- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 22, 2008

Georgia 10, Stanford 8

OMAHA, Neb. | Georgia can rest easy now. The Bulldogs are in the College World Series championship round.

The Bulldogs had gotten more rest than they wanted heading into Saturday’s Bracket 1 final against Stanford. Coming off four days without a game, they unleashed their pent-up energy early and then withstood the Cardinal’s ninth-inning comeback try to hold on for a victory.

Now Georgia (44-23-1) awaits either Fresno State or North Carolina in the best-of-three championship round that starts Monday.

Rich Poythress tied a CWS record with three doubles, and Ryan Peisel hit a three-run homer that gave the Bulldogs a 9-3 lead in the fifth inning.

The Bulldogs beat Miami in their CWS opener and then Stanford on Monday. Their reward was supposed to be a three-day rest. But rain Thursday pushed the schedule back a day.

That created anxiety for the Bulldogs.

The outburst against Stanford pitchers Jeremy Bleich and Drew Storen alleviated any concern that the Bulldogs would be rusty.

“I think we got really restless,” shortstop Gordon Beckham said. “We were all getting kind of itchy and talking back to each other. We hadn’t had that much time off all year. We were just getting itchy to play, and then when it rained out [Thursday] we were really upset.”

And now they’re really happy.

“We’re in the national championship, and you couldn’t ask for more,” Beckham said. “We want to play on the last day, and we’re going to.”

It’s quite an accomplishment for a club that finished 22-33 a year ago and struggled early in the postseason after winning the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship. The Bulldogs went 0-2 in the SEC tournament and lost their first-round game in the regional they hosted.

“We’ve regrouped,” Georgia coach David Perno said, “and now we’re pretty solid.”

The Bulldogs will go for their second national title 18 years after winning their first. Perno was a utility infielder on that 1990 title team.

Peisel’s second home run in three CWS games, and 12th of the season, marked the 12th hit of the game for Georgia, and it was only the fifth inning. Peisel finished 3-for-5, making him 7-for-14 in Omaha.

North Carolina 4, Fresno St. 3

Chad Flack’s monster two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning kept the Tar Heels alive in the College World Series with a victory over the Bulldogs.

It’s the second straight elimination game North Carolina has won on a late home run. Friday, Tim Federowicz’s grand slam in the ninth broke a tie in a 7-3 win over LSU.

The Tar Heels (54-13) forced another elimination game Sunday against Fresno State (44-30), the first No. 4 regional seed to reach the CWS.

A win would move North Carolina to the best-of-three championship round for the third straight year, this time against Georgia. Meanwhile, Fresno State is trying to make its first appearance in the finals in its third trip to Omaha.

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