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Georgia pushed to brink of elimination

National champion to be crowned tonight

POSTED: June 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Georgia second baseman David Thoms (7) loses the ball as he prepares to throw to first base after forcing out Fresno State's Danny Muno in the first inning of Game 2 of the College World Series championship series Tuesday in Omaha, Neb.

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Fresno State kept its amazing postseason run alive Tuesday night thanks to an offensive performance that was nothing short of, well, amazing.

After spotting Georgia a five-run lead in the third inning, Fresno State struck for 15 runs over the next three innings for a 19-10 victory in Game 2 of the College World Series finals.

Tommy Mendonca put Fresno State in front with his record-tying fourth home run of the CWS in his team's six-run third inning.

The Bulldogs from Fresno State (46-31) and Bulldogs from Georgia (45-24-1) will meet in Game 3 on Wednesday night to determine college baseball's top dog.

Fresno State scored five runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth to trip up a Georgia team that appeared on the verge of sweeping through the CWS to its second national title and first since 1990.

Fresno State wouldn't let its incredible season end that way, not on this night. Rather, the Bulldogs scored the most runs against a Georgia team since Tennessee's 19-12 win in the 2001 CWS — 435 games ago.

Before Tuesday, Fresno State hadn't come back from more than four runs down to win a game this season.

Known as the "Wonderdogs" around here, Fresno State displayed more of the moxie that has carried them further than any No. 4 regional seed had gone before.

Fresno State batted around in the third inning and sent 10 to the plate in the fourth. Mendonca's three-run homer put the Bulldogs ahead 6-5, and Steve Susdorf's two-run shot in the fifth made it 15-6.

The six-run third wasn't even Fresno State's most productive inning of the CWS. It had a seven-run outburst against Rice in the fourth inning of a 17-5 victory.

Georgia, which rallied for four eighth-inning runs to Fresno State 7-6 in Game 1 of the finals, jumped on Justin Miller.

Miller, who lasted four innings and got a no-decision in a 5-3 win over North Carolina earlier in the CWS, lasted only 2 2-3 innings.

Three of Georgia's first four batters singled. Rich Poythress drove in a run, and after Matt Cerione was intentionally walked to load the bases, Joey Lewis hit a two-run single up the middle. Poythress' sacrifice fly in the second and David Thomas' RBI single in the third finished off Miller.

Miller's teammates, however, were just about to get started after being held to one hit the first two innings by Georgia starter Nick Montgomery.

Steve Detwiler singled and scored on a wild pitch for Fresno State's first run and Susdorf followed with a bases-loaded, two-run single to chase Montgomery.

After Stephen Dodson (5-5) got Alan Ahmady to fly out, Mendonca launched a first-pitch homer into the middle of the bleachers in right field, his 19th, for the lead. Mendonca joined seven others who have hit four homers in a CWS.

In the fourth, Danny Muno hit a two-run triple, Erik Wetzel an RBI single and Ryan Overland a two-run single on a fly misplayed by Georgia left fielder Lyle Allen.

In the fifth, Gavin Hedstrom hit a run-scoring double and Wetzel drove in a run on a groundout before Susdorf hit his second homer of the CWS and 13th of the season.

Holden Sprague (6-2), who relieved Miller, held Georgia to one run on four singles and a double the next three innings. Georgia scored four runs against Sprague in the seventh to pull within five runs, but Fresno State responded with three more runs in the bottom half.



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