June 26, 2008


Wilson, Detwiler Top Dogs as Fresno State Takes Title

Bulldogs win school's first baseball national championship

Team Spirit

Great Season

Day 12 Notes

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – It was the culmination of a long journey.


Junior left-hander Justin Wilson allowed five hits and one run in eight innings, and sophomore outfielder Steve Detwiler went 4 for 4 with two homers and six RBI as Fresno State defeated No. 8 Georgia 6-1 Wednesday to win the National Championship at the 2008 College World Series in front of 18,932 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium.


After spending the past six weeks on the road, Fresno State (47-31) won its first baseball national championship and became the first regional No. 4 seed to win a national title. Georgia finished 45-25-1.


“It’s been a pretty good ride,” said Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole. “I’m pretty proud of these young men up here, and all of our players. That’s a great, great Georgia team that we just played the last three nights. One heck of a North Carolina team, Arizona State team, USD team. These guys beat the best and I guess that’s what you have to do to win a National Championship.”


Wilson (9-5) threw 129 pitches. He walked one and struck out nine. Wilson was the first starter to go eight innings in this year’s CWS.


“I had no clue how long I was going to last in this game,” Wilson said. “You just go out there and try to throw strikes. I ended up throwing eight and it’s awesome.”


Fresno State broke the ice in the top of the second as Steve Susdorf reached on an error to lead off the inning and, one out later, Detwiler (left) hit a two-run homer to right for a 2-0 lead.


Georgia had its first scoring chance in the bottom of the frame. Bryce Massanari reached on a error and moved to second on a base hit by Matt Cerione. Following a pair of strikeouts by Wilson, Miles Starr reached on an error to load the bases. Ryan Peisel flew out to deep center field to end the threat.


Fresno State added a run in the fourth as Susdorf drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher and came home on a two-out double by Detwiler to give FS a 3-0 lead.


Georgia had another chance for a run in its half of the fourth as Joey Lewis hit a one-out triple off the centerfield fence. But Wilson got another pair of strikeouts to keep Georgia off the scoreboard.


“He kept the ball down,” Peisel said, “he worked both sides of the plate, changed speeds on us. Once he got two strikes, he expanded and we chased some and it seemed like he had our number tonight. He was sharp as a tack and you’ve got to tip your hat to him. He came ready.”


Detwiler doubled the lead for Fresno State in the sixth with a three-run homer to left to make it a 6-0 ballgame.


Detwiler has been playing with a torn tendon in his left hand. He expects to have surgery soon, when a ligament will be taken from his wrist and put in his hand.


“I knew I didn’t have that much strength in there,” Detwiler said. “If I held it a little harder, I’d be fine. It hurts more than you can explain when I swing and miss. It feels like it tears out. It pops out every now and then, so I have to put it back in.”


Georgia avoided the shutout as Gordon Beckham homered in the eighth to tie for the national lead with 28.


Georgia mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth, putting on its first two runners. Fresno State closer Brandon Burke came on and got a double play and a lineout to Detwiler in right to end the game and start the celebration.


“For some reason,” Detwiler said, “everybody was coming up to me joking in the last inning ‘You’re going to get the last out.’ Surprise! I’ve got this thing right here in my pocket. It’s not going anywhere.”


Burke made his 38th appearance, tying a school record.


“That felt really good,” Burke said. “I was lucky enough to make a lot of last outs this season and that one definitely felt better than any other ones. An amazing feeling how far we’ve come this season and it’s just been phenomenal.”


Susdorf scored three times for Fresno State. Beckham and Lewis each had two hits for Georgia.


“First, I have to tip my hat to Fresno,” said Georgia head coach David Perno, “a true champion. They did it the hard way, five games in five days. They did a great job, won the games that mattered. We had some opportunities. We hit some balls hard at that time and nothing fell for us. We just couldn’t keep them in the yard. It’s definitely a tough day for us right now.”


(photos courtesy of Fresno State Media Relations Office)