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Around the Horn: Out of this world|
Holden Sprague yielded eight hits and five runs in a less-than-stellar 3 1/3-inning effort. But considering the way Fresno State was hitting in Game 2, just gobbling up a few innings was huge for the Bulldogs' beleaguered pitching staff.
Griffin: Plucky Bulldogs continue to defy odds|
After surrendering a three-run lead in Game 1 and falling into a 5-0 hole early in Game 2, most teams would have thrown in the towel. But Fresno State's struggles early in the season taught the Bulldogs how to bounce back from adversity.
Around the Horn: Can the Bulldogs bounce back?|
Fresno State is no stranger to adversity. The Bulldogs haven't seen home in weeks and seemingly half the lineup is playing through pain. But can the Bulldogs recapture the magic and push the CWS finals to three games?
Kimmey: Burning College World Series finals questions|
With Fresno State advancing to the best-of-three CWS finals to face Georgia, there's a great chance college baseball could see its first (Bull)dog pile featuring a team with more than 23 losses.
Griffin: Beckham calls the shots in Game 1 of CWS finals|
After a quiet start to the CWS, Georgia's All-American shortstop, Gordon Beckham, exploded in Game 1 of the finals. His two-run blast in the eighth ignited a four-run rally that put the Dawgs in the driver's seat.
Around the Horn: Magic Men|
Fresno State third baseman Erik Wetzel expected big things from the Bulldogs. But even he must be surprised by his team's historic run through the NCAA tournament -- all the way to the College World Series finals.
McKeever: 'What a difference a year makes'|
As a player, Dave Perno was a member of Georgia's only national championship team. As a coach, he's led the Dawgs from a disappointing 2007 campaign to the College World Series finals.
McKeever: Positive reinforcement|
The biggest difference between last season's 23-33 Georgia squad and the CWS finals-bound Dawgs? Rich Poythress and his Georgia teammates have perfected the art of positive thinking.
Around the Horn: Flack Attack|
Chad Flack has come up big for North Carolina in the past. But there was perhaps no bigger stage than on Saturday night, when Flack hit a two-run home run to extend the Tar Heels' stay in Omaha.
Around the Horn: Senior Moment|
On Tuesday, Jared Bradford threw 106 pitches to help LSU eliminate Rice. Three days later, his 76-pitch effort in 5 2/3 innings kept LSU even with UNC. Bradford left it all on the mound and ended his career with two memorable performances.
McKeever: Aces of Bases|
Tim Federowicz's ninth-inning grand slam that gave Carolina a 7-3 lead may have been the play of the day. But you need to look to the mound, not the plate, if you want the real reason the Heels survived an elimination game against LSU.
Around the Horn: Miami's offense falters|
Miami had the most powerful and feared offense in the country all season long. But the Hurricanes offense faltered against some good Stanford pitching, ending the No. 1 overall seed's season.
McKeever: Pitching combo extends Stanford's season|
Stanford pitchers Danny Sandbrink and Erik Davis split the workload against Miami and stifled the Hurricanes' offense to keep the Cardinal's season alive.
McKeever: Miami runs out of steam|
It's not always the best team that wins the College World Series, as Miami learned the hard way. The No. 1-seeded Hurricanes' offense faltered at the wrong time against Stanford in their elimination game.
Around the Horn: The CWS wild card|
As the only No. 4 regional seed ever to advance to Omaha, Fresno is the darling of this field. Clearly, though, the Bulldogs are proving that they're more than just happy to be here.
McKeever: LSU is the Dean of comebacks|
After the Tigers' performance in the super regional round, it should come as no surprise that LSU has a dramatic streak. Tuesday's four-run rally in the ninth is just another comeback in a long history of LSU late rallies at the College World Series.
Around the Horn: Where the wild things are|
Georgia's Matt Cerione drove in the winning run with two outs in the seventh of Monday's winners' bracket game against Stanford. The Bulldogs' sophomore center fielder might have a concussion to credit for his outstanding CWS play.
McKeever: Miami gets out of a hairy situation|
Dennis Raben's mohawk is more good-luck charm than fashion statement. Since shaving his head, he has come up big when Miami needs him most -- including two big plays in the Canes' elimination game against archrival Florida State.
Around the Horn: White's Stripes|
North Carolina was the only favored team to win in the first two days of the College World Series. The Tar Heels can attribute part of their success to the maturation of starting pitcher Alex White.
Merrill: Big hearts, big bats propel Fresno State|
Fresno State, the first regional 4-seed to make the College World Series, continued its magical run with a rout of Rice on Sunday. Big bats -- and bigger hearts -- are the keys to the Bulldogs' success, writes Liz Merrill.
Around the Horn: Fields' Day|
Day 1 at the College World Series wasn't great for the ACC, as No. 1 seed Miami and No. 4 seed Florida State both fell in the ninth inning, to Georgia and Stanford, respectively.
Merrill: Cardinal play tricks on Florida State|
Florida State made a comeback in the eighth inning. But Stanford made a statement in the ninth. The Cardinal scored 11 runs to send the 4-seed Seminoles to the losers' bracket.
Merrill: Fresno State is crashing the CWS party|
Fresno State isn't college baseball royalty. But the Bulldogs are anything but afraid. The hardest part of their trip to Omaha -- the flight from Fresno -- is already over, writes Elizabeth Merrill.
Kimmey: Five burning College World Series questions|
Will the home run chase continue in Omaha? How much does momentum matter? And how did Fresno State get to Omaha? Will Kimmey answers five burning tournament questions.
Albright: Box finale becomes house of horrors for Irvine|
After playing host to one of the most improbable comebacks in LSU history Sunday night, Alex Box Stadium was retired in style Monday, as the Tigers ousted UC Irvine en route to their 14th College World Series.
Haller: Fresno State extends Cinderella streak|
Fresno State became the first regional No. 4 seed to advance to the College World Series on Monday, sending heavily-favored Arizona State home a week early.
Dinich: Balance key to Miami's success|
Miami has hit 100 home runs this season, but the Canes aren't just sluggers. They can steal. They can pitch. And they boast a sharp, instinctive defense -- all of which they'll need in Omaha, writes Heather Dinich.
Schlabach: Florida State survives Shockers, fans|
Florida State hasn't made a trip to Omaha since 2000. The Seminoles' latest attempt was nearly derailed by a pesky Wichita State team and a Steve Bartman-esque play -- but Florida State prevailed to advance to the College World Series.
Norwood: Stanford completes comeback, earns CWS trip|
Better pitching and defense -- and more predictably, good hitting -- helped Stanford turn it around after last year's abysmal 28-28 record and get back to being more like, well, Stanford.
Norwood: Coaching paves way for Fullerton's success|
Despite modest athletic budgets and playing in the shadow of Pac-10 powers, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine have thrived. What are the secrets to their success?
Schlabach: Dawgs rally to win Athens Regional|
After losing to NCAA tourney newbie Lipscomb, Ga., in true Bulldog form, strung together four straight wins to advance to the super regional round. It's par for the course, writes Mark Schlabach.
|2008 College World Series schedule|
Wednesday, June 18
Thursday, June 19
UNC 7, LSU 3 LSU is eliminated.
Sunday, June 22
Tuesday, June 24
Wednesday, June 25
College World Series Champion
|Fresno State Bulldogs|
Seed: Regional No. 4
CWS results: Defeated Rice, 17-5; Defeated UNC, 5-3; Lost to UNC, 4-3; Defeated UNC, 6-1; Lost to Georgia, 7-6; Defeated Georgia, 19-10; Defeated Georgia, 6-1
How they advanced: Won Long Beach Regional; won Tempe Super Regional
CWS appearances: 4 (1959, '88, '91, 2008)
NCAA championships: 1 (2008)
Eliminated College World Series Teams
|Florida State Seminoles|
Seed: No. 4 overall
CWS results: Lost to Stanford, 16-5; lost to Miami, 7-5
How they advanced: Won Tallahassee Regional; won Tallahassee Super Regional
CWS appearances: 19 (1957, '62, '63, '65, '70, '75, '80, '86, '97, '89, '91, '92, '94, '95, '96, '98, '99, 2000, '08)
NCAA championships: 0
Seed: No. 8 overall
CWS results: Defeated Miami, 7-4; Defeated Stanford, 4-3; Defeated Stanford, 10-8; Defeated Fresno State, 7-6; Lost to Fresno State, 19-10; Lost to Fresno State 6-1
How they advanced: Won Athens Regional; won Athens Super Regional
CWS appearances: 6 (1987, '90, 2001, '04, '06, '08)
NCAA championships: 1 (1990)
Seed: No. 1 regional
CWS results: Defeated Florida State, 16-5; lost to Georgia, 4-3; defeated Miami, 8-3; lost to Georgia, 10-8
How they advanced: Won Stanford Regional; won Fullerton Super Regional
CWS appearances: 16 (1953, '67, '82, '83, '85, '87, '88, '90, '95, '97, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03, '08)
NCAA championships: 2 (1987, '88)
Seed: No. 7 overall
CWS results: Lost to UNC, 8-4; defeated Rice, 6-5; lost to UNC, 7-4
How they advanced: Won Baton Rouge Regional; won Baton Rouge Super Regional
CWS appearances: 14 (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, '03, '04, '08)
NCAA championships: 5 (1991, '93. '96, '97, 2000)
Seed: No. 1 overall
CWS results: Lost to Georgia, 7-4; defeated Florida State 7-5; lost to Stanford, 8-3
How they advanced: Won Coral Gables Regional; won Coral Gables Super Regional
CWS appearances: 23 (1971, '74, '78, '79, '80, '81, '82, '84, '85, '86, '88, '89, '92, '94, '95, '97, '98, '99, 2001, '03, '04, '06, '08)
NCAA championships: 4 (1982, '85, '99, 2001)
|North Carolina Tar Heels|
Seed: No. 2 overall
CWS results: Defeated LSU, 8-4; lost to Fresno State, 5-3; defeated LSU, 7-4; defeated Fresno State, 4-3; lost to Fresno State, 6-1
How they advanced: Won Cary Regional; won Cary Super Regional
CWS appearances: 7 (1960, '66, '78, '89, 2006, '07, '08)
NCAA championships: 0
Seed: No. 6 overall
CWS results: Lost to Fresno State, 17-5; lost to Rice, 6-5
How they advanced: Won Houston Regional; won Houston Super Regional
CWS appearances: 7 (1997, '99, 2002, '03, '06, '07, '08)
NCAA championships: 1 (2003)
• Preview packet PDF
• Team-by-team capsules
• Saturday's key players
• College World Series podcasts
• BA's POY: Buster Posey
• BA's All-American Team
|2004||Cal State Fullerton|