Monday, June 16, 2008
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Dawgs Hunker Down against Stanford and rally for a 4-3 win in a nail-biting, nerve-wracking affair that lifts them to the driver's seat in their bracket. There is a lot of baseball left, but our odds just got exponentially better to make the finals.
This game featured 7th inning heroics and near-heroics of legendary proportion. With two men on base and trailing 2-3, Bryce Massanari lifted an arching opposite field slice that would hit the top of the wall on or near the painted yellow foul line and would then bounce high and to the right into foul territory. It was ruled a foul ball. It may have been a foul ball. But, it could have equally as well been ruled a home run. Upon replay after replay, it appeared to me that part of the ball lined up with the foul line, which ironically, is actually fair territory. This is what I saw despite Orel Hershiser's telestration trying to indicate that the ball hit the padded fence 6 inches to the right of the foul line - which it clearly did not. I could also not tell if the ball caromed off the foul pole, which is also deemed fair territory, after it bounced off the top of the padded wall. As a biased Dawg fan, I was seeing a home run replay after replay. However, the first base umpire called it foul and that was that. Now that we won the game, I may concede that it was foul. But, I still do not know whether it was fair or foul. Inconclusive at worst, home run at best, but not clearly foul under any scenario that I saw.
Anyway, Massanari was able to load the bases when he was hit by a subsequent pitch. Then tonight's hero, Matt Cerione, drilled a line drive into short center field to score the tying and winning runs. Cerione had 3 RBI on the night.
Our bullpen had another phenomenal outing allowing only one hit and zero runs in 6 innings. Starter Nick Montgomery pitched well mostly until he challenged All American Jason Castro with a repeat low fastball that traveled about 400+ feet for a two-run shot. It was a good time for a breaking ball in the dirt - as Hershiser proposed.
In two games, our bullpen has gone 11 innings allowing 4 hits and one run, a solo homer by first round pick Yonder Alonso of Miami. That is unbelievable.
Now the Dawgs get three full days of rest before facing the winner of the Miami-Stanford who play on Wednesday.
To put into perspective the significance of winning the first two games of the College World Series, only 2 of the past 18 National Champions won it all after losing one of the first two games. Indeed, I believe the Dawgs have been heard in Omaha!