Remembering Omaha

Will Startup was a star pitcher for Georgia from 2003 to 2005. He finished his Bulldog career with 19 saves, 2 of them coming in the 2004 College World Series. Even though he has been in the minor leagues for about one year, he has climbed his way up and is now pitching for the Richmond Braves in Triple A. Who knows when he will be called up to the show, but first he found time to talk to me.

Dave McMahon -- Does Richmond have a day or night game on Saturday... are you going to be able to watch the Dawgs play in the College World Series?

Will Startup -- We play at night. You better believe if I can get in front of a TV on Saturday afternoon I will.

DM -- Any of your teammates went to Rice or any of the other College World Series teams?

WS -- No, not that I know. I have a teammate from Alabama that I watch games with. Sometimes when you play pro ball you have to lay low for awhile. You are not supposed to be too much into your college, but I can't help it.

DM -- What was Omaha like?

WS -- It was one of the best experiences ever. It was clearly the highest level of college ball I played. The atmosphere was incredible. The fans were so good... the locals there cheered and cheered and wanted to see good plays no matter what team did it.

DM -- Anything else you remember about Omaha?

WS -- There was a zoo behind right field that me and my dad went to. They had a cool biosphere... it looked a lot like Epcot.

DM -- Do you remember how many fans watched you that first day?

WS -- There were about 26,000 fans there. They were filled with such positive energy, that you just had to prove yourself every time.

DM -- Talk to any of your former Georgia teammates lately since the NCAA Tournament began?

WS -- I talked to Brooks Brown after he was drafted and I told him how proud I was of him. Now that the pressure is off him about the pro's he can just pitch the way he normally pitches when he gets to Omaha.

DM -- You recently got promoted to Triple A... what is Richmond like?

WS -- It's different. My wife and I live 20-30 minutes away with a family from Cartersville that recently moved up here. The level of play is different. A lot of people say there is not much difference between Double and Triple A, but the hitters here are much more patient. You have to throw strikes because they are expecting sliders and other breaking pitches.

DM -- Do you think you are ready for the majors now?

WS -- If they call me up now, I would have no complaints. I still need to develop more now and need some more experience. But I have to be ready in case they call me.

DM -- Thank you for your time and good luck in getting called up.

As of today, Will Startup has a 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA in 6 games at Richmond. Earlier this season he was 3-0 with 4 Saves and a 0.72 ERA in Mississippi and 1-0 in Myrtle Beach.

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