"It's never good when you lose," Georgia coach David Perno said. "It's a tough day, not because of the loss as much as we're not going to be able to see these guys around anymore." Georgia raced here to the annual home of college baseball's eight-team title tournament, winning 23 of 28 games leading up to the event, but stalled on arrival.
"I feel really satisfied about the season," senior right fielder Bobby Felmy said. "I'm upset that we lost, but I'm mainly upset that I'm leaving all these guys. You can't hang your head. Everybody loses, it's not a big thing."
Oregon State (45-15) advanced to play the loser of Monday evening's Miami-Rice game today. The Beavers bounced back from an 11-1 loss to Miami to win their first CWS game.
Georgia had won five straight elimination games entering Monday's game, but never could manage the big inning that had been its trademark throughout its winning streak.
It was the Bulldogs' normally automatic bullpen that let them down Saturday against Rice. Monday, it was the offense. Georgia managed just four hits against Oregon State starter Jonah Nickerson, who was a preseason All-American and entered the game with an 11-4 record and 2.50 ERA. The Bulldogs had seven hits overall.
Georgia's Nos. two through five hitters – Joey Side, Felmy, Josh Morris and Jason Jacobs – went a combined 1-for-16 with one RBI. The hit and RBI came on an infield single by Felmy in the eighth inning. The credit for those meager number goes to Nickerson, Perno said.
"The guy has gotten people out all year," he said. "He's good. I just don't want to get too much into it. These guys have been great to us all year. It's just part of it."
Gordon Beckham, who was dropped from second to eighth in the lineup for Monday's game, grounded into a double play with two runners on base to end the game. It was one of three double plays the Bulldogs hit into against Oregon State.
"The double plays ripped our heart out three times," Perno said. "If we don't hit into those double plays, we don't know what happens."
Morris and Jacobs, who were third and fourth on the team in batting coming into the tournament, were 0-for-Omaha. Georgia faced first-team All-American Eddie Degerman of Rice in their first game here.
"It was a tough draw, Degerman and Nickerson," Perno said.
Felmy discounted the notion that Georgia relaxed once it reached its goal of playing in Omaha.
"It's the World Series, you're playing the top eight teams, and we saw both Rice and Oregon State's No. 1 (pitcher)," he said. "Some guys hit the ball hard. Some guys didn't come through. I didn't come through. It's baseball. It's going to happen."
Senior Mickey Westphal (7-3) gave up four earned runs in the first four innings and took the loss. The Bulldogs (47-23) finished with the second-most wins in school history.
Perno will have to replace seniors Matthew Dunn, Felmy, Jason Fellows, Jason Jacobs, Kyle Keen, Rip Warren and Westphal. Juniors Brooks Brown and Joey Side were high Major League draft picks and also will leave. First baseman Josh Morris was selected in the 12th round of the draft but may return.
"I can't say enough good things about this team," Perno said. "I'm so proud to be a part of this team. I knew when it was going to be over, it was going to be tough."