Rick Cornu scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Utes.
May 30, 2009
Utah (27-30) will play the winner of the evening game between Cal State Fullerton and Gonzaga at 2:00 p.m. (PT, 3:00 p.m. MT) on Sunday, May 31. Georgia Southern is eliminated with the loss. In the 16 site regional, Utah is one of five No. 4 seeds remaining. Army, Kent State, Tennessee Tech and Binghamton are the others.
The game-winning base hit completed a two inning, seven run comeback for the Utes. Down 9-4 in the eighth inning, Utah scored six runs off six hits to take a 10-9 lead. Devin Walker led off the inning with a base hit, a liner down the third base line that was just past the third baseman's glove. He was replaced at first by Josh Reed, who entered as a pinch runner. Cornu doubled deep to the left field corner to put runners at second and third and both scored on Cooper Blanc's single that landed in short right field. Blanc scored after Beltran reached on an error at second base and Corey Shimada put runners on the corners with a base hit that was over the first baseman's head. Tyler Yagi hit a single bunt that was well-placed between the pitcher and first base, scoring Beltran. Nick Kuroczko tied the game with a single that was just past the glove of the diving second baseman, sending Shimada home. C.J. Cron's sacrifice fly gave Utah the 10-9 lead as Yagi tagged from third.
Georgia Southern came back to tie the game at 10-10 in the in the top of the ninth inning. Eric Phillips walked and Brian Pierce reached on an error to put two on to lead off the inning. Both moved over on a sacrifice bunt before pinch runner Jake Ware scored on a sacrifice fly. Reliever Greg Krause got Roman Grimaldi striking out to end the inning.
After Austin Jones grounded out to lead off the bottom of the ninth, Cornu was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. Blanc struck out to put two outs on the board, but Beltran came through with a single through the left side that was just past the glove of the diving shortstop Pierce. Grimaldi attempted a throw to the plate, but it was off the mark and the Utes ran onto the field to celebrate.
Yagi and Blanc each had three hits in the game, while Blanc drove in a team-high three runs. Blanc, Cron and Shimada each hit home runs in the game.
Krause, who entered the game in the eighth inning, got the win, going to 3-4 on the year. Brian Budrow pitched 3.2 innings, striking out four and allowing seven runs, while Stephen Streich pitched four innings in relief and struck out two.
Georgia Southern jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind six hits, including an RBI double by Griffin Benedict. The Eagles added a run in the second off a solo home run by Benedict to take a 4-0 lead.
The Utes hit several balls hard early in the game, but most were playable by Georgia Southern. Utah got on the board in the third after a solo home run from Shimada. Georgia Southern continued to pull ahead in the fourth inning, putting up three runs and putting the score at 7-1.
The Utes plated runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, cutting the Eagles lead to 7-3. In the fifth, Blanc led off the inning with a single up the middle. He advanced to second on a balk by pitcher Jake Brown. On batter Yagi's 2-1 count, Blanc took off for third and took advantage of a poor throw by Benedict at catcher to score. Cron hit his 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning, a solo shot over the right field fence.
Each team homered in the seventh inning. Ty Wright hit a two-run shot for Georgia Southern and Blanc drove a one out solo blast over the right center fence, putting the score at 9-4. Utah continued to rally in the seventh inning, with Beltran and Yagi both singling and Kuroczko walking to load up the bases, but relief pitcher Dexter Bobo got Cron to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Wright and Kyle Blackburn each had three hits for Georgia Southern. Charles Matthews got the loss on the mound after pitching 1.1 innings. Brown went 6.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts.