June 10, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Junior right-hander Lauren Gagnier tossed 7 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball and senior Danny Dorn finished 2-for-5 with four RBI as Cal State Fullerton punched its ticket to its 14th College World Series thanks to a 9-1 victory over Missouri on Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans won their 12th consecutive game in improving to 48-13 overall, clinching their fifth super regional title since the format began in 1999. Fullerton Head Coach George Horton also reached a milestone with the victory, earning his 450th career win in his 10th season at the helm of the Titans' program.
The Tigers finished the year 35-27 overall.
Gagnier (14-4) won his fourth consecutive start by befuddling the Missouri bats the entire night, retiring 11 in a row at one point and carrying the no-hit bid into the eighth until it was broken up by J.C. Field's fourth home run of the season to left centerfield with the game well out of reach.
After Evan Frey reached on a single, Gagnier closed out the eighth by getting Derek Chambers to pop out and end the inning. Ryan Paul allowed a lead off single in the ninth, but struck out two of the final three batters to close out the game.
Gagnier tied his career high of eight innings set twice this season while giving up just the one run on two hits and striking out nine.
Nathan Culp (11-6) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits with striking out four in 6 2/3 innings of work.
Fullerton's offense went to work right away against Culp as senior Justin Turner led off by reaching on an error and moved to third on Brett Pill's single to right. Both came around to score on senior Danny Dorn's double to right to make it 2-0.
Two batters later, Jared Clark made it 3-0 as he singled to right, driving home Dorn.
Cory Vanderhook kept the offense rolling in the fourth as his squeeze bunt plated Bryan Harris, who doubled, for the 4-0 advantage. The Titans would add another on an error in the fifth and cap the scoring with a four-run seventh thanks to RBI hits by Blake Davis, Dorn, and pinch-hitter David Cooper.
Pill and Clark both joined Dorn in the two-hit club on the night with six other players notched hits for the Titans, who banged out 12 for the game.
Cal State Fullerton opens play at the College World Series on Friday (June 16) against North Carolina, which swept host and No. 4 national seed Alabama at the Tuscaloosa super regional, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, NE. Game time is to be announced.
Missouri Head Coach Tim Jamieson: "It was a tough way to end the season. We are still grateful and excited to be here. It's the farthest we've gone in 42 years and that's what we'll take with us from this week. The memories will be positive and those who have been following us this year know we have come a long way in the past eight weeks."
"Hopefully we put on a good show and we can make this a common routine."
(On the season) "At one point in the season we didn't even think we could make the conference tournament. Then to get in and play as well as we did, and to see them enjoy winning the regional tournament, that was a great feeling. We would have liked to have the opportunity here, but unfortunately that didn't happen."
Catcher J.C. Field: (On Gagnier's performance) "He was definitely throwing in and out and was able to expand the zone when needed. He pitched a great game. He definitely was not running out of gas. He did a great job and I tip my cap off to him."
"No one is 100 percent right now. You are running on adrenaline at this time. Our main goal was to get to Omaha, which is any team's goal at the beginning of the year. There are different levels of success, and in my opinion it was a successful year."
Pitcher Nathan Culp:"We had a few tough breaks and a few errors that were tough plays to begin with, including balls lost in the air. When that happens, it's just tough to handle."
Fullerton Head Coach George Horton: "I feel very fortunate to be making another trip to Omaha. It's a wide open field, whatever eight teams show up. I feel good about the club we're taking in there. We may
miss Vinnie Pestano a little. But Ryan Paul is doing a pretty good job of it (closer). I think we will play in character. We've an experienced team."
(re Gagnier no-hit bid): "I wasn't going to take him out. I felt like we had enough runs to turn it over to the bullpen. But I would have been a dead man if I took him out. He's a horse."
(on LSU rumors): "I'm not going anywhere. Cal State Fullerton is stuck with me for at least three more years. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to Omaha."
Pitcher Lauren Gagnier: "I knew about it (no-hit bid) in the third or fourth inning. I was more worried aboiut zeroes in the runs column so we could get to Omaha. They started ignoring me in the dugout about the sixth inning. It was smart to take me out of the game. I'm not that selfish.
"In 2004 I just warmed up in the bullpen a few times. I didn't get to go out on the mound. I'm looking forward to contributing on the mound this time."
Second baseman Justin Turner: "This is the reason both of us (Dorn) came back. To get back to Omaha. We had a bitter taste in our mouths after Arizona State last year.
(about the standing ovation): "That was really special. It was really tough to bat. Our fans are awesome... all four years."
Outfielder Danny Dorn: "It was really special. I got chills in the dugout when they cheered for Justin. It's been a lot of fun playing here and I'm looking forward to ending my career in Omaha."