Cal State Fullerton freshman right-hander Dustin Miller allowed just one
run through eight innings of work and senior Jason Corapci was 2-for-4
with a pair of RBI as the Titans advanced to the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals
with an 8-1 victory over Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton improved to 46-13 overall and will meet Arizona State in a best-of-three
series next weekend. Site and game times for the super regionals will
be announced on Monday (June 2). Notre Dame finishes its season 45-18
Miller (8-2) struck out 10 Irish players and scattered nine hits on the
afternoon without walking a batter. He was treated to a standing ovation
as he left the game in the ninth inning in favor of Sean Martin who, after
a leadoff single by Kris Billmaier, struckout pinch hitter Tim Murray
and induced Greg Lopez to line into a double play to close out the Titans'
Peter Ogilvie (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs on nine
hits in just 2 2/3 innings. Three Notre Dame relievers combined to hold
the Titans to just a run on three hits the rest of the way, but the damage
had been done.
Fullerton got on the board quickly, scoring two runs each in the first
and second innings before putting up three runs in the third. Justin Turner
had an RBI double in the first and David Fischer had an RBI fielder's
choice in the first for the 2-0 lead.
The Titans tacked on two more runs in the second on an RBI single by Corapci
and a Notre Dame error, scoring Kurt Suzuki from third to make it 4-0.
Cal State Fullerton increased its lead to 7-0 in the third on RBI's from
Corapci and Danny Dorn and another Irish error.
Notre Dame finally broke through against Miller in the seventh as freshman
Cody Rizzo doubled down the left field line and came home on a run-scoring
fielder's choice by catcher Javi Sanchez.
The Titans got a run back in the eighth as Corapci led off with a walk,
moved to second on a sacrifice, stole third and scored on Justin Turner's
RBI single to center to cap the scoring at 8-1.
Turner, Dorn and P.J. Pilittere each finished with a pair of hits while
Turner also added a pair of RBI. Steve Sollmann was 3-for-4 to lead Notre
Dame's offense, which banged out 10 hits on the day.
QUOTES Coach Paul Maineri (Notre Dame Head
Coach)…. “I would first off like to congratulate Cal State Fullerton
on winning the regional championship. This was an excellent team both
on the field and in the dugout. Coach Horton is one of the best coaches
in the nation in my opinion and their pitching staff is phenomenal. I
have to tip my hat to Fullerton because they are a great champion and
they have an excellent chance to win it all.”
Coach George Horton (Cal State Fullerton Head Coach)…. “I think that winning the regional in three games is a
little bit of a relief and I am happy with the way that our team played
these past three days. We played great baseball all weekend and our pitching
was amazing. Dustin (Miller), (Ryan) Schreppel, and (Jason) Windsor were
the keys that help turn the motor, but defense and little ball helped
us win all three games. Our main focus for this next week will be getting
ready for next weekend and the mighty bats of Arizona State.”
Talking about hosting the Super Regional…
“I think that we deserve to host the Super Regional, but in 1999
we were one of the top 8 teams in the country and went to South Bend and
swept the regional there and then had to travel away from home for the
next round. Even though I think that we deserve the chance to host, the
ultimate decision is left up to the committee.”
Dustin Miller (Cal State Fullerton Starting Pitcher)…. “My best pitch all day was my changeup and I think that
I threw it for a strike at least 90% of the time. I was able to mix in
my fastball and curve in order to fool the hitters, but it was mainly
my change that took me through this game. I felt good enough to finish
out the game, but it is always the decision of the pitching coaches whether
or not I will hand the ball over to someone else for the final outs.”
Jason Corapci (Cal State Fullerton Starting Second Baseman)…. “This has been a tough year for me personally, but I wanted
to go out there everyday and prove to myself and everyone else that I
deserved to be on the field in clutch situations. I think that next weekend
will be fun to play, but as I have told everyone all year, good hitting
along with good defense will always win over good pitching.”