Cal State Fullerton in Final Four

TitanCentral.com's special Omaha correspondants continue their coverage of the 2001 College World Series. The Titans beat Tulane 11-2 and now take on nemesis Stanford.

OMAHA, Neb. - It's come down to a three-game season.

And for a team that's fighting out of the losers bracket, Cal State Fullerton is about as well positioned as can be expected going into tonight's game against those Alleged Geniuses from Stanford.

We have to beat The AGs twice to vault into Championship Saturday against Miami or Tennessee (BTW, isn't it fitting that the two teams CBS chose to televise last Saturday, USC and Georgia, are both toast? Nice selection, you network hacks.)

Now here is your TitanCentral.com's three stars of the game vs. Tulane on Tuesday (we were too upset to post this after losing Sunday to The Alleged Geniuses):

The No. 3 star, Louie Lamoure: His pop from the No. 8 hole (3-for-3 with a double, stolen base and 2 runs) was a huge boost.

The No. 2 star, Darric Merrell: What can we say about 6 hits and no earned runs over 8 IP by this freshman? Clutch.

The No. 1 star, David Bacani: Not only did he smack two big HRs, DB made two diving stabs up the middle for an inning-ending FC and a 4-6-3 DP.

Stat of the game: Titans hit 4 doubles and 2 HRs; Green Wave no extra-base hits. Turning point of the game: DB's great play starts a DP to end Tulane's third, and then steps to the plate for a 3-run bomb in the fourth that gave Fullerton a 6-0 lead.

We're still alive thanks to eight nifty innings from freshman Darric Merrell, giving us an 11-2 victory and - more importantly - some much needed bullpen rest.

Now we're set to bring down the AGs , and here's how Day 5 in Omaha looked to two casual fans.

1:08 p.m. (CT): Titans798495 gets cell phone call from a friend back home, reminding him that June 12 is the seven-year anniversary of that incident on Bundy Drive in Brentwood. Funny how we were just talking about The Juice (in regard to the death of his old coach, John McKay) the previous day. My how the time flies. Summer 1994: We were talking about a studly young player just off his freshman season. Mark Kotsay.

1:35: Tulane - wearing white shoes - takes the diamond for pre-game infield. Did these guys not get the memo? This isn't 1974. Wear some black shoes, damnit.

2:17: Some locals two rows up discuss a newspaper column about "that weird kid from Tennessee." That "weird kid" is superstar shortstop Chris Burke - who doesn't eat red meat, according to the Omaha World-Herald. You'd be more popular in this town as a steak-eating communist than a non-red meat eating All-American shortstop.

2:34: Chris Stringfellow lines a screamer right at the head of 3B coach Rick Vanderhook. He dodges it, and String goes on for a great at-bat, fouling off a box of Rawlings before nailing a double to start a two-run inning.

3:05: A guy walks up our aisle wearing a t-shirt: Reinstate Pete Rose. Our instant analysis: Leonard Peltier has a better chance of a presidential pardon than Pete Rose has for reinstatement, as long as Bud runs the show.

3:19: As the ESPN2 hacks approach David and Ellen Bacani (leaders of TitanCentral.com's favorite family) in the stands, the younger David swats a huge three-run homer. What timing!

4:04: Titans798495 shells out $6 for a Rosenblatt favorite, the "Onion Bloom." Jeff Bebe: "That could be the single most unhealthy thing in this place (and that REALLY says something). That looks like about 5 orders of Carl's Jr.'s onion rings." A few bites later, Titans798495 preps for an angioplasty.

4:35: Another TV camera crew comes up to the Bacani family. And incredibly, DB goes deep again! This time, it lands halfway up the left-field bleachers. A Tulane fan in front of Ellen and David even has to give them high-fives for this massive shot. Those TV cameras might as well just camp out by our favorite family from Los Alamitos.

4:46: Tulane's Jake Gautreau (first-round pick of the Pads) threw a tantrum and tossed a bucket out of the dugout after grounding out weakly with the bases loaded. The umps didn't see it, but TitanCentral.com did. Some friendly advice, Jake: Try not to pull that crap in San Diego or two clubhouse leaders named Phil and Mark will be kicking your azz.

4:59: Mike Rouse lines a ninth-inning single. Phew. He's no longer 0-for-Omaha (previously 0-for-12), and MR's clan cheers the cheer of relief.

5:17: Final score: Titans 11, Green Wave 2. Have a nice ride back to N'Olens, Green Wave. Is Jim Garrison (or his survivors), with the help of Kevin Costner, still trying to find out who killed JFK?

6:19: We see on ESPN2 that Mississippi State Coach Pat McMahon will take the vacant job at Florida. Wow. That's a fast turnaround. A little more than a week ago, he's getting his azz kicked by Mike Rouse and Aaron Rifkin, and now he's measuring Andy Lopez's old office for curtains.