The final score on Wednesday night: Those Alleged Geniuses from Leland Stanford Junior University 4, Cal State Fullerton 1.
There's one basic reality of baseball - you need to hit the ball hard every now and then to win. And now we're headed home.
|Here is your TitanCentral.com's three stars of the game
vs. Stanfurd on Wednesday:
The No. 3 star, home plate umpire Ken Eldridge: His failure to enforce Rule 608 and call Ryan Garko back to the plate on a bogus HBP, opened the door to a two-run AG inning.
The No. 2 star, Ryan Garko: His HBP started a rally and a sixth-inning homer was the icing.
The No. 1 star, Jeremy Guthrie: We hit two balls hard off him all night.
Stat of the game: The Junior College was 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position; Fullerton 1-for-5.
Turning point of the game: David Bacani hit into
a 6-4-3 DP with runners at first and third to end the third inning. Stanfurd's
first batter of the next frame, Brian Hall, homered for the game's first
run and the AGs were off and running.
In what amounted to 2-1/2 hours of infield practice, the Titans went down meekly to Stanfurd's Jeremy Guthrie and Jeff Bruksch who combined for a four-hitter.
The AGs advance to Championship Saturday, and await the winner of Miami and Tennessee.
Minus two losses to The Junior College, Fullerton and its loyal fans enjoyed six nights in Omaha. Here's how our final full day in America's heartland unfolded:
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. (CT): It's always a good CWS when you have to do laundry - as we did at a local laundromat. It means you've stayed for a while and you're not on a plane being offered soft drinks and peanuts - like some cardinal-and-gold wearing underachievers who were probably lowering their seat trays just as we hit the rinse cycle.
3:15-4:25: The power goes out on our side of Omaha. We're temporarily caught in an elevator of the Hampton Inn. We've dodged the rolling blackouts back home in California, but get nailed by darkness in the heartland (just hours before two California teams play). Infrickingsane.
6:41: Shane Costa reaches safely on a swinging bunt. He would have been out but Alleged Genius pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and first baseman Arik VanZandt act like knuckleheads and collide while trying to make the play. It should be noted that Jon Smith was an academic All-American, while Stanfurd (despite its inflated reputation and ridiculous undergrad program) placed no one on this honor roll - thus the team nickname ALLEGED GENIUSES (or AGs).
7:07: In clear violation of Rule 608 (a batter must make an effort to get out of the way of an inside pitch), Stanfurd's Ryan Garko stands completely still as he's hit by a Jon Smith pitch. The HBP triggers a two-run AG outburst.
7:57: Mike Rouse laces a double down the right-field line, but it's hit too hard. Only one run scores as Brett Kay has to be held at third base with two outs.
7:59: Our last real threat fizzles: Pinch hitter Matt Belfanti strikes with runners at second and third.
8:23: Shane Costa gets gunned down at second base trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt. It was a costly out because David Bacani walked a few pitches later (so the tying run could have been at bat). TitanCentral.com, however, won't second guess Costa. The ball took a fortunate hop back to Stanfurd's Ryan Garko and it took a perfect throw by the Junior College catcher to make the play close. The call could have gone either way, but the umps called Costa out.
8:43: As they say on ``ER,'' ``Call it (as in time of death)!'' 8:46 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Brett Kay - his name finally spelled correctly (not ``Brent'') on the Rosenblatt TV scoreboard - lines out to right. We end at 48 wins and 18 losses. :(
8:46: After shaking hands with victorious Stanfurd, David Bacani and Brett Kay are the last Titans to return to the dugout. They embrace one last time, as they leave the field - as winners. :)