After last night's 4-3 triumph, the Diamond Dawgs are three wins from the national championship. Take a deep breath and repeat. The Diamond Dawgs are three wins from the national championship.
It wasn't without some bitten fingernails. Stanford battled their guts out and looked like they had the game until the Dawgs finally got a clutch hit from Matt Cerione in the 7th.
To begin with, Stanford's superstar, Jason Castro, looked like he could have started for the Yankees. He hit a ball off Nick Montgomery that landed in Iowa. Then Castro was cutting down our baserunners like they were little kids trying to steal on Benito Santiago. Peisel and Thoms looked like they broke from first running barefoot in molasses and Castro threw them out by six feet.
Nick Montgomery, other than two balls that got crushed in the 3rd, pitched well. Stanford starter Jeffrey Inman just pitched better, stranding Dawgs at every turn. Even when Stanford got in serious trouble in the 6th, Austin Yount won an epic AB by striking out Lyle Allen and got Thoms to line out, both with the bases loaded. But the game turned in the bottom of the 7th. Yount seemed sure to escape another jam after Massanari missed a home run by two centimeters in front of the right field fair pole. Then Matt Cerione got the key hit to center with the bases loaded, scoring two and putting the Dogs up 4-3. It was the only time that Stanford looked rattled and the Dawgs looked excited. The game ball goes to the bullpen. Stephen Dodson, Alex McRee, and Joshua Fields looked great in relief. Fields was a tad wild, but he got it done, again. The 'pen gave up one hit over seven innings.
So now we get to relax for a few days. Enjoy it Dawgs. Go eat a steak. Go to the zoo. Learn all the lyrics to O.A.R.'s "This Town." Discuss if it holds a candle to Todd Thibaud's "Back Home in Omaha." (It doesn't, but ESPN will still play it at every commercial break.) The Dawgs will play the winner of the Miami vs. Stanford game Friday.
Two other notes. The more shots of Lauren Massanari, the better. I know only two things about hot girls: they love guys who can play guitar and they love baseball players. If I have a son, I'm putting a guitar and a baseball glove in his crib. He'll thank me when he's in college. Speaking of hot girls, can we go ahead and sign Stephen Dodson and Katie Heenan's kids to a letter of intent preemptively? I don't care what sport they play, just sign them in utero.