Stanford sweeps Fullerton; Omaha next

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

Stanford 8 Cal-State Fullerton 5

Fullerton, Calif. – Jason Castro’s 3-run double in the sixth inning broke a 5-5 tie and carried Stanford to an 8-5 victory Saturday night over Cal State Fullerton for the championship of the NCAA Super Regional and a berth in the College World Series.

Austin Yount (6-3) allowed only two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings of relief to get the victory, Stanford’s (39-22-2) fifth in five tries over the Titans (41-22) this season. Reliever Jason Dovel (3-4) was charged with the three decisive runs and took the loss before a sellout crowd of 3,415. Drew Storen got the final four outs for his eighth save and second in two nights.

Fullerton went 0-2 in a Super Regional for the first time and lost for only the second time in seven opportunities. Fullerton has never gone 0-2 in 30 Regionals.

The game swung on one-out, bases-loaded situations in the sixth inning. In the top half, Fullerton had scored twice to tie the game and Brian Wilson hit a line drive. But it went right to first baseman Brent Milleville who went to the bag for an inning-ending double play. In the bottom half, Stanford loaded the bases after one out on a walk and two singles. Joey August popped up but Castro sliced a bases-clearing double to left on a 3-2 pitch after two foul balls to make it 8-5 and chase Dovel.

Fullerton never led in the series but twice rallied to tie.

Stanford scored in the first inning for the second time in the series. Colin Walsh drew a leadoff walk from Cory Arbiso, stole second and scored on a single to center by Joey August. The Titans, who loaded the bases in the first on a hit batter and two walks but failed to score, tied the game in the second. Joel Weeks was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single to left by Josh Fellhauer.

Stanford regained the lead in the bottom of the second. Zach Jones was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Walsh. Joey August’s high-hopper went down the right-field line for a double scoring Walsh. August came home when Jason Castro’s blooper fell in front of left fielder Gary Brown for an RBI single.

Fullerton answered back in the third. Erik Komatsu was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a fly ball and scored on Brian Wilson’s single to center. Gary Brown singled and Wilson scored when first baseman Milleville threw errantly to second after fielding Weeks’ ground ball. Yount relieved starter Erik Davis and got Dustin Garneau on a fly ball to the left-field wall and Joe Scott on a grounder to short.

Arbiso retired eight in a row until surrendering a single to Castro with one out in the fifth. Castro stole second as Milleville struck out and scored on a two-out single by Randy Molina that chased Arbiso.

Fullerton again came back as Scott bunted for a hit and went all the way to third on Yount’s wild throw to first. Fellhauer lined an RBI single to center and went to third on Colon’s hit-and-run single to right center. Komatsu tied the game at 5-5 with a double to right. An intentional walk to Jared Clark set the stage for Wilson’s unlucky swing.

The Titans got runners to second base in both the seventh and eighth innings but couldn’t score.