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Post Diamond Dawgs get it done…again

Tuesday June 6, 2006

Anyone should know better than to count these Dawgs out. Facing three elimination games to win the Athens regional, Georgia put together a string of wins that had everything from power hitting to shutdown pitching. Monday’s tight 3-2 win over FSU concluded a tremendous regional and a three game series with one of the nation’s most storied programs. FSU had a lot on their side after winning Saturday night’s game, and they had never failed to advance from a regional. Typically you’d expect a high-scoring game in a situation like this, but both Georgia and FSU found strong performances waiting down their pitching depth charts. Georgia’s Trevor Holder just got better and better, and regional MVP Joey Side made FSU pay for one of their few pitching mistakes with his third home run of the weekend.

For the regional Side batted .455 with six extra-base hits and twelve RBI. Side joins Jeff Keppinger in 2001 and Will Startup in 2004 as Dawgs who used the postseason to elevate already-solid reputations to lead Georgia to success.

“I felt like I was pretty much in the zone as a hitter,” Side said after Monday’s win. You don’t say.

Side wasn’t the only story of the regional of course. You have Morris tying the single-season HR mark. You have the trio of freshman pitchers who stepped up in the final three games to make sure that Georgia was playing on top most of the time. You have Georgia fighting out of the elimination round at home for the third time this decade. So many contributions and big plays. Kudos to FSU for an ultra-competitive series.

Now it’s the super regional, and South Carolina will return to Athens. Georgia has swept all four meetings to date with South Carolina this season, but of course none of that matters now. South Carolina obviously has to be playing good baseball to advance from the Charlottesville regional, and they bring one of the more dangerous offensive teams remaining in the tournament.

Super regional tickets are already on sale at georgiadogs.com, and the series will be a best-of-three beginning on Saturday.

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