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Fernando Gonzalez's sacrifice fly in 8th rallies Georgia to 8-7 win over Army at Athens Regional

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Fernando Gonzalez’s bases-loaded, sacrifice fly to deep left field drove in the decisive run in the bottom of the eighth, and the Georgia Bulldogs overcame a three-run deficit to defeat Army 8-7 in their NCAA Division I baseball tournament opening game on Friday.

Sophomore third baseman Charlie Condon hit his NCAA-leading 36th home run in going 3 for 3 with two walks, and scored three times for the Bulldogs (40-15), who rallied from a 4-1 third-inning deficit. Slate Alford had three hits and drove in three, including a two-RBI double that put the Athens Regional top-seeded Bulldogs ahead 6-5 in the sixth inning.

The game wasn’t decided until the top of the ninth when Army pinch-hitter Ethan Ellis grounded out to Alford at second with runners at first and second.

Georgia reliever Christian Mracna (4-2) picked up the win after entering the game tied at 7 with two outs in the eighth. After walking the first batter he faced, Mracna struck out William Parker to end the inning, and finished allowing one hit, while striking out two.

Chris Barr and Coleson Titus hit two-run home runs for Army (31-22), which is making its sixth consecutive tournament appearance, and 13th overall. The loss went to Andrew Berg (5-3), who opened the eighth by getting Alford to ground out, before giving up a walk and hitting two batters. He was pulled with the bases loaded. Steven Graver gave up Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly before striking out Kolby Branch.

The Black Knights dropped to 5-25 in tournament play and have lost 11 straight since a 5-1 win against North Carolina State in 2018.

Georgia, making its 15th tournament appearance, will play the winner and Army the loser of the regional’s later game between Georgia Tech and UNC Wilmington.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports