June 18, 2006
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -Pinch-hitter Cory Vanderhook’s go-ahead, two-run single keyed Cal State Fullerton’s ninth-inning comeback as the Titans eliminated Georgia Tech with a 7-5 victory at the College World Series on Sunday.
With Georgia Tech leading 5-4 and an out away from sending Cal State Fullerton home, Blake Davis singled, Brett Pill doubled and Danny Dorn was intentionally walked by closer Matt Wieters.
Vanderhook, the nephew of Titans third-base coach Rick Vanderhook, came up as a pinch hitter and slapped Wieters’ first pitch up the middle. Shortstop Michael Fisher couldn’t handle the slow-bouncing ball, which took a bad bounce and rolled away from him as two runs scored and sent the exuberant Titans out of their dugout in celebration.
Brandon Tripp followed with an RBI single that fell in front of left fielder Jeff Kindel, making it 7-5.
Ryan Paul (3-1), who came in with two outs in the eighth, got three more outs for the victory on a steamy 92-degree day at Rosenblatt Stadium, with fans blowing wisps of water in the dugouts, and many in the crowd fanning themselves with game programs to stay cool.
Wieters (1-3), who started the game at catcher, allowed three runs and four hits in 1 1-3 innings for Georgia Tech. It was the second time in the College World Series that the Yellow Jackets blew a late lead. They gave up eight eighth-inning runs in an 8-4 loss to Clemson on Friday.
Wieters hit a questionable go-ahead homer in the seventh, lining Dustin Miller’s first pitch of the inning to left. Dorn went back to the wall and leaped, but a shirtless fan snatched the ball with his bare hands before the left fielder could make the play.
The umpires ruled the hit a home run, and Cal State Fullerton coach George Horton didn’t dispute the call. Television replays were inconclusive as to whether 17-year-old Jason Schmidt of Mitchell, S.D. prevented Dorn from making the play.
The Yellow Jackets scored three times in the first to take an early lead against Miller. Wally Crancer drew a one-out walk and scored after consecutive singles by Wieters and Kindel. Whit Robbins followed with a sacrifice fly, and after a walk to Luke Murton, Wes Hodges singled up the middle to give Georgia Tech a 3-0 lead.
Georgia Tech made it 4-0 in the third when first baseman Pill mishandled Michael Fisher’s grounder with the bases loaded, allowing Kindel to score.
Cal State Fullerton closed the gap in the fourth. Davis reached on a leadoff infield single, moved to third on Pill’s bad-hop single that second baseman Mike Trapani couldn’t handle and scored when Dorn hit into a double play.
Justin Turner’s two-out RBI single in the fifth made it 4-2.
The Titans tied it in the sixth on Brandon Tripp’s RBI triple off the 408-feet sign in dead-center, and Clark Hardman’s liner down the third-base line.
Wieters became the first person to pitch and play catcher in a College World Series game since The Citadel’s Gettys Glaze, on June 4, 1990 – also against Cal State Fullerton.