Hard to dismiss a Georgia team that believes

Updated: June 15, 2006, 11:20 AM ET
By Will Kimmey | Special to ESPN.com

Georgia Bulldogs
Record: (47-21)
How They Got Here: Won Athens Super Regional in two games; won Athens Regional in five games
CWS History: Five trips to Omaha, last in 2004; one championship, 1990
Coach: David Perno (179-123, fifth season)

Georgia's Top Hitters
Player (Position) AVG OBP SLG Key Stats
Joey Side (CF) .352 .403 .600 19 2B, 13 HR, 7 3B, 53 R
Josh Morris (1B) .311 .385 .665 23 HR, 14 2B, 66 RBI
Gordon Beckham (SS) .294 .360 .517 17 2B, 12 HR, 52 RBI

Georgia's Top Pitchers
Player W-L ERA Key Stats
Joshua Fields (RHP) 3-2 1.77 50-11 K-BB, 15 saves
Brooks Brown (RHP) 7-4 4.17 111-38 K-BB
Rip Warren (LHP) 8-2 2.84 67 K's, 20 BB, 66.2 IP

Scouting the Bulldogs: "This is the best team in the league to me. They've got talent and prospects on the mound and in the lineup. They've been swinging the bats really well. I don't think they have an automatic out in the lineup -- it's good 1-9 or at least 1-7. I love Joey Side. You don't want to see him up with runners on. You can't make mistakes to Morris or he'll hammer them. He hit 23 home runs, but you feel like you can pitch to him; especially, with some velocity, you can get in on him.

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"I like their offensive approach. [New hitting coach] Doug Sisson made a dramatic difference in their hitters' approaches and team demeanor. They're calm and they play the game the right way. The same kids were there last year, but they're better. They stay on the baseball, trying to hammer it from left-center to right-center.

"You better be able to pitch, and they're pitching better now than what they did at the beginning of the year. Rip Warren is good now. Trevor Holder was good. You know what Brown brings -- power stuff -- even if he's a little erratic. They're getting key quality outings from these guys. They've got a really nice mix. Mickey Westphal is a crafty senior lefty who's done a nice job of pitching. Nathan Moreau is good as a freshman, and they have a stud in the bullpen [Fields].

"They can mix and match with Warren to chase lefties and Fields has been lights out -- up to 95 [mph] with a breaking ball that's good. It's a seven-inning game, with Warren as a setup guy and Fields blowing it out. That gives them a lot of confidence. Westphal, a soft lefty, doesn't overpower you. Take a middle-of-the-field and changeup approach; you can't get too big or undisciplined against him. ... Brown's got a good arm and then [they bring in] another lefty with a good arm. That's three looks in three days.

"I really like Beckham at short and [Jason] Jacobs behind the plate -- that's a good move with him. Side is a premium defender in center. With him, Bobby Felmy and Jonathan Wyatt, they cover the outfield really well. But Ryan Peisel at third you can exploit."

Omaha Outlook: Much like in 2004, Georgia turned red-hot down the stretch and has staged multiple comebacks along the way to the CWS.

The SEC's only representative in Omaha has the offense and the bullpen duo of Fields and lefty Rip Warren to stage repeated comebacks. The outfield of Side, Jonathan Wyatt and Bobby Felmy always seems to be on base, and each of them, as well as the slugging Morris, have the experience of starting on the '04 team. It's hard to count out a team that doesn't believe it's ever out of a game, and the Bulldogs also have a strong stash of freshman arms to unleash should extra games arise.

Will Kimmey covers college baseball for Baseball America.

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