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Titans Going 'Home' to Omaha
By Abbey Mastracco
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Abbey Mastracco is a
former intern and has been a major contributor to
CollegeBaseballInsider.com. A graduate of Long Beach State,
Abbey is the former sports editor for Daily 49er and was the
beat writer for the LBSU Dirtbags. She has also reported on UCLA
Bruins Examiner and on PGA events around the country. Abbey is a
huge Sacramento Kings fan and likes the Giants, A's, Padres,
49ers and Chargers.
– As the Goodwin Field crowd chanted “Omaha,” the Cal State
Fullerton Titans, in all their mustached glory dogpiled in the
infield. On the other side of the diamond, the Louisville
Cardinals hung their red mohawked heads dejectedly.
In the battle between the mustaches and the mohawks, once again
the mustaches prevailed.
Cal State Fullerton (47-14) punched its ticket to Omaha with an
11-2 downing of No. 12 Louisville (47-18) to sweep the Fullerton
Super Regional Saturday afternoon. The Titans advance to the
College World Series for the 16th time in school history.
is the greatest place in the world to finish off a season,”
Titans coach Dave Serrano (left) said. “About a month and a half
ago, the team was questioning their commitment, but we came
together. We think we have a legitimate chance to win the
national championship the way we’re playing right now.”
It was an emotional moment as the team gathered in the outfield
after the game.
Former Titan Jon
Wilhite walked onto the field to celebrate with his former team.
The four-year catcher had been recovering from an internal
decapitation surgery after being hit by a drunk driver back in
April in the same tragic accident that killed Angels’ pitcher
Nick Adenhart and two others.
Wilhite, walking with a noticeable limp, was able to walk, no
less. The fact that he not only survived such a traumatic
injury, but also is recovering so quickly is being considered a
“Even more of a climax for me was that Jon Wilhite was here
today,” Serrano said. “He’s one of our warriors who is fighting
for normalcy again and his presence here made the day complete
The Titans once again dominated the Cards, posting 11 runs on 12
hits. The two line scores looked as if Fullerton was playing a
little league opponent, not a Big East powerhouse. Fullerton
outscored the Louisville 23-2, out-hit it 28-6 and stole nine
bases over two games, with six on Saturday.
“They’re hot right now, and we just ran into a buzz saw,”
Louisville head coach Dan McConnell said.
Right-hander Noe Ramirez (9-1) nearly followed up Daniel
Renken’s complete-game shutout with a complete game of his own,
going eight innings and giving up just two runs on three hits
and fanning a career-high 10.
Dominguez (left) scored the only two Cardinals runs, both on
“I just decided this might be my last game, so I went at the
ball,” Dominguez said.
Louisville ace Justin Marks (11-3) was saved until Saturday’s
do-or-die contest. But his start didn’t exactly live up to
expectations as the Big East Pitcher of the Year lasted just 4.1
innings, giving up six earned on seven hits, walking three,
hitting two and balking once.
“It’s hard to gather yourself with so much pressure on the
bases,” Marks said. “I just couldn’t get much done with them
“We were going to pressure them,” Fullerton second baseman Joe
Scott said. “We knew they would have trouble adjusting to our
troubles were evident from the start, when he hit leadoff man
Christian Colon (right) to start the game, balked Colon to
second and fell over trying to field a sacrifice bunt.
From there, Fullerton picked up where it left off the night
before, pouring on the hits, manufacturing runs and swiping
“I was very impressed with [Fullerton’s] balance in their
lineup,” McConnell said. “I don’t know if you can just run your
way to a national championship, you have to have balance.”
This trip to the College World Series will be the Titans’ fourth
in six seasons, with their last championship in 2004. It’s a
familiar spot for many, as the Fullerton roster is laden with
fourth-year seniors anxious to return to Rosenblatt Stadium and
resume their status as fan favorites.
“The way we’re going right now is pretty special,” Scott said.
“This is my third time to Omaha, so it feels like home to me.”
First up for the Titans in the CWS will be Arkansas, the winner
of the Tallahassee Regional. Fullerton, which is now 7-2 in
Super Regional play, will head to Omaha riding a nine-game
(photo of Dominguez courtesy of Louisville Media Relations
(photos of Serrano, Colon by Matt Brown, courtesy of Cal State Fullerton Media