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Georgia, Fresno State back it it tonight
Game 3 will decide College World Series championship
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OMAHA -- Sixth-ranked Georgia dropped the second game of the 2008 College World Series Finals, 19-10, to eighth-ranked Fresno State on Tuesday at Rosenblatt Stadium in front of a crowd of 17,223.
Georgia (45-24-1) and Fresno State (46-31) will play a decisive game three to determine the 2008 NCAA Division I Baseball National Champion on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN. Georgia won game one of the best-of-three series on Monday, 7-6, while Fresno State's win on Tuesday evened the series at 1-1.
Georgia will be the home team for Wednesday's game three of the CWS Finals and will start junior left-handed pitcher Nathan Moreau (4-3, 5.22 ERA). Fresno State will counter with Justin Wilson (8-5, 4.34 ERA), also a junior left hander.
After the first two and a half innings in game two, Georgia led 5-0, but Fresno State scored six runs in the bottom of third to move ahead 6-5. Fresno State then added five runs in the fourth and four runs in the fifth to extend its lead to 15-6. Georgia would score four runs in the top of the seventh to being the game to 15-10, but Fresno State answered with three runs in the bottom of that frame and added another in the eighth to push the game to the final margin.
"We had a great start out of the gate, and we really hadn't seen something like that out of Nick (Montgomery). We had a tough time defending the post pattern across the middle," head coach David Perno deadpanned using a football reference on the high-scoring affair.
Both teams combined to send a total of 100 batters to the plate in the game to put up 29 runs on 34 hits. The game lasted three hours and 55 minutes, the second-longest game of the year for Georgia.
"We just couldn't stop them tonight," Perno added. "On the three-run homer [Tommy Mendonca in the third], that was my bad. We went with our third best pitch in that situation and that was my fault. Hopefully, the team will pick me up tomorrow."
A total of 10 pitchers were used by the two teams combined with Fresno State using three pitchers and Georgia using seven. Holden Sprague earned the win for Fresno State after working 3.1 innings in relief allowing five runs, three earned, on eight hits. Stephen Dodson suffered the loss for Georgia after allowing five runs on five hits in one inning of relief. Sprague improved to 6-2 with win, and Dodson fell to 5-5 with the loss.
Georgia scored three runs on four hits in the top of the first. Singles from senior Ryan Peisel (3-for-6) and junior Gordon Beckham (3-for-4, 2 RBI) put runners at the corners with one out. Sophomore Rich Poythress (2-for-4, 2 RBI) then singled to right driving in the game's first run, and on the play, Beckham advanced around to third and Poythress took second. After the second out of the inning was recorded, Fresno State elected to intentionally walk sophomore Matt Cerione to load the bases for sophomore Joey Lewis. Lewis, who entered the game with four two-out RBI in the CWS, singled to center on the first pitch he saw driving in two more runs.
Georgia scored a run in second and a run in the top of the third to extend its lead to 5-0. In the second, Peisel led off with a single to left for the second straight inning, stole second and moved to third on a fly out to center from senior Matt Olson. A sacrifice fly to center from Poythress scored Peisel. In the third, junior Bryce Massanari drew a led off walk, moved to second on a walk issued to Cerione and scored on a single to left from sophomore David Thoms (3-for-5).
In the bottom of the third, Fresno State scored six runs on four hits to go ahead 6-5. A Steve Detwiler (2-for-5) single, a Danny Muno (3-for-4, 4 runs, 2 RBI) walk and a single from Gavin Hedstrom (2-for-5, 3 runs) loaded the bases. After a wild pitch allowed Detwiler to score, a walk to Erik Wetzel (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBI) reloaded the bases. Next, Steve Susdorf (2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBI) provided a two-run single to right ending the game for Georgia starting pitcher Nick Montgomery. Georgia turned to Dodson who got the first batter he faced out, but then he gave up a three-run home run to Mendonca (2-for-5, 3 RBI) that put Fresno State in the lead. It was his fourth home run this week, tying the CWS record.
In the top of the fourth, Georgia tied the game at 6-6 on a RBI single up the middle from Beckham. Olson scored the run from second after leading off with a double off the centerfield wall.
Fresno State went back ahead in the bottom of the fourth with five runs to make it an 11-6 contest. Detwiler and Jordan Ribera (2-for-3, 2 runs) started the frame off with a pair of singles, and Muno followed with a two-run triple to right center. Two batters later, Erik Wetzel hit a line drive off the outreached glove of Beckham at shortstop to drive in another run. Later in the inning, Ryan Overland added a two-run single left field.
In the fifth, Fresno State added four more runs to extend its advantage to 15-6. Ribera walked and Muno singled to start the frame, and Hedstrom followed with a run-scoring double to left. After Wetzel picked up an RBI on a groundout, Susdorf added a two-run home run to right.
Georgia scored four runs on three hits in the top of the seventh inning to cut Fresno State's lead to 15-10. Cerione was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and then pinch hitter Robbie O'Bryan singled to right. Next, junior Adam Fuller also pinch hit and drove in Cerione on a single through the left side of the infield. Thoms followed with another single that loaded the bases. Two batters later, Olson hit into a fielder choice in which Fresno State first baseman Ahmady committed a throwing error allowing a run to score and the bases to remain loaded. Then, Beckham and Poythress picked up an RBI each on a walk and sacrifice fly, respectively. The sacrifice fly was the second of the game for Poythress, tying a CWS record for sacrifice flies in a game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fresno State added three runs to push its lead to 17-10. Hedstrom was hit by a pitch and Wetzel and Susdorf drew walks to load the bases with no outs. Ahmady then singled to right driving in two runs. Later in the inning, Danny Grubb added a sacrifice fly. Fresno State added the game's final run in the eighth on an RBI single from Wetzel.  

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