Since this afternoon's College World Series game features Georgia and Oregon State, fellow SportsBlogs Nation webloggers Dawg Sports and Building the Dam have exchanged interview questions in anticipation of the baseball game being played in Omaha later today.
Here are the Beaver blogger's responses to my questions:
What worries me about any college team is that they usually come to play, every game. Being that this game is at the college level, and is an elimination game in the biggest tournament in all of the sport, you never know what will happen. There is a lot at stake for both teams. All their hard work over the last year comes down to one game.
Oregon State is coming off an 11-1 loss, and is still trying to prove themselves to the fans in Omaha. However, Georgia is coming off a close loss to Rice. Any team could beat any team on any day, especially in college baseball.
What about Oregon State should Georgia be most concerned about?
I think that Georgia should be most worried about Oregon State's offense. Oregon State has (unofficially) scored 7+ runs in 33 games so far this season. For example, Oregon State came out and scored 4 runs in the first inning against Stanford in Game 2 of the Super Regionals. I think they then scored 6 in the fourth, and kept adding on to their lead until they ended up with a 15-0 victory. The Bulldogs will have to make sure the Beavers don't get off to a quick start.
On the other side of that, Georgia has a good chance if they can come out to an early lead. Out of the several games I've seen, I can only recall several substantial come from behind victories this year. The key to this game will be establishing a lead early.
What will Oregon State have to do well to advance?
Based on OSU's last game with Miami, pitching will be a key factor. With Jonah Nickerson on the mound, placement will be key. OSU needs to keep the ball away from Georgia batters with pitcher's counts such as 0-2. Throwing a pitch right down the middle on a 0-2 count lost us the game early against Miami.
Oregon State will also need to take every advantage they can get to score runs. We need to get hits, advance the runners, and drive them in. Both Miami and Oregon State left 8 runners on in the first game, but Miami kept the bats going to get the win.
On the defensive side, we just need to keep doing what we're doing. The OSU infield has made some incredible plays this post-season, and we just need to keep it up.
What will Georgia have to do well to advance?
In order for Georgia to advance, they will have to get inside the head of Jonah Nickerson early. As we saw from Dallas Buck in Game 1, walks hurt, especially early on. Georgia will have to get walks out of Nickerson, and get to the bullpen early. Even though our bullpen is strong with the likes of Putz, Turpen, and Gunderson, OSU's best bet is to get the most out of starter Jonah Nickerson.
I am grateful to Building the Dam for taking the time to swap interview questions on such short notice and I wish Jake good luck in this afternoon's contest . . . may the better team win.