"When you feel like he's given you enough, you go the next guy," Perno said. "We've got good guys, and we've got guys who can get people out. We want to make sure we don't leave anybody out there too long and lose a chance to get (Rip Warren and Josh Fields) in the game late with a lead."
Senior Mickey Westphal has been Georgia's opening-game starter throughout their surge in the second half of the season, but he has slumped in the last month. He was pummeled Friday by South Carolina, surrendering seven earned runs in 12/3 innings.
Freshman Nathan Moreau also was an SEC starter for the last half of the season, but he, too, seems to have lost confidence. Perno inserted Moreau into Monday's win over South Carolina when the game was out of hand in an attempt to give Moreau's mental game a boost. Instead, Moreau gave up a hit, a walk and a run without recording an out.
Still, both pitchers will be options to start later in the College World Series, as will freshmen Jason Leaver (3-2, 4.95) and Trevor Holder (5-3, 4.89).
By going with Brown in the opener, Georgia is putting clearly its most talented starter on the mound against the second-seeded Owls. Brown, a hard thrower, was a first round Major League pick last week by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is 8-4 with a 4.10 ERA this season, and he leads the Bulldogs with 117 strikeouts.
He probably will face Rice ace Eddie Degerman, a first-team All-American who is 13-1 with a 1.81 ERA. Degerman, a senior, has a Conference USA-record 158 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting just .174 off him.
"We've got our work cut out for us," Perno said.