A small contigency of fans (maybe 300) stuck it out till the very end to watch Fullerton close out Fresno State, 13-2, to win the San Diego Regional at Tony Gwynn Stadium and advance to the Super Regionals next week.
The Titans will greet the winners of the Long Beach Regional, UCLA, at Goodwin Field next week.
San Diego: Fullerton extends lead, another scary moment
It is looking more and more like the Titans are going to Super Regionals, again. Fullerton's Nick Mahin hit a bases clearing triple to put the Titans up 9-1 in the sixth.
Because UCLA beat Long Beach State in the Long Beach Regional, the Titans will host a Super Regional (against UCLA) next week if they can hold on here tonight.
Early in the sixth inning, Fullerton's Corey Jones was hit in the head by a pitch. Jones lied on the ground for a couple minutes before walking off the field. It was the second time today a player was hit in the head with the ball. In the first game today, Tanner Scheppers was hit in the head while pitching by a line drive. Scheppers was taken to the hospital but returned to Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Fresno State's Tanner Scheppers, who was hit in the head by the ball on a line drive while pitching against Minnesota earlier today, has returned to Tony Gwynn Stadium and is sitting in the Bulldog dugout.
Scheppers was seen giving high fives and hugging teammates during the fourth inning in Fresno State's second elimination game of day, against Cal State Fullerton.
Earlier today, Minnesota's Kyle Baran hit a line drive that hit Scheppers directly in the head. Scheppers was on the ground for about 10 minutes and was put on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital via an ambulance.
Fullerton is leading the game 5-1, with the Bulldogs batting in the bottom of the fourh inning.
Thanks to a John Curtis 3-run homerun in the third inning, Cal State Fullerton has taken a a 5-1 lead. Curtis has been on fire during the San Diego Regional, recording seven hits in less than three games. The Titans are still batting here in the top of the third.
With one out in the second, and runners on first and third for the Titans, Fresno State got out of jam with a nice realy double play.
Steve Susdorf caught the ball in left field and then fired the ball to relay man Tommy Mendonca, who from about 15 feet away threw a strike to catcher Dan Grubb who tagged Fullerton's Matt Wallach out at the plate.
San Diego: Fresno State wins, next up is Fullerton
The Bulldogs scored six in the first and another four in the fourth, which was more than enough for Fresno State, as they beat Minnesota 11-6.
Brian Lapin, who plays center field and is 6-foot-6 (that has got to be some sort of record), went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a first inning homerun.
There is still no update on the condition of Bulldog starting pitcher Tanner Scheppers, who left the game after being hit in the head with a line drive in the fourth inning. He left Tony Gwynn Stadium conscious and responsive before being taken to a local hospital.
Fresno State will now try and continue their season one more day, when they go up against Cal State Fullerton. The Titans beat the Bulldogs 6-4 last night.
San Diego: Scheppers was "conscious and responsive'
To get the game stuff out of the way, the Bulldogs added a run in the top of the sixth to now lead 11-4.
The Fresno State media relations office have released a statement saying that Scheppers "was conscious and responsive before leaving Tony Gwynn Stadium." Also, "his parents, David and Ann Scheppers accompanied him to the hospital."
If there is more information about Scheppers condition, I will quickly get that out there.
The Bulldogs are currently batting in the top of the seventh.
Tanner Scheppers, who was pitching an exceptional game for the Bulldogs, was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Minnesota's Kyle Baran.
Scheppers was on the ground for about 10 minutes as paramedics put him in a stretcher. An ambulance was heard coming and leaving the stadium, presumably picking up and taking Scheppers to a local hospital.
Scheppers did move some when he was on the ground, but looked motionless when he rolled off the field.
This was the second time a pitcher had been hit by a line drive in this regional. On Friday, Minnesota's Tom Buske was hit in the knee on a line drive but was not seriously hurt and continued to pitch.
This just in...
Scheppers is being taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, specifically the trama unit (which is about three miles away), but according to a San Diego Sports Information Director, he is awake and alert.
When more information becomes available, I will release it.
About the game, which doesn't seem as important right now, Minnesota scored four runs in the fourth to make the score 10-4.
Fresno starter Tanner Scheppers just got tagged in the head from a line drive. He is currently on the lying on the pitcher's mound moving very little. The paramedics are on the field and the team is huddled around Scheppers.
As soon as more information is available about Scheppers condition is known, I'll let you guys know.
Well, probably not, but unless something really werid happend, the No. 4 seeded Fresno State Bulldogs will at least have a chance.
The Gophers are on their third pitcher already (we're in the fourth inning) as the Bulldogs have scored 10 runs and Gophers still have donut in the run column on the Jumbotron in center field. There is still a lot of game left in this one, but I think Fresno State has a better chance of matching Florida State's 21 runs that they had earlier today, than Minnesota making a miraculous comeback.
I was expecting a low, REALLY LOW, attendance for today's game with Fresno and Minnesota in San Diego. But there really isn't much of a difference between today's game and yesterday's day game (which probably says something about the fans at the University of San Diego fans).
Another note about the crowd: It is pretty even between Gopher and Bulldog supporters, which is somewhat surprising considering one school is 1,500 miles closer than the other.
About the game: Fresno still leads 6-0 in the bottom of the second.
Fresno's Matt Nohely led off the game with a four-pitch walk and he went on to steal second to get in scoring position. Dan Lyons laid down in an attempt to push him to third, but Minnesota's Bryan Jost couldn't handle the throw over to him, which allowed Nohelty to score.
Then Fresno's Brain Lapin hit his 10th homerun of the season over the right field wall to make it 3-0 Bulldogs.
Minnesota already has action in its bullpen and it will be interesting to see how much lease John Anderson is going to give his starter, Gary Perinar.
As I type, there is still only one out and the Bulldogs have runners on second and third with no one out.
In the next couple of hours, we will be down to two at the San Diego Regional with the Gophers and the Bulldogs about to start an elimination game.
Minnesota had a memorable win yesterday. The Gophers led 5-0 in the ninth over San Diego, but the No. 1 seeded Toreros scored five times in the ninth to bring the game into extra innings. Minnesota was able to salvage the game, with Derek McCallum hitting a liner up the middle to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth.
Fresno State, the No. 4 seed in this regional, won its opening game over San Diego but lost to Cal State Fullerton, 6-4, last night.
Pitching is slowly but surely becoming an issue. The Bulldogs are starting Tanner Scheppers (7-5, 4.80 ERA), who pitched well in relief on Friday, and the Gophers are going with Gary Perinar (4-5, 5.10 ERA).
A week ago, it wasn't clear if Cal State Fullerton was even going to be a participant in the NCAA Tournament. But early Sunday morning in San Diego, the Titans have advanced to the championship game of the San Diego Regional, with a chance to adavnce to the Super Regionals looking more and more like a posibility.
The Titans held on for a 6-4 win over Fresno State Saturday night, and with San Diego being eliminated earlier in the day to Minnesota, the Titans have to be the heavy favorite to play next week.
Minnesota and Fresno State will play in an elimination game tomorrow at 4 p.m. PST, with the winner playing Fullerton at 8 p.m.
Todd Sandell hit a monster homerun in the fifth and Fresno State got three straight hits to start the sixth to add another, to make the score 6-2 Fullerton.
The Bulldogs could have cut the deficit even more in the sixth. Fresno State had runners on first and second with no one out, but Kaplan got two popup outs and then walked Sandell to load the bases. Adam Jorgenson then came on to relieve Kaplan and struck out Fresno's leadoff hitter Erik Wetzel.
Evan McArthur was one of the worst hitting third baseman's in the Big West this year, batting in the .220's, but he sure is hitting when it matters the most.
McArthur hit a homerun in the win over Minnesota yesterday and just hit a double to drive in two runs to highlight a four-run fifth inning for the Titans. Cal State Fullerton now leads 6-0.
It's somewhat amazing to think about, but Fullerton might actually host a Super Regional next week. With Long Beach State in trouble in its regional, the Titans have a legitimate chance to be the home team with a spot in the College World Series on the line.
San Diego head coach Rich Hill stayed focused on the positives after one of the more dissapointing losses in the program's history.
"Sometime's when you shoot for the stars you get the moon," Hill said. "This program is an unbelievable success story. Nine years ago no one knew who we were and now we are hosting an NCAA Regional. I don't want this team to forget the accomplishments that they have ahd this year, winning over 40 games, winning the West Coast regular season, winning the WCC series. It was a great year."
"Our goal was to get the to the College World Series, and that will always be our goal and we are going to get there or die trying."
The Gophers got the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth with one out and Derek McCallum hit a line drive single up the middle, which was almost snagged by a diving Sean Nicol but got into center field to win the game for Minnesota.
Credit the Gophers for not giving up after letting a five run lead get away from them in the ninth inning. I'll get reaction to this game as soon as I can.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Logan Gelbrich just hit the biggest home run San Diego history.
With runners on second and third and one out, Gelbrich hit a home run over the right center field wall to tie the game at five. The Toreros have scored all five runs in the ninth. There is still one out, and Minnesota is bringing in a new pitcher, Josh Oslin (0-2, 2.75 ERA).
Barbender has been pulled, giving up a double to center to Justin Snyder and then a soft liner just pst second base by Jordan Abruzzo to put runners on first and third with no outs here in the ninth (Minnesota is up 5-0).
Kyle Carr (5-2, 3.56 ERA) is now pitching for the Gophers.
San Diego: Minnesota makes it 5-0 going into the ninth
San Diego's closer AJ Griffin walked in a run in the bottom of the eighth to put Minnesota up 5-0, with USD having one last chance in the top of the ninth
Minnesota's starter Dustin Barbender has been magnificant today, shutting out San Diego through eight innging giving up just five hits. Not bad for a pitcher with an ERA in the high four's coming into the game.
Minnesota threatened to put the game away in the sixth, getting runners on second and third, but Brian Matsuz came up big with two consecutive strikeouts to keep hopes for a San Diego comeback realistic.
The 4-5-6 batters are coming up here in the seventh for the Toreros.
With runners on first and third and no one out, Jordan Abruzzo struck out and Shane Buschini, USD's best hitter during the regular season, hit into a double play (for the third time this Regional) to end any chance of a rally.
So it's still 4-0 Minnesota in the bottom of the sixth.
Minnesota's Sean Kommerstad just hit home run and it is now 4-0 Gophers through three and a half.
This would be terrible for San Diego if they lose this game. After convincing SDSU to have them use their stadium for Regionals, and then to be ousted before the sun goes down on Saturday, it would be an embarassment. for the program. I'm going to guess if USD has a great season next year, Tony Gwynn won't be so quick to help out his cross-town rival.
Minnesota's Mike Mee just plastered a 2-run home run. There is a a 10-foot wall the that goes around Tony Gwynn Stadium, and in right field there is a 20-foot wall (that is out of play) which is the "Aztec Wall of Fame." So anyway, Mee hit the ball at the top of that wall. It wouldn't surprise me if that was the longest home run ever at this stadium.
So the Toreros are eight innings away from eliminatination. I wonder how many people are going to show up to the rest of this Regional if that happens.
The Toreros get a single in the top of the first but No. 3 hitter Shane Buschini hit into a double play to end the inning.
Anyway, here is my plan to get blog readers involved. Send a question (via coments) you would like me ask coaches or players after the game, and I will do my best to get your question answered. So YOU not a hack like me, can do some reporting :).
For the third time this season, and the fifth time in the last two years, Fresno State beat San Diego.
But it never happend with San Diego hosting a Regional, and now it has. Fresno State is into the winner's bracket to face Cal State Fullerton tomorrow at 8 p.m., while San Diego will play for its season at 4 p.m. against Minnesota.
USD's Sean Nicol hit a double into right center field to score two and tie the game.
The Toreros could have took the lead with runners on second and third and one out, but Mike Metzger's hit a fly ball to right field which was caught by Loren Storey and Storey then threw a bullet to the plate get Kevin Hansen at the plate.
Fresno threaten in the top of the fifth, geting runners on second and third with two outs, but Romanski struck out Tommy Mendonca to get out of the jam.
It's 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth here at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
San Diego: Romanski continues to struggle, Bulldogs add another
We'll see how much patience Rich Hill is going to have with his starter, Josh Romanski. Fresno has now gone up 2-0 with an RBI single from Erik Wetzel, Romanski stopped it there, but he has still not found his stride out there.
On the other hand, Fresno's Joe Wilson has been solid, giving up just one hit through three innings against a lineup full of .300 hitters.
San Diego: Thoughts on Fullerton, and preview of San Diego-Fresno
This just in: Wes Roemer is still pretty good.
If you read my preview, I was skepticle coming into today's game if Roemer was going to have a successful outing. Early on it looked like Roemer might struggle, giving up four hits in the first two innings, but his cureveball got better as the game went on and Minnesota looked overmatched.
Roemer's final line was: 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB and 7 SO.
When Titan head coach George Horton was asked if Roemer could pitch again in this series he said that Roemer would most likely start if Fullerton plays on Monday, even though he threw 107 pitches and would be on two days rest.
An emotion filled inning, started with Evan Mcathur, who was a bat boy for the Titans in 1994, hitting a 2-run homerun to put Fullerton up 3-0.
There was a real scare when the next batter, Corey Jones, hit a line drive off the calf of pitcher Tom Buske. The ball hit Buske so hard that it richoceted over the first baseman's head, which allowed Jones to go all the way to third for a triple.
It looked like Buske was seriously hurt (I was worried that his knee had blown up), but after lying down for about a minute, AMAZINGLY, Buske continued to pitch, which might not have been a smart thing to do (read on).
Fullerton's best hitter, Clark Hardman (.397), led off the game with a single to center field, and then with one out, Hardman got himself to third base when he attempted to steal second and Gopher's catcher Kevin Carlson threw the ball into center field.
But Mionnesota starter Tom Buske got out of it, striking out Nick Mahin and popping up cleanup hitter John Curtis.
Through one inning, there is no score at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
San Diego Preview: Toreros are BY FAR the best team
Five years ago, the big college baseball story in San Diego was that Tony Gwynn was taking over the head coaching duties at his alma-mater, San Diego State.
It didn't get as much attention, but that same year the University of San Diego advanced to its first NCAA Regional, and its coach, Rich Hill, was slowly building a formidable program.
Five years later, Gwynn has struggled at State (only one winning season), while Hill has built a squad that has a chance to not only make it to Omaha, but to leave the Cornhusker State with a national championship.