Dogs rally again
OMAHA, Neb -- Down three runs, Georgia had Stanford right where they wanted them. Chipping away until the opportunity arose, Matt Cerione smashed a two-out bases loaded two-RBI single to lift the Bulldogs to a 4-3 victory over Stanford.
The inning started with Gordon Beckham's bases-empty two-out single and featured a controversial but correct call on a potential game-changing hit.
The game was crisply played with no errors and well-pitched with only 15 total hits in the game. Like Georgia's win over Miami, their bullpen once again proved extremely effective as three pitchers worked six scoreless innings and allowed just one hit.
"It was a lot like our first game," said Georgia head coach David Perno. "We got tremendous relief pitching. Stephen Dodson, Alex McRee, and Joshua Fields were outstanding. We limited their scoring to one frame."
Stanford scored all three of their runs in the third with Jason Castro's home run providing the big blow.
But it was the Bulldog seventh that has people buzzing at Rosenblatt.
With Beckham on second after a Rich Poythress walk, Bryce Massanari lifted a high fly down the right field line. The ball landed on the yellow padding on the wall just inches below where the foul pole begins. Inches higher and it is a home run. Inches left and it is a home run or off the wall for extra bases. As it was, umpire Mitch Mele got the call right as a foul ball.
Reliever Austin Yount plunked Massanari setting the stage for Cerione's big hit.
Cerione deposted Yount's 0-1 pitch into centerfield sending Beckham and Poythress home. Centerfielder Sean Ratliff's throw home took a hop off the pitchers' mound allowing Poythress to score easily.
"I went up there looking for a ball to square up," Cerione said. "I got a ball to hit and hit it up the middle. It was a great feeling."
Alex McRee mowed down the 3-4-5 hitters in the Stanford eighth. Closer Joshua Fields hit a batter and walked another before getting pinch-hitter Colin Walsh to hit into a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.
"It was a great game," said Stanford coach Mark Marquess. "Their bullpen was tremendous but we had a chance to win it. They came up with a big hit. That was the difference. We had a chance in the ninth and couldn't get that hit."
Stephen Dodson worked 3 2/3 innings of scoreless one-hit relief backing starter Nick Montgomery who got the quick hook after three innings, five hits, and three runs.
Georgia loaded the bases in the sixth but Yount won an epic 13 pitch duel with Lyle Allen before getting a third out liner from David Thoms.
Stanford starter Jeffrey Inman was effective as he scattered seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just two runs, walked three, and struck out five.
The Cardinal is back in action Wednesday evening against Miami. The winner of that game gets another shot at Georgia Friday at 2 ET.
Georgia 4 Stanford 3
Win: Alex McRee (7-1)
Loss: Austin Yount (6-4)
Save: Joshua Fields (17)
Home Runs: Jason Castro
Top Hitters: Matt Cerione (2-3), David Thoms(2-4), Gordon Beckham (2-4), Jason Castro (2-3), Joey August (2-4)
Game ball goes to: Matt Cerione came up with the game-winning hit in the seventh inning to provide the difference in the game.