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Two bulldogs will fight to the death for the rights to the College Baseball National Title, starting tonight at 7 PM ET. The eighth ranked Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) knocked off Stanford 10-8 on Saturday, allowing them to advance to play the winner of the North Carolina/Fresno State matchup.
After the North Carolina Tar Heels knocked off the LSU Tigers 7-3 on Friday, after the game was suspended a day, the 'Heels had to beat the then 2-0 Fresno State Bulldogs twice to advance to the Finals with Georgia. North Carolina third baseman Chad Flack, who went 2 for 3 in game 1 of the matchup on Saturday, hit the eventual game-winner with a two-run round tripper to deep left field in the eighth inning. Alex White finished the final 2.2 innings without even allowing a single hit, striking out five, and earning his 13th win of the season (13-3). But game two, played Sunday, was a whole new day, and the results weren't exactly what the 'Heels were looking for.
The underdogs prevailed in game two, outscoring the Tar Heels 6-1, the only run coming on a Clayton Allison walk of UNC left fielder Kyle Shelton with the bases juiced. Tommy Mendonca of Fresno State led the Bulldogs the rest of the way, helping them score four unanswered runs with his RBI double in the fifth inning, and his RBI single in the sixth inning. His single finished the Bulldogs' scoring spurt, as he finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBI's. Phenom closer, Brandon Burke, pitched the final two innings for the Bulldogs, and preserved the 6-1 win.
The 3-0 Georgia Bulldogs, and Junior shortstop Gordon Beckham will be put to the test against the surprising Fresno State Bulldogs. But, Georgia's road to the Finals wasn't exactly a cakewalk either. Georgia lost their first game of the Athens Regionals, 10-7 against the fourth seeded Lipscomb Bisons. They finished the regionals as the champions (4-1), defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets twice (8-0, and 18-6). In the best-of-three Super Regionals matchup against the North Carolina State Wolfpack, the Bulldogs won two of three, outscoring NC State 34-22 in those three games. After the Super Regional victory, the Bulldogs earned their spot in the College World Series, where they went eliminated Stanford from the World Series on Saturday.
Georgia got off to a fast start in their rematch against catcher Jason Castro, and first baseman Brent Milleville, and the rest of Stanford's lineup. Going into the ninth inning the Bulldogs had a 10-4 lead. But, Stanford did not go down without a fight. All-American closer Josh Fields, of Georgia, gave up four ninth inning runs, including a pinch-hit three-run HR by Ben Clowe. But, Josh Fields held on to earn the save, forcing a fly-out to end the game. Game one is tonight at 7 PM ET on ESPN2. My Prediction: Gordon Beckham, and his Georgia Bulldogs will sweep the underdogs, unfortunately for Fresno State.
Series recap coming right after series is over.