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Article:CWS Opening Round Recap

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It was a good two days for Bulldogs. The Georgia Bulldogs upset the number one Miami Hurricanes 7-4 on Saturday, while the Fresno State Bulldogs pummeled the sixth ranked Rice Owls 17-5 on Sunday. Though the ‘Canes, and Owls were not the only two teams to get upset in this double-elimination tourney. The unranked Stanford Cardinal routed the number four Florida State Seminoles thanks to an 11-run ninth inning. Usually the Seminoles’ high-powered offense, led by catcher/pitcher Buster Posey, is on the winning end of a high-scoring game. But, Saturday was a whole different story.

Florida State used seven different pitchers including Posey, who up gave six runs (just one earned) in just one-third of an inning. Stanford’s 11-run ninth was fueled by first baseman Brent Milleville’s sac fly to centerfield, to start off the big inning, and then his three-run homerun to deep leftfield later in the inning to finish off FSU. So, Stanford is surprisingly still alive in the winner’s bracket while the Seminoles are just one win away from going home without a title.

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Fresno State is still alive and well in the winner's bracket. Next up: #2 UNC

Game two of the 2008 CWS didn’t go according to plan either. The heavily favored Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes went deep three times throughout the game, but Georgia’s late rally of four runs in the final inning allowed them to pull off the unthinkable upset. The ‘Canes had a shot at holding off the Bulldogs, but Miami closing pitcher, and first-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins, Carlos Gutierrez, allowed two of Georgia’s four ninth-inning runs. Gutierrez’s throwing error allowed Georgia to take a 6-4 lead, and the Bulldogs never looked back. Miami plays Florida State in the loser’s bracket today at 2 PM ET, while Georgia goes head-to-head with the Stanford Cardinals at 7 PM ET, in the winner’s bracket.

Pool two included the Fresno State Bulldogs, who defeated the Rice Owls 17-5 yesterday, and the number two team in the North Carolina Tar Heels. The UNC Baseball team defeated the seventh ranked LSU Tigers, and as expected, will advance in the winner’s bracket. Michael Hollander, and Matt Clark led the LSU attack with two early homeruns, but the Tar Heel offense played small ball, and led 5-2 after just three innings. But UNC pitcher Alex White dominated LSU hitters, going 7 innings with just three earned runs, and six strikeouts to pick up his 11th win of the season. Twelve of the ‘Heels' 17 hits were singles, and two of the twelve were infield singles. Talk about small ball, North Carolina went the whole game without going yard, and three of their eight runs came on singles, and four others came on either a wild pitch, sac fly, walk, or fielder’s choice. But, if the Tar Heels want to go the rest of the way, they’ll have to hit a few homeruns, especially if they’re going to beat Fresno State on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs hit four homeruns in their 17-run defeat of the Owls. They absolutely tore apart Rice’s starting pitcher Ryan Berry, who left the game down 9-0 in the fourth inning. Berry seems to have a weak history in the CWS, he went just two and two-thirds innings in his first start last year. But their offense was clicking, and Rice came from behind to defeat the Louisville Cardinals 15-10. This year was much different though. Berry allowed seven hits, nine runs (five earned), one homerun, and struck out just one batter in the Owls' loss. Rice will have to beat the 0-1 LSU Tigers in the loser’s bracket on Tuesday if they want a shot at a National Title.


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