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Surprising Fresno State reaches the title series

June 23, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fresno State's improbable postseason run will end in the College World Series championship round after Tommy Mendonca drove in four runs and Clayton Allison overcame a shoulder ailment to shut down North Carolina, 6-1, Sunday night in Omaha.

"If you look where we started out," closer Brandon Burke said, "where we're at now is inconceivable."

Allison (4-5), out since the second game of the super-regional because of tendinitis in his right (throwing) shoulder, gave up only Dustin Ackley's double to start the game and five singles. The only run against him came when he issued a bases-loaded walk in the fourth. He struck out six and walked three.

A Fresno State team (45-30) that became the first No. 4 regional-seeded team to reach the CWS now finds itself matched against Georgia (44-23-1) in the best-of-three championship series starting today. Fresno State joins clubs such as Eastern Michigan in 1976, Wichita State in 1982 and Pepperdine in 1992 as surprise finalists.

North Carolina (54-14), the No. 2-seeded team nationally and CWS runner-up the last two years, was denied a third straight appearance in the finals.

Neither Fresno State nor Georgia has an overly impressive record, and no team with more than 23 losses has won a national title.

OLYMPICS

Wilkinson lands on third U.S. diving team

With the first perfect dive of her career, Laura Wilkinson, 30, clinched a third -- and final -- trip to the Olympics, holding off teenage phenom Haley Ishimatsu in 10-meter platform at the U.S. diving trials in Indianapolis.

Wilkinson's triumph notwithstanding, youth was served on the final day.

David Boudia, 19, beat Thomas Finchum, 18, his close friend and longtime training partner, in a battle of 10s on the men's platform.

Wilkinson totaled 1,214.50 points over three rounds. Ishimatsu, who probably will be selected for the second 10-meter spot at a camp that begins next week in Knoxville, Tenn., was second with 1,140.40.

Boudia heads to Beijing with the look of a potential star, having finished third in the Olympic pool during a World Cup meet in February. The U.S. men have not won an Olympic gold on platform since Greg Louganis captured his second straight at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Boudia finished with 1,642.20 points, and Finchum had 1,583.50 despite receiving 10s on three of his six dives.

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Todd Wells and Georgia Gould were the first two racers to clinch spots on the U.S. Olympic mountain biking team in Trentino, Italy, after no Americans secured an automatic bid in the world championships.

Wells finished 15th in the men's race, while Gould crashed and still finished ninth in the women's championship. Each made the Olympic team based on having the best cumulative placing in international races this year.

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Making his third straight Olympic team, Hunter Kemper claimed the last of three spots on the U.S. men's squad by beating his main rival for the berth, Andy Potts, in the Hy-Vee Triathlon in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Denmark's Rasmus Henning won the World Cup race for the second straight year.

JURISPRUDENCE

Titans' Jevon Kearse booked on DUI charge

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse was arrested and charged with driving under the influence following a traffic stop near the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville.

Vanderbilt spokesman Jim Patterson said Kearse was stopped early Sunday after campus police reported seeing the vehicle that Kearse was driving weaving across the road.

Patterson said Kearse took a field sobriety test but refused a breathalyzer. He was arrested and charged with DUI and violation of Tennessee's implied consent law for failing to take the breathalyzer test. Officials said Kearse was released later in the morning.

Kearse re-signed with the Titans this off-season after spending the last four years with the Philadelphia Eagles.

MISCELLANY

Davis, Jordan capture 10th volleyball title

Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan won their first AVP title of the season, beating Carrie Dodd and Tatiana Minello, 15-21, 21-18, 15-10, in Belmar, N.J., for their 10th title together.

Matt Olson and Kevin Wong won their first title as a team, defeating Nick Lucena and Sean Scott, 22-20, 21-15.

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Blake Williams won the freestyle motocross event and Daniel Dhers rose from 11th place to top the BMX Park field in the AST Dew Tour's Panasonic Open in Baltimore.

Two-time defending Dew Cup champion Nate Adams was second at 89.33 to Williams, who was injured last season.

PASSINGS

Aleo, longtime horse owner, 88

Harry Aleo, a real estate magnate and longtime thoroughbred horse owner, died at his home in San Francisco on Saturday. Aleo, 88, had cancer. Story, Section B.

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