OMAHA — Georgia Tech is going to the championship game of the College World Series; Cal State Fullerton is returning home.
Nomar Garciaparra's leadoff homer in the top of the 12th inning Wednesday night gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Titans.
Georgia Tech (50-16), seeded second in its first appearance at the series, will play the survivor of Bracket 2, in which Oklahoma (48-17) meets Arizona State (45-17) today.
The Sooners will advance to the title game with a victory, while an Arizona State victory would force a second semifinal game between the teams on Friday. The championship game is Saturday.
Georgia Tech Coach Danny Hall, in his first national championship game as a player or a coach, said the game was the most exciting he had been in.
"It was frustrating from my end and, again, it was a case that (starting pitcher) Brad Rigby kept us in the ballgame," Hall said.
Fullerton, seeded seventh, ends the year at 47-16 after a game in which the Titans were 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
"We left somewhere between 12 and 14 on base (actually 15, and) the most noticeable one was in the last inning," Titan Coach Augie Garrido said. "It was a devastating defeat."
Garciaparra's homer, his 15th of the year and first of the series, came against Titan reliever Ted Silva (4-4). It made a winner of Chris Myers (6-3), who gave up four hits and struck out six in four innings of relief.
Garciaparra said Georgia Tech coaches gave him the green light to swing on a 2-0 pitch.
"I was really looking for a good pitch to hit," he said. "I had to make sure I had a good pitch. I looked down at the coach and he said one spot, and he (Silva) happened to throw it there."
Silva said the pitch was a fastball.
"I had to challenge him," Silva said.
Myers' victory didn't come without a scare. Dante Powell singled to right with none out in the bottom of the 12th and advanced to third on Matt Saier's error.
Catcher Bret Hemphill walked, Sal Mancuso struck out, and D.C. Olsen popped up. Myers then walked pinch-hitter Jim Betzsold to load the bases before getting Brian King to fly out.
"We're normally very good at converting those kinds of opportunities." Garrido said. "But that's also to the credit of the Georgia Tech pitching and defense."
Georgia Tech struck early on Jay Payton's two-run homer with two out in the first inning. It was Payton's 20th of the year.
The Titans answered in their half of the inning when Hemphill's squeeze bunt scored Jeff Ferguson, who had singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch.
Fullerton tied the score in the fourth on Jeremy Giambi's second home run of the year.
Rigby and Titan starter Mike Parisi both seemed to spend the rest of their night working out of jams.
Rigby, who held the Titans to three hits in a 2-0 victory Friday, struck out nine and was helped by two double plays. Fullerton turned four.
In the third, Rigby walked Hemphill to load the bases with one out but struck out Mancuso and the inning ended on Adam Millan's fly out.
In the fourth, with runners at the corners and two out, the Titans' Mark Kotsay made a diving catch on Garciaparra's shot to shallow left field.