2004 Top 10 Moments in Titan Baseball

The George Horton's reign of coaching greatness is complete. He's a multiple national coach of the year --and now an NCAA champ too. Cal State Fullerton earned its fourth national baseball title this year, and first under Horton, a four-time visitor to Omaha in eight years at the helm.

And by winning it all, Horton (this year's Collegiate Baseball coach of the year, one season after winning Baseball America's top coaching honor) cast aside the long, glorious shadow left behind by mentor Augie Garrido.

By beating Garrido's Texas Longhorns in the College World Series final, the Titans capped a remarkable rags-to-riches season and permanently put Horton's stamp of splendor on this historic program. How many great highlights were there to this 2004 campaign (that started 15-16)? So many that beating Miami in the CWS, sweeping UC Irvine and downing Tulane in the Super Regional opener didn't even make the TitanCetral.com Top 10 list.

Here are the Top 10 Fullerton baseball moments of 2004:

No. 10: In a TitanCental.com first, a Fullerton loss makes the Top 10. Sure, the Titans were devastated by Pepperdine's Cory Brightwell's walk-off homer on June 5. But with an NCAA title to lean on, Fullerton can look a little more fondly on being a part of this remarkable -- although crushing -- game.

No. 9: Kurt Suzuki left Goodwin Field in style, hitting a homer and triple in his final two at-bats as the Titans beat Tulane, 8-7, to win the Super Regional on June 13 and a ticket for Omaha.

No. 8: Scott Sarver emerged from obscurity to beat Pepperdine, 15-1, on June 6. It sets up a long, glorious day at Goodwin Field.

No. 7: After the emotional Pepperdine loss, Mike Martinez picked up the pieces to shut down and eliminate top-regional-seed Arizona State on June 5. It marked the second year in a row ASU Coach Pat Murphy's season ended in Fullerton.

No. 6: Superman Jason Windsor showed what he's made of, coming back on two days of rest to beat Pepperdine on June 6 and advance Fullerton to the Super Regionals.

No. 5: South Carolina got its first taste of Windsor, who shut down the high-powered Cocks, 2-0, in a dominant, 14-strikeout effort on June 19.

No. 4: Who is Scott Sarver? The little known, little used left-hander came through big -- again -- with the season on the line, shutting down and eliminating South Carolina, 4-0, on June 24.

No. 3: Danny Dorn nailed a two-run double off renowned closer Huston Street to spark a three-run, seventh inning for Fullerton as the Titans beat Texas, 6-4, on June 27 and moved within one step of the title.

No. 2: Brett Pill showed his toughness, coming through with a two-out, ninth-inning pinch double against Long Beach's Jared Weaver. That thrilling hit was followed by an RBI single from Ronnie Prettyman to tie the score on May 21, in a game the Titans won in 10 innings. That wasn't the last time Fullerton would get a clutch hit from Pill.

And the No. 1 moment of the 2004 season: A three-run Titans seventh inning -- ignited by a pinch triple from Brett Pill and capped by Kurt Suzuki's RBI single -- was all Jason Windsor needed to beat Texas, 3-2, on June 27.

The pinch triple came after Texas brought in a lefty reliever to face Sergio Pedroza but Horton countered with Pill, who came through big. The dignified Titans, who did not receive any congratulatory handshakes from the heavily favored Longhorns, celebrated their title the next morning by visiting seriously ill kids at Children's Hospital of Omaha. Then one day later, Titans fans honored the national champs with a parade through Fullerton and final rally at Goodwin Field -- where the 2004 title was already plastered on the VIP room wall behind first base.