Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bulldogs Force Winner-Take-All Game; Morris' Homer Helps Georgia Stay Alive in Athens Regional; Title Rematch with FSU Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bulldogs Force Winner-Take-All Game; Morris' Homer Helps Georgia Stay Alive in Athens Regional; Title Rematch with FSU Today

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN KALTEFLEITER

ATHENS, Ga. - Josh Morris helped keep Georgia afloat in the NCAA Tournament's Athens Regional, slamming a three-run homer to left field in the top of the seventh inning as the Bulldogs defeated Florida State 7-1 in front of 2,463 at Foley Field.

Morris' homer, which tied Georgia's single-season record of 23, forced today's final game, which starts at 7 p.m. Morris tied Andy Osbolt's 1998 record and is the Bulldogs' career home-run leader with 51.

"Fifty-one was a big one," Georgia coach David Perno said. "Fifty-two needs to be even bigger."

Morris' homer came at the perfect time for the Bulldogs (44-20), who had allowed a Seminoles run in the previous inning. Up 2-1, Georgia's seventh inning started with Jonathan Wyatt's opposite-field single to left. Wyatt's hit was the first for the Bulldogs' top of the order against FSU starter Bryan Henry (9-4).

A Ryne Malone fielding error at third prevented a double play and brought up Morris. He worked the count to 3-1, took an outside fastball and drove it to left.

Ironically, the ball sailed just left of Georgia's white 2001 College World Series patch plastered on the green wall. The Bulldogs beat the Seminoles in a 2001 Super Regional in Athens to advance to the CWS.

"I just wanted to make him put it in play," Henry said. "The ball was where it was supposed to be, outside, but he's a big, strong guy, and he was able to pull it over the fence.

"I wanted to go after him, and he got the best of me."

Morris gave Georgia breathing room, and the Bulldogs' pitching took over.

Perno called on left-handed starter Jason Leaver (3-2), and he responded. Leaver kept the Seminoles scoreless with just three hits for five innings.

FSU (44-20) finally put pressure on Leaver in the sixth with three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. …

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