminoles on Friday night and did it by improving to 14-2 all-time in NCAA Regional elimination games. Overall, the Bulldogs, who played in front of a season-high Foley Field crowd of 3,612, won for the 21st time in 25 games.

Up next for Georgia is South Carolina, which beat Evansville on Sunday to advance and will come to Foley Field for a three-game series beginning Friday. The Gamecocks are coming out of the Charlottesville Regional, where Virginia was the top seed.

The Bulldogs are 4-0 against the Gamecocks (40-23) this season, with a regular season sweep in Foley Field and a 16-10 win on May 26 in the SEC Tournament.

Monday's game was lower scoring than most people expected with the Bulldogs playing their fifth game in three days and the Seminoles' their fourth. Georgia has freshman starter Trevor Holder and relievers Stephen Dodson, Rip Warren and Josh Fields to thank for that.

That combination held Florida State to just seven hits, all singles. Fields allowed one run in the top of the ninth inning but got pinch hitter Josh Spivey to ground out to end the game.

The Bulldogs got all they could ask and more from Holder. Making his first start since April 23, he went a career-long six innings and gave up just one run, a first-inning RBI single byDennis Guin. He gave up just four hits and didn't walk a batter while throwing 84 pitches.

Side's home run became bigger and bigger as the game wore on and Georgia left runners on base. The Bulldogs had chances to extend their lead in both the fifth and seventh innings.

In the fifth, they had the bases loaded with two outs when catcher Jason Jacobs struck out looking. In the seventh, they had the bases loaded with one out, but Jacobs hit into a double play.

Side put Georgia up 2-1 with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. He hit starter Mark Sauls' first pitch off the bottom left corner of Foley Field's right field scoreboard. Jonathan Wyatt, who walked on four straight pitches, also scored on the play.

The Bulldogs finally got an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth as Ryan Peisel reached on a two-base error by Florida State third baseman Ryne Malone and scored on a two-out RBI single by Wyatt.

Florida State was left scratching its head after matching its second-lowest offensive output of the season. It was just the third time all season the Seminoles failed to score at least two runs.

Leadoff hitter Shane Robinson was 3-for-4, but the Seminoles had only four hits beyond that.


Dawg Post Top Stories