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2008 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
June 23, 2008

SCS.comThis is it, make no mistake about it. In the next few days, a new champion will be crowned on the field of Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium. Bracket 1 winner, #8 Georgia, will do battle with Bracket 2 Winner, Fresno State. One guarantee is that a group of Bulldogs will hoist the NCAA Baseball Championship Trophy. The Georgia Bulldogs captured the title in 1990, while the Fresno State Bulldogs have never won it all. Both teams have made impressive runs and will have to hold the other team down to win the series that begins on Monday night.

FRESNO STATE VS. #8 GEORGIA

THE MATCHUP

#8 Georgia rolled through their side of the bracket with a 3-0 record. They defeated #1 Miami, FL 7-4 and Stanford twice 4-3 and 10-8. Their pitching staff is well rested and the rotation is set after 4 days off prior to Saturday's victory over Stanford. They also had Sunday off while waiting to see which team emerged from Bracket 2. Fresno State looked to be cruising through Bracket 2 until they met #2 North Carolina on the weekend. They captured the bracket by defeating #6 Rice 17-5 and taking two of three from the Tar Heels (5-3, 3-4, and 6-1). Their pitching staff going into the Championship Series has been taxed and it will be "Johnny Wholestaff" for the next few days.

THE VENUE

Nothing could be finer than a June evening in Omaha, Nebraska for two teams battling each other to be called "CHAMPION"!! Rosenblatt should be sold out because these two teams are well deserving and have both been playing great baseball. Is that not what the fans want at this point of the season? I still think that a Zesto's Milkshake Bath is appropriate...although that might cause a major brain freeze!!

BREAKING IT DOWN

Starting Pitching
For Georgia, Trevor Holder and company are in great shape, while Fresno State is running out any arms that will get the job done. The Georgia bullpen has not been taxed quite as much as Fresno State, but Fresno has gotten the job done.
Advantage: Georgia
Hitting
Every time Fresno State is batting lately, they have runners on base. There are not too many 1-2-3 innings for Fresno State. Georgia has been getting productivity out of the bottom of the lineup, which is a key to their success; however, do not count out the top heavy lineup of Peisel, Olson, Beckham, and Poythress.
Advantage: Georgia
Out of the Pen
Joshua Fields has been anything but automatic lately. He threw 30 pitches or so on Saturday and gave up 4 runs but Stanford needed 6 in the innning to tie the game. Fresno's pen will be whomever they decide to throw out to keep them close.
Advantage: Georgia
Coaching
Georgia coach David Perno was a member of Georgia's 1990 National Championship team. This is a bit different format than then but he still can relate the magnitude of the situation to this group of Georgia Bulldogs. Fresno State coach Mike Batesole has been to the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons and is putting together a nice run in the postseason. The true cinderella story of the tournament has been taking that moniker and feeding off of it. Batesole has truly capitalized on the situation.
Advantage: Georgia
Intangibles
Both teams are virtually in unchartered territory but several of the Georgia players have been in the CWS back in 2006. This should not be a factor now as the teams have played at least three games in this CWS. The only intangible that I can see right now is the advantage Georgia has in overall rest and pitching arms not being overused.
Advantage: Georgia

FINAL THOUGHTS

This series will be one for the ages. Both teams put runners on base and get them in. Limiting the big innings will be key especially for Fresno State as they are running out of pitching. The way that they can put together runs...getting outs might be all they need.
Georgia will just need to continue with what they have been doing in the post-season. They have been getting excellent work out of the pen after their starters have kept them in games. Coach Perno has pulled all the right strings and look for that to continue over the series. I will go ahead and make a predicton...Georgia sweeps its way to the title.
U.S.A.
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