Winner take all: Diamond Dogs, Wolfpack battle for trip to Omaha

The Diamond Dog baseball team will play a decisive game three against the North Carolina State Wolfpack, with first pitch set for just after 7 o’clock tonight at Foley Field. Coach Wes Johnson’s UGA baseball team kept its season alive with a Sunday win, rebounding from a Saturday loss. The winner of tonight’s game advances to the College World Series in Omaha.

From Julia Maenius, UGA Sports Communications…

The seventh-seeded Georgia Bulldogs defeated the No. 10 N.C. State Wolfpack, 11-2, on Sunday at Foley Field in game two of the NCAA Baseball Athens Super Regional.

Fast Facts

  • Sophomore right-hander Leighton Finley (6-1) got his 16th start of the year on the bump for the Bulldogs, pitching a season-high 6.2 innings, allowing only one run with five strikeouts. Sunday’s outing earned Finley his sixth win of the year.
  • Junior Slate Alford put the Bulldogs on the board, with a two-run blast in the first inning. The homer was Alford’s 17th of the year and first of the postseason.
  • Freshman Tre Phelps hit his 11th homer of the year, a three-run shot, in the third inning.
  • Senior Fernando Gonzalez tallied his 12th multi-hit game of the year, tying his season-high with four hits.
  • Graduate Paul Toetz got the start in left field on Sunday and blasted a two-out, solo homer in the sixth inning, his fifth of the year.
  • Senior Corey Collins added to the home run parade with a solo homer in the eighth inning, giving him 20 on the year. For the first time in program history, multiple Bulldogs have notched 20 or more home runs in a season. Collins joined Charlie Condon (36) in the 20-homer club.
  • 3,893 were in attendance Sunday at Foley Field to watch the Georgia victory.

Key Quotes

Georgia Head Coach Wes Johnson

Opening statements...

“I thought it was a good bounce back today. It’s what they do, nothing special we did as coaches. We just got them ready to play, and these guys went and did it. For us, the bounce back was huge, and we just stayed focused on playing the game. Obviously, scoring those two right there in the first got us off to a great start. Leighton (Finley) threw the ball extremely well. It really put our bullpen at ease a little bit because you never know what you’ll have to do in a game like this.”

On the defensive plays giving the offense some momentum...

“It allows your starter to go deeper in the game when you get those double plays. We needed that to keep our bullpen in perspective and in check to possibly make a run for something.”

#36 Tre Phelps | Fr. | INF/OF

On the energy of the team right now...

“It all starts with the older guys, the fourth and fifth years. They give the younger guys the confidence, like me, and being able to believe that the next guy can be just as good as you can. It’s why we’ve had a lot of team success this year.”

#12 Leighton Finley | So. | RHP

On his mentality pitching today...

“I try to always think of this as just another game and not forget to have fun. It was like almost every other series, game two, trying to win this to win the series. I try not to overthink things.”

#44 Slate Alford | Jr. | INF

On his mentality with being in the three-hole of today’s lineup...

“Wherever they need me, it doesn’t change. Wherever I am in the lineup, the job stays the same. I’m just glad I could help our team win today.”

NC State Head Coach Elliott Avent

On today’s game...

“Tip of the hat to Georgia. I thought they played really well. Leighton Finley threw extremely well, and he’s been their guy, I think, all year alongside [Kolten] Smith. I thought he was outstanding. That was a summer game. They hit a couple bunts down, hit about two or three home runs, and just got some quick runs. I think two home runs left out of the first five runs. We got down, and the way Finley was pitching, it made it tough for us. I thought we played okay, but it comes down to game three which is where two great teams probably should come down to.”

#33 Garrett Pennington | Gr. | INF

On what he saw from Georgia’s pitching...

“I would say mostly on that first AB they told all the righties that he was going to live on the black away, and he [Finley] did exactly that on the first AB. I can’t speak for the other righties, but we were all seeing that he didn’t really make any mistakes. And when pitchers stick to their plan, it usually ends up going really well. We will get back to it tomorrow.”

#99 Alec Makarewicz | Gr. | INF

On the team’s approach to game three...

“We’re going to come up with a different plan for tomorrow, and we are going to make our adjustments to be ready to go.”

Up Next

A winner-take-all game three will take place on Monday. Depending on the result of other Super Regional games, first pitch of game three is to be determined.

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens.

Comments on this article



amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!