OMAHA–Before today’s game began, Andy Gardiner of USA Today posed me an interesting question: Who should be the all-CWS third baseman? Fresno State’s Tommy Mendonca and Georgia’s Ryan Peisel have both been superb in Omaha, as Peisel entered the game batting .500 with both of Georgia’s home runs here, and Mendonca came up huge with the bat the last two games against North Carolina while also playing superlative defense.
As the game started, Andy and I began casually doling out points to Peisel and Mendonca each time one of them did something that stood out. They’ve kept our unofficial scorecards busy here in the early going, as Peisel made fine defensive plays on grounders in the first and third, and Mendonca responded with fine plays in the second and third. The best play of the lot came on David Thoms’ line drive down the third-base line in the third inning, when Mendonca reacted impossibly fast and laid out to rob Thoms of a double. In case you’re keeping score at home, Peisel doubled to left field in the first, taking second base in heads-up fashion on a little flair over Mendonca’s head. Mendonca is 0-for-2.
In other news, Sean Bonesteele is out after giving up one run on two hits over the first three innings. Georgia squared up plenty of balls against him, but that Fresno defense came up big repeatedly, and Bonesteele retired the final seven hitters he faced. That start was exactly what Fresno needed today. Now righty Jake Floethe is on for the first time in the CWS. Floethe is 1-1, 8.51 in 24 innings this year.
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