FULLERTON, Calif. – Prior to the baseball programs annual Dinner with the Titans fundraiser where members of the 1979 and 1984 championship teams were honored, members of the two teams went to Santa Anita Race Track where they met legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert.
The 1979 squad was the Titans first College World Series champions, edging Arkansas in the championship game 2-1 under the late-great Augie Garrido
In the West Regional, the Titans lost their first game, then came roaring out of the losers' bracket to twice beat powerful UCLA. At Omaha, they lost the first game 6-1 to Mississippi State in their opener and then rattled off five straight wins. In six of their nine tournament victories, they had to fight from behind, in true Titan fashion.
In what was the highest scoring College World Series to date, the final was a pitchers' duel, Arkansas' Steve Krueger against Fullerton's Dave Weatherman, who had been knocked out in the first inning by Pepperdine the night before. This time he was sharp.
Five years later the 1984 team won the Titans second national championship under Garrido with a 3-1 win over Texas. Fullerton lost its second game in the College World Series to Texas before rattling of four wins including the rematch against Texas in the final.
The game was decided in the bottom of the sixth. With the score 1-1, the fleet Favata reached first on an error. He stole second (his 66th theft of the season) and continued to third on a throwing error by the usually accurate Hog catcher, Ronn Reynolds. Power-hitter Wallach drove him in with a sacrifice fly. It was Wallach's 102nd RBI of the season.
In 1984, Fullerton quickly ended its 20-inning World Series scoreless string with a run in the first inning against Michigan. The Titans were trailing, 4-3, in the eighth, however, before pushing across the tying and go-ahead runs on a bunt single, a double, an error, a walk and a squeeze play. Blaine Larker's bases-loaded double made the final score, 8-4.
The Titans lost the second game to Texas, 6-4, then came back against Miami with a 13-5 victory that featured 14 Fullerton hits and four Hurricane errors. The Titans put down a total of five bunts in the four-run fourth and sixth innings and then scampered around the bases while Miami players chased errant throws.
Fullerton then eliminated top-ranked Arizona State, a team which had set 11 World Series offensive records while beating Oklahoma State, 23-12, a few days earlier. Left-handers Jack Reinholtz and Delzer spun up curveball after curveball and combined to strike out 11 free-swinging Sun Devil batters en route to a 6-1 victory.
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