OMAHA, Neb. — Matt Cerione’s two-out, bases-loaded single drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and three Georgia pitchers combined for six innings of shutout relief to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-3 victory over Stanford in the College World Series on Monday night.
The Bulldogs (43-23-1) took control of Bracket 1 and will wait until Friday to play the winner of Wednesday’s Miami-Stanford game. A win in that game would send Georgia to the best-of-three championship round that begins next Monday.
Stephen Dodson, Chestatee graduate Alex McRee and Joshua Fields held Stanford to a single and four other baserunners after starter Nick Montgomery left in the fourth inning. McRee (7-1) got the win after striking out two in 1 1-3 innings, and Fields earned his 17th save.
After Fields hit Toby Gerhart with a pitch and walked Austin Yount with one out, he got Colin Walsh to ground into a double play to end the first game between the teams since they met in the 1992 CWS.
Stanford (40-23-2) got a solid start from Jeffrey Inman, who gave up two runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Innman walked the bases loaded in the sixth and was relieved by Yount (6-4), who walked pinch-hitter Robbie O’Bryan on four straight pitches, pulling Georgia to 3-2. The Cardinal got out of the inning after Yount won a 13-pitch battle against Lyle Allen, who struck out after fouling off eight balls, and David Thoms lined out.
But the Bulldogs rallied for two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead, and they were within inches of scoring more.
Gordon Beckham singled and Rich Poythress walked before Bryce Massanari drove Yount’s 2-1 pitch high into the right-field corner. The ball hit the top corner of the wall, just barely outside the foul pole, ever so close to being a three-run homer.
Yount hit Massanari with the next pitch, loading the bases, and Cerione followed with a single up the middle for the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Cardinal used a double, triple and home run to take a 3-0 lead in the third.
Zach Jones tripled into the left-field corner leading off and scored on Joey August’s two-out double. Then, Jason Castro hit his 14th homer of the season. Georgia right fielder Matt Olson didn’t need to be convinced the ball was out. When Castro connected, Olson turned and jogged a couple steps toward the wall, then just stopped and watched as the ball dropped into the top section of the bleachers.