June 5, 2004
Athens, GA –
Georgia advanced to the NCAA Athens Regional Championship game with a 6-3 win over Clemson (37-25) here Saturday in front of a crowd of 3,431 at Foley Field.
The Bulldogs (40-19) got another big day from junior second baseman Marshall Szabo (2-for-3, 3 RBI) who has six RBI in Georgia’s two wins in the tournament. Sophomore left-hander Will Startup pitched the final 4.2 innings in relief of Paul Lubrano to move to 6-2 on the year.
Clemson (37-25) struck first. The Tigers strung together three singles by Lou Santangelo (1-for-3), Kris Harvey (3-for-4) and Russell Triplett (2-for-4, 1 RBI) to score the game’s first run in the top of the second.
Georgia answered in their half of the frame with a trio of sinlges by Josh Morris (2-for-3), Joey Side (1-for-4) and Clint Sammons (1-for-4, 1 RBI) to tie the game at 1-1. Following a walk by Bobby Felmy to load the bases, Jason Jacobs added a single of his own giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage. Tiger starter Tyler Lumsden pitched out of further trouble.
In the top of the fifth, Clemson would get runners on the corners with a double by Triplett and Herman Demmink reaching on a error. Georgia turned to Startup. Startup induced Tony Sipp to fly out to left and the Bulldogs turned it in to a double play. Felmy caught the fly and threw out Triplett at the plate to end the inning.
Georgia took a 4-1 lead in the fifth as Josh Smith (2-for-4, 2 runs) singled and Justin Holmes (2-for-5, 2 runs) doubled to put runners at second and third. The hits chased Lumsden, who would take the loss moving him to 5-4 on the year, surrendering four runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Tigers brought right fielder Lou Santangelo throw sailed in to left field, he came home for a 4-1 advantage. Santangelo was ejected later in the contest after arguing a called third strike. The Athens Regional Games Committee met and decided not to impose any further penalty on Santangelo who was allowed to play in the Tigers’ next contest.
Clemson now faces Birmingham Southern in an elimination game at 7:00 pm Saturday. The winner will advance to meet Georgia on Sunday and have to beat the Bulldogs twice to win the NCAA Athens Regional.
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