OMAHA, JUNE 8 -- The University of Georgia's team became the first Southeastern Conference team to win a national baseball title today when it beat Oklahoma State, 2-1.
No team from the state had ever won the tournament.
"Nobody gave us a chance," said Georgia catcher Terry Childers, who had two of the Bulldogs' six hits. "I think it helped us relax. We were loose. Once we got the lead our confidence seemed to soar."
Oklahoma State (56-17) had outscored World Series opponents by 35-8 in three games during which it hit .390. But today freshman Stan Payne and Dave Fleming pitched a five-hitter for Georgia as Oklahoma State lost the title game for a record fifth time.
The Bulldogs (52-19) made Payne (7-1), a left-hander, their surprise starter. Helped by three double plays, he held the Cowboys to four hits in six innings. Fleming yielded one hit thereafter, dropping Oklahoma State's batting average to .349, still a tournament record.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with none out in the fourth when Jeff Cooper walked, J.R. Showalter blooped a single to right-center and Brian Jester was hit by one of Dennis Burbank's pitches. Bruce Chick's fly ball scored Cooper, but Burbank (10-2) struck out Doug Radziewicz and got Ray Suplee to ground out.
Georgia scored what turned out to be the winning run in the fifth when Childers singled and took third on McKay Smith's double. Cooper's single between third and short drove in Childers, then Showalter grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Oklahoma State scored in the sixth when Mitchel Simons and Brad Beanblossom singled and Michael Daniel hit a sacrifice fly.