OMAHA–The first time Fresno State faced an elimination game in the 2008 NCAA tournament, it responded with a dominating 5-1 win against San Diego. The first time Fresno faced an elimination game in Omaha, it responded with a dominating 6-1 win against North Carolina to reach the College World Series finals.
The sixth and final time Fresno State faced an elimination game in the postseason, it responded with an utterly dominating 6-1 win against Georgia tonight, clinching its first national championship. My vote for CWS Most Outstanding Player, junior lefthander Justin Wilson, and sophomore outfielder Steve Detwiler turned in performances for the ages. Wilson, pitching on three days’ rest after throwing 112 pitches Saturday against UNC, went eight innings and struck out nine while throwing 129 pitches. Third baseman Tommy Mendonca was officially voted the Most Outstanding Player.
Detwiler, who entered the championship series in a 4-for-39 funk while playing through a completely torn ligament in his right hand (near his thumb), went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double, and he drove in all six of Fresno’s runs. Detwiler set championship series records with three homers and nine RBIs in the three games against Georgia.
Fresno State becomes the second team in the six-year history of the CWS’ best-of-three Finals to lose the first game and come back and win the series. Oregon State did the same thing against North Carolina in 2006.
We’ll have much more on Fresno’s remarkable national championship following the postgame festivities.
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