(2) Titans 11, Cardinals 2
June 6, 2009
Cal State Fullerton easily advances past Louisville
Updated: June 6, 2009, 10:49 PM ET
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Another dominant performance in the NCAA tournament has Cal State Fullerton back in the College World Series, with the Titans believing they can win it all.
"We're not just going to Omaha to enjoy the Omaha steaks and the people and the environment," coach Dave Serrano said. "We think we have a legitimate chance to win the national championship with the way we're playing right now."
Jared Clark homered and drove in three runs and Noe Ramirez struck out a career-high 10 over eight strong innings as Cal State Fullerton routed Louisville 11-2 on Saturday to win the super regional.
The Titans (47-14) outscored the Cardinals 23-2 in the two super regional wins, and have yet to be challenged in the postseason. They've won all five of their games by a combined 64-11.
"They're obviously a great team and they're very hot right now," Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. "We ran into a buzzsaw. They played extremely well in all areas of the game."
The four-time NCAA champion Titans will head to Omaha for the 16th time in school history and third in four years, last winning a national title in 2004 when they defeated Texas. Louisville (47-18) was denied its second CWS appearance after reaching college baseball's showcase event in 2007.
The Cardinals never mounted a real threat as Fullerton, the No. 2 national seed, followed up its 12-0 win Friday night with another strong performance at the plate and on the mound.
Clark hit a two-run double in the first inning for the second straight day to highlight another early outburst for Fullerton, which grabbed a quick 4-0 lead. The senior first baseman later crushed a long homer to center field in a five-run seventh that blew the game open.
Louisville ace Justin Marks, the Big East Conference pitcher of the year, gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"When they get out of the gate like that, it's hard to gather yourself," Marks said. "I didn't do my part in this game."
In all, four Fullerton players -- Clark, Gary Brown, Joe Scott and Joey Siddons -- each had two hits while Christian Colon had a two-run double, and Dustin Garneau also drove in two runs. The Titans put the pressure on at the start, getting five of their six stolen bases in the first two innings.
"I don?t think anyone likes to play from behind," Clark said. "When Christian and Gary get on for me, Felly [Josh Fellhauer] and Khris [Davis], one of us usually gets it done. When they set the table, special things happen."
Meanwhile, Ramirez gave up two solo home runs to Louisville's Chris Dominguez but allowed only one other hit, a flare single to Adam Duvall in the fourth. Ramirez said Daniel Renken's three-hit shutout Friday set the tone for the weekend.
"When you're playing with a lead, you feel way more comfortable out there," Ramirez said. "You can miss some spots. It's never good, but you can get away with some stuff."
Reliever Nick Ramirez finished up in the ninth as the Cardinals managed just eight hits in the two games. McDonnell said the Titans have the look of a championship team.
"They're known for their aggressiveness on the bases, but they've got some power too," McDonnell said. "I don't know if you can just run your way to a national championship. You've got to have balance, and they showed me that."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press