June 26, 2008
Wilson, Detwiler Top Dogs as
Fresno State Takes Title
Bulldogs win school's first baseball
By Phil Stanton
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
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.”
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
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
“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