Dawgs SLAM Jackets 18-6

ATHENS – Over the "official" music playing at Foley Field, a song could be heard from beyond the right field wall that perfectly summarized Monday night for Georgia Tech: "Thunderstruck."

No other phrase could appropriately explain a game in which Tech surrendered 18 hits and committed 6 errors en route to a crushing 18-6 defeat at the hands of arch-rival Georgia.

"We obviously didn't play at championship level. I'll take full responsibility for that. Give Georgia a lot of credit. They suffered a loss early then won all the games they needed to win to advance. I'm very proud of my team with everything we went through this year," Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall said.

Georgia head coach David Perno was equally deferential in respect for his opponent.

"First I want to give the utmost respect to Georgia Tech and their program for keeping that team together through that tough time. You've got to tip your hat to coach Hall and his staff for holding that team together," Perno said, later adding, "I think if we're close with Georgia Tech as a program, we're doing the right thing.

Early in the game, it appeared that Hall would be claiming responsibility for inspired play by his Jackets, as opposed to the lackluster performance actually tuned in.

After Georgia went up three in the top of the first, Tech struck right back scoring five and chasing Georgia starer Justin Grimm from the mound without recording a single out.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, they would only add one more run over the rest of the game, as they squandered their hard earned momentum, mainly through an onslaught of devastating errors in the field.

"No question, I thought we grabbed the momentum back. It seemed like defensively we just kept breaking down inning after inning," Hall said.

Georgia immediately bounced back in the second inning to take a 6-5 lead, and would then add 12 more runs over the next 5 innings to put the game completely out of reach.

"I couldn't be more proud of the team than I am right now," said Georgia senior Matt Olson, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "It easily could have been two and done here if we would have rolled over and died. It's just a tremendous job from all facets and I'm really proud of this team."

His coach shared that pride.

"I didn't see it coming tonight. These guys continue to amaze me. The will and the spirit and camaraderie with this team is second to none," Perno said.

The sticking point to Perno was the turnaround from a dismal season last year by his Bulldogs.

"They've been through a lot. The nucleus of this team was also 23-33. Our season has been over for two weeks a year ago," he said. "In just a short years time, we were a national seed and SEC champs. You just really have to tip your hat to this group."

Now the Bulldogs await N.C. State next weekend with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Friday's first pitch is at noon, with the game to be televised nationally on ESPN.

Senior Matt Olson knows what it takes to win a Super Regional and advance to Omaha, having done so two years ago, and sees that same potential in this team.

"I think the biggest thing – the similarities between this team and the '06 team is the camaraderie. We're just a really close group. That's just something you need in the postseason. That's the same way it was two years ago, and I think it's even stronger this year."


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