2006 Athens Super Regional Notebook: Day One

ATHENS – Tuesday, Brooks Brown was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the Major League baseball draft. Today, he will pitch the biggest game of his collegiate career. If it's not a good one, it could be his last.

"I think Brooks is one of the best pitchers in the nation," said Mickey Westphal, Georgia's losing pitcher Saturday, "and I think he'll prove it (today)."

Brown started the year as the Bulldogs' Friday night starter, but lost that role to Westphal midway through the SEC season. He leads the Bulldogs in strikeouts with 111 and is 7-4 with a 4.17 ERA.

His last outing wasn't a good one. He gave up seven hits and six runs in six innings as Florida State beat the Bulldogs 6-4 in the Athens Regional.

"I think he's ready for a good start," Georgia coach David Perno said.

South Carolina will start freshman right-hander Mike Cicso. He is 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA this year. The Gamecocks' bullpen is in better shape than Georgia's because starter Harris Honeycutt pitched 81/3 innings.

FREE SWINGERS: South Carolina's eight-homer outburst was an extension of Coach Ray Tanner's aggressive philosophy. The Gamecocks don't take many pitches.

"I don't care if you strike out," Tanner said. "You've got an aluminum bat in your hand, you can chose some pitches."

RECORD ON THE LINE: The Bulldogs are 17-6 overall in NCAA Tournament elimination games, including an 8-0 record at home.

BRIGHT SPOT: Georgia center fielder Joey Side tripled home Jonathan Wyatt in the ninth inning to tie the school record for triples in a season (eight) and career (13).

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