Tied 6-6 in the 10th inning of the second game of the day Georgia took a 7-6 lead, thier first of the game, when Clint Sammons hit a game winning solo home run. He turned the tables on the Tigers. They were the ones that just a few hours before that completed one of the most unlikely come from behind wins in recent memory.
But the Bulldogs might not have needed Sammons’ shot. They wasted several opportunities not only in the first game but also in the second. In the night capper, Bobby Felmy hit a home run to get the Bulldogs within a run in the 9th inning but he had the bases loaded in the 7th only to be turned back by Tigers pitching.
Midway through the afternoon game it looked like there was no need for a second game.
Marshall Szabo got the Foley Field crowd going with a 3-run home run. Szabo’s blast was his 9th RBI of the weekend.
Clemson answered Georgia’s production in their half of the 3rd due mainly to Travis Storrer’s triple down the 1st base line that snuck past Josh Morris. The play made the score 3-2.
The next inning Georgia appeared to put the game out of reach.
Clint Sammons doubled to left field and scored Morris. Then, with two down in the inning, Jason Jacobs rolled the dice with a squeeze bunt. It paid off. Clint Sammons scored from 3rd to make it a 6-2 Georgia advantage.
It looked like the nail in the coffin of the Tigers was going to be their inability to get out of the inning. Josh Smith assaulted the right field scoreboard with a 3-run shot giving the Dawgs a seemingly insurmountable 9-2 advantage.
Clemson responded their next two innings with home runs. In the 5th the Tigers cut the deficit by almost half with a Travis Storrer 3-run home run off of Bo Lanier to make the score 9-5. Then the Tigers got within three runs after Mitchell Boggs allowed a Russell Triplet home run to left.
At 9-6 the game was no longer insurmountable.
Then Lou Santangelo completed the Tiger comeback with a grand slam off of Boggs to give Clemson a 10-9 lead. Georgia’s pitching wheels had come off.
Bulldog pitching faced the entire Tiger lineup in the 7th. Without Sammons’ home run in the 10th of the nightcap, Georgia pitching would have been allowed the Tigers to slip to Atlanta.
Clemson’s Josh Cribb looked outstanding as he gave up only one run in the 5th but shut the Dawgs down from the 6th inning on.
Without warning Georgia went from advancing to Atlanta to being forced to play a true rubber game for all of the marbles.
Sammons’s game winning home run propelled the Dawgs to their 2nd Super Regional appearance in 4 years. The last time that Georgia played in a Super Regional they advanced to Omaha for the College World Series. That came in 2001 at the expense of Florida State.
Now the Bulldogs are forced to take on arch rival Georgia Tech; the winner of the in-state match up heads to Nebraska.
Georgia was 0-17 when trailing going into the 9th inning. Now the Bulldogs are 1-18 and that’s a very big 1.