CWS: Georgia Survives, Sets Up Horns-'Dawgs II

Georgia earned another shot at No. 1 Texas after sending Arizona home with a 3-1 defeat Tuesday in a College World Series elimination game. The Horns (57-13) and the Bulldogs (45-22) will square off Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Rosenblatt. A Texas win will put UT in the national championship series vs. the winner of the Fullerton-South Carolina/Miami bracket. A Longhorn loss will pit the teams in a Thursday loser-goes-home game.

The Bulldogs got outstanding pitching to beat the Wildcats. No. 2 starter Michael Hyle went six innings, surrendering six hits and just one earned run before giving way to closer Will Startup, who pitched three innings of one-hit ball. Georgia totaled nine hits off of Arizona pitching, with 2B Marshall Szabo (3-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and RF Joey Side (2-4, 1 RBI) swinging the hottest bats.

A possible starter for Georgia in Wednesday's game is Paul Lubrano, who is typically a No. 3 pitcher in the rotation but who opened the College World Series for the 'Dawgs because it was his turn in the rotation. Heading into the CWS, the 6-1, 160-pound lefty had started 17 games, winning five and losing four while compiling a 4.22 ERA. He gave up a hit an inning on average and walked 34 in just over 91 innings pitched. Versus Arizona in UGA's Omaha opener last Friday, Lubrano went just 3-1/3, getting knocked around by the Wildcats for nine hits and six earned runs before being lifted for long reliever Johnny Dobbs. Rightie Dobbs pitched 2-2/3 of two-hit ball while Startup finished out the final three frames, giving up three hits and one earned run in the 8-7 Georgia win.

Neither Lubrano nor Dobbs has pitched since their CWS opener, so they've had a full four days rest since their last appearance.

Sean Ruthven (4 innings, 6 earned runs), Mitchell Boggs (1-1/3 innings, 2 earned runs), Josh McLaughlin (2/3 of an inning, no earned runs), Bo Lanier (2 innings, 1 earned run) and Brooks Brown (1 inning, no earned runs) pitched against Texas Sunday evening while Hyle and lefty Startup, making his second Omaha appearance, took the Hill today vs. Arizona.

It's possible that Georgia coach David Perno, as he's done already this post-season, will opt for short stints from a combination of Lubrano, Dobbs, Ruthven and the remainder of the Bulldog 'pen vs. Texas starter Justin Simmons (10-3, 4.21 ERA). Simmons is in the opposite situation of the Georgia pitchers: he hasn't seen the mound since getting a win in UT's NCAA Tournament opener with Youngstown State on June 4. The Horns also have No. 4 starter Kyle McCulloch (7-0, 3.25 ERA), and a fairly lightly used bullpen, in reserve.

[Note: For more on Georgia, see IT's preview of the teams' first meeting in Omaha by clicking here.]


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