College World Series
Friday, January 30

OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Cal State Fullerton's persistence paid off against Texas' bullpen.

Danny Dorn's two-run double highlighted a three-run rally in the seventh inning as Cal State Fullerton drew first blood in the College World Series championship series with a 6-4 victory.

Cal State Fullerton (46-22) can capture its fourth national title - and first under coach George Horton - in Game Two on Sunday. Texas (58-14) had an eight-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in three meetings with the Titans this season.

"Tonight's victory for the Titans was about our mentality," Horton said. "There were a lot of little subtle cat-and-mouse things that took a strong mentality."

Trailing 4-3 in the sixth, Fullerton chased Texas starter J.P. Howell by loading the bases with none out. But reliever J. Brent Cox (6-2) got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play to preserve the lead.

But Cox got into his own trouble when Jason Turner and Clark Hardman started the seventh with singles. Texas coach Augie Garrido opted to use closer Huston Street, the 2002 CWS MVP and a first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics.

Street, one of the most dominant closers in the history of college baseball, struck out Kurt Suzuki and P.J. Pilittere - the third and fourth hitters in the Titans' lineup. But Dorn laced his double just off the glove of left fielder Carson Kainer to put Fullerton ahead for good.

"Suzuki went down and P.J. went down and I was just trying to pick up the teammates that have been picking me up all year," Dorn said.

"It just hit off my glove," Kainer said. "If I catch it, I'm a hero. It's a tough play, but I thought I should've made it."

Felipe Garcia, who went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs, followed with an RBI single for a 6-4 cushion.

"What a huge mental turnaround when we have the bases loaded and we get the 1-2-3 double play," Horton said. "We turn around the next inning and get that three. What a huge mental swing."

Texas mounted a rally in the ninth, putting the tying runs on base on a walk and an error. Mike Martinez, an eighth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees, entered with one out and retired both batters he faced for just the Titans' sixth save this season.

"It was Martinez's time to get the ball to face the top of the order, according to (pitching coach Dave Serrano)," Horton said. "Nobody knows if it's going to work out. You hope, you cross your fingers and hope it works out."

Fullerton starter Ricky Romero (14-4) pitched 6 2/3 effective innings for the win. Vinnie Pestano got the next five outs before Martinez finished.

Fullerton struck for three unearned runs off Howell in the first inning. It helped soothe some nerves for the Titans, who were the victims of a three-hitter by Howell in a 3-1 loss on March 7.

"Kids aren't perfect," Garrido said. "They've played awfully well and make it look easy."

Texas pulled within 3-1 on Ryan Russ' RBI single in the second inning and took the lead in the fifth when Seth Johnston delivered an RBI single and an error by Fullerton right fielder Bobby Andrews led to two more runs.


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