June 6, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton freshman right-hander Noe Ramirez scattered just three hits and struck out a career-high 10 batters while four players finished with two hits as the No. 2 national-seeded Titans advanced to their 16th College World Series with an 11-2 victory over Louisville on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,178 fans at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton, which will be making its fourth trip to Omaha in the last six seasons and the first under second-year Head Coach Dave Serrano, improved to 47-14 overall on the year, having won its last nine games and 15 consecutive contests at home. The Titans, who have advanced seven times out of nine super regionals with a 15-6 record, will meet Arkansas in their opener at the College World Series after the Razorbacks swept host Florida State by the scores of 7-2 and 9-8.
Game times for the 2009 College World Series will be announced on Monday (June 8) at a time to be determined. The College World Series runs June 13-24 at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
Louisville finished its season at 47-18 overall.
Ramirez (9-1) went eight innings, allowing only two runs on a pair of solo home runs in the second and fourth innings by the Cardinals' Chris Dominguez. Ramirez faced just five batters over the minimum - including retiring the final eight batters he faced - before giving way to Nick Ramirez in the ninth. Nick Ramirez allowed two hits and survived a bases-loaded situation by inducing John Dao into a game-ending pop-up to Jared Clark in foul territory.
Louisville ace Justin Marks (11-3) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four. Three Cardinals relievers combined to allow five runs (four earned) on five hits over the final 4 2/3 innings.
Just one night after going 4-for-5, Clark led the Titans once again at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Teammates Gary Brown, Joe Scott, and Joey Siddons also finished with a pair of hits as Fullerton banged out 12 hits on the day - the seventh straight game it has reached double-digits in the hits column.
The Titans jumped all over the Cardinals in the first inning for the second day in a row, plating four runs and using their speed (three stolen bases) to take the early lead. The first four batters reached base safely with Josh Fellhauer (RBI single) and Clark (two-run double) putting Fullerton ahead, 3-0. Dustin Garneau added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to make it a 4-0 ball game.
Siddons was a spark that led to another run in the second as he singled and moved all the way to third on a pair of stolen bases. That eventually brought Brown to the plate, who reached on an infield single to shortstop with two outs, scoring Siddons for the 5-0 advantage.
Dominguez, who entered the day with 23 home runs on the year, got the run back in Louisville's half of the second with a shot over the wall in left centerfield, and made it a 5-2 ball game with his 25th home run of the year in the fourth that would have brought the Cardinals to within a run if not for a double play in the previous at-bat.
From there on out, it was all Cal State Fullerton as Garneau's second sac fly in the fifth plated Fellhauer to make it 6-2 and a big five-run seventh inning squashed any thoughts of a comeback as Clark led-off the inning with his 12th home run of the year and was followed by RBI hits from Scott (single) and Christian Colon (two-run double).
Adam Duvall, Ryan Wright, and Kyle Cheesebrough also added hits for the Cardinals.
In this the 11th year of the Super Regional format, Fullerton is advancing to Omaha for the seventh time to lead all schools in number of appearances. Miami, Stanford and Rice have made six trips but none is alive in 2009.