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Stanford takes care of business at Fullerton

June 08, 2008|Martin Henderson | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Having its back to the wall was standard operating procedure this season for Cal State Fullerton. Losing at home was not.

But on Saturday in the second game of the Titans' best-of-three NCAA Division I super regional against Stanford, the four-time national champions ran out of chances.

Stanford (39-22-2) scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and beat fifth-seeded Fullerton, 8-5, to advance to the College World Series in Omaha for the first time since 2003.

Fullerton (41-22), which won three in a row last week in the regional, needed consecutive victories against a team that had defeated the Titans four times this season, including three at Stanford three months ago.

But the Titans, 27-8 at home, had not lost a three-game series this season at Goodwin Field.

"When it counted today, we didn't get it done," said first-year Fullerton Coach Dave Serrano. "The majority of the season we have been coming through."

Stanford's Jason Castro, who hit a two-run homer in Friday night's 4-3 victory, had three hits and four RBIs, including the decisive three-run double in the sixth inning.

Castro, a left-handed hitting catcher who was the 10th overall pick by the Houston Astros on Thursday, fought off two full-count pitches before connecting against losing pitcher Jason Dovel (3-4).

"Castro's a great player and he was up in the right situation and came through," Serrano said. "That's what superstars do and he did. He came through in the clutch."

The largest crowd of the season at Goodwin Field -- 3,415 -- watched Fullerton strand 11 runners. The Titans loaded the bases twice but didn't score.

Gary Brown lined to third to end the first inning, and Brian Wilson lined to first for an inning-ending double play in the sixth after two runs had scored to pull the Titans even at 5-5.

It proved huge because Stanford's decisive rally came in the bottom of the inning.

-- Martin Henderson

UC Irvine 11, Louisiana State 5 -- Sean Madigan and Brock Bardeen each hit home runs at Baton Rouge, La., helping the Anteaters end the Tigers' 23-game winning streak in their super regional opener.

The Anteaters scored nine runs from the fifth through eighth innings. Madigan hit a three-run homer in the sixth, and Bardeen a two-run shot in the eighth.

Anteaters ace Scott Gorgen (12-3) struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.

Arizona State 12, Fresno State 4 -- Ryan Sontag homered twice and drove in four runs to lead the Sun Devils past the Bulldogs at Tempe, Ariz., in the opening game of their super regional.

Miami 14, Arizona 10 -- Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal hit three-run homers at Coral Gables, Fla., to send the series to a decisive third game. The Hurricanes' Dennis Rabin walked six times, tying an NCAA record set by Josh Hamilton on May 29, 1999.

Florida State 14, Wichita State 4 -- The Seminoles scored five times in the third inning to force a deciding third game in their series at Tallahassee, Fla.

North Carolina State 10, Georgia 6 -- The Wolfpack scored four runs in the seventh inning and forced a deciding third game at Athens, Ga.

Rice 9, Texas A&M 7 -- Cole St. Clair held the Aggies to one run and two hits over the final 4 1/3 innings in the series opener at Houston.

North Carolina 9, Coastal Carolina 4 -- The Tar Heels turned the Chanticleers' six errors into six unearned runs in the series opener at Cary, N.C.

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