Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post 8:10: Wife comes home

Tuesday June 24, 2008
Lyle Allen CWS catch

You’ll notice that the live blog stops abuptly during the 4th inning. I was reminded that the championship is no time to start screwing around with the routine that had taken us this far.

So, anyway, what a game. What a comeback. It’s what we’re used to from this team – Georgia had to come from behind against Miami and Stanford – but it’s still amazing every time they get back off the mat. In Monday’s game, they broke through against the best pitcher they had seen all evening after struggling to scratch out runs against guys with ERAs north of 6.75.

Two plays before the pivotal bottom of the 8th stand out as game-changers:

  • Lyle Allen’s catch. Otis Nixon was reached for comment and said, "daaaaaaamn." Between that catch and the one at Turner Field, Allen has stepped nicely into the "did you SEE that catch?!" void left by Joey Side. Allen’s leaping catch in the 4th saved a run, and we know how important a single run proved to be.
  • Steve Susdorf getting doubled off of second. Susdorf doubled in Fresno’s first run of the 8th, but he was caught leaning towards third on a line drive hit to Gordon Beckham. Beckham won the race to the bag. It looked as if Susdorf was bailed out after Fresno tacked on two more runs, but that out had two big implications. First, the subsequent home run plated only one run instead of two. Second, the out and the batter order meant that Susdorf – with a double and triple to his credit already – was left in the on-deck circle in the 9th.

The little things got Georgia in trouble. Leadoff walks. Big hits by the bottom of Fresno’s order. Even Georgia’s offense was so close. The Dawgs hit the ball hard, but great Fresno defense kept them in the game. Those hits fell in the 8th. Olson’s bloop started it, Cerione found the right side of the foul line, and Lewis played pinball with second base to drive in the winning run.

Fresno lost a heartbreaker, but you can’t expect them to fold. They lost a game this way to UNC on Saturday and bounced back nicely. Still, the stress of another elimination game coupled with their depleted pitching staff has to weigh on them. For Georgia the win couldn’t have been better. It gave them a huge shot in the arm, but the game served notice that they can’t relax and take anything as a given against a quality opponent. Postgame comments seemed to show that Georgia was well aware that nothing was settled yet.

The first few innings could be huge tonight. If Georgia can keep the fire going and score some runs against some tired pitching, they’ll be set up very nicely with Montgomery on the mound. On the other hand, a close game will only serve to restore Fresno’s confidence.

One Response to '8:10: Wife comes home'

Subscribe to comments with RSS