Fresno clobbers Dawgs 19-10

OMAHA, NE – Nobody said it was supposed to be easy.

After taking a 5-0 lead in after three innings, things looked good for Georgia (45-24-1) as it looked to defeat Fresno State (46-31) for the second straight night and capture its second national championship in school history.

But that was not to be. At least not on this night.

The "insert your favorite cliché here" Bulldogs from Fresno used a 15-run onslaught over the course of the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings to take a commanding lead over Georgia, and to propel themselves to a 19-10 victory Tuesday night.

"They just beat us straight up. We were not fooled. We didn't let down. It was just one of those things. We were ready and they just hit, and kept hitting the ball. It was their night," said Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham.

The win forces a decisive Game Three on Wednesday that will determine college baseball's national champion.

"It's battle of the undefeated in elimination games. It should be a great game. It'll be a dogfight," Beckham said.

Georgia, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the 1st inning and built that to 5-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd, saw usually reliable starter Nick Montgomery driven from the game after giving up three runs and experiencing control issues.

Stephen Dodson, who had also turned in some outstanding innings earlier in the tournament, then got the first batter he faced out before giving up a three-run home run to Fresno third baseman Tommy Mendonca, his 19th of the year.

"Just hadn't seen that from Nick (Montgomery) all year. He's been steady for us. We've got to pick him up tomorrow," head coach David Perno said. "It was just uncharacteristic of Nick and Stephen (Dodson) today."

On the home run specifically Perno said, "I think it deflated him a little bit."

Georgia attempted a comeback in the top of the 7th when it added four runs to close the gap to 15-10, but was unable to maintain any momentum as Fresno added three more runs of its own during its next at-bat.

And despite scoring four runs in that inning and ten in the game, as well as pounding out a more than respectable 15 hits, it seemed that the Dawgs were always one big hit away from doing some serious damage. Fresno, conversely, continuously got the big hit it needed whenever Georgia crept closer.

"Fresno Sate had the merry-go-round or circus or whatever you want to call it," Beckham said. "They were going around the bases all night. They're a good team. They showed it tonight. It's not much fun."

Holden Sprague (6-2) took the win for Fresno while Stephen Dodson (5-5) took the loss for Georgia. The two teams will meet a final time tomorrow night at 7 PM EST in a winner-take-all national championship game.

In that game, Perno will rely on the pitchers that he said got Georgia to this point and hopes can pull out one more victory.

"We're going to start Nathan Moreau. You're going to see Dean Weaver. You're going to see Alex McRee. You're going to see Josh Fields. Everybody else is going to be cheerleading," Perno said.

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