OMAHA — Stanford Coach Mark Marquess just couldn't get his club past Georgia's Mike Rebhan or the Bulldog bats in the College World Series. Yet the Cardinal's veteran coach still thinks Oklahoma State has the edge in the national baseball title game today.
"You'd have to favor Oklahoma State because they've been playing so well, but I wouldn't count out Georgia," Marquess said after Georgia beat Stanford, 5-1, Friday night. "I'm very impressed with Georgia. They're very solid."
Fourth-seeded Georgia (51-19) will meet third-seeded Oklahoma State (56-16) at 9 a.m. PDT. Oklahoma State is unbeaten and Georgia has one loss in the double-elimination tournament, but the title game is winner-take-all.
Rebhan (13-5) provided the pitching and his teammates contributed the solid defense and timely hitting that has carried Georgia through the CWS.
Rebhan's second victory over the Cardinal in the tournament ended the quest by Stanford (59-11) for a third national title in four years.
"That's the gutsiest performance I've ever seen, to come back and pitch a game like that against Stanford," said Doug Radziewicz, who had two of Georgia's hits.
Rebhan put top-ranked Stanford on the ropes last Sunday with a five-hit, 16-2 beating, then applied the knockout Friday by allowing only six hits.
"I thought it was a tremendously pitched game by Rebhan," Marquess said. "He did another great job again against us. He came up with the big pitch when he had to. He kept us off balance again. It was just an outstanding pitching performance."
After Stanford took a 1-0 lead on Troy Tallman's 10th home run of the year in the second inning, Georgia jumped on Stanford starter Mike Mussina (14-5) for four runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Mussina, who was shelled for six runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first matchup against Rebhan, didn't make it into the fifth this time. He was touched for four runs in the fourth inning to put Stanford behind, 4-1.