Fresno State Hangs On to Eliminate San Diego, 9-8

Box Score

June 4, 2006

FULLERTON, CA - Fresno State's Kent Sakamoto homered twice and drove in six while Brandon Burke earned his second save of the NCAA Regionals, stranding the tying run at second base in the ninth as the second-seeded Bulldogs held on to eliminate third-seeded San Diego, 9-8, on Sunday night at Goodwin Field.

The Bulldogs (45-17) advance to meet top-seeded Cal State Fullerton for the right to advance to the super regional round, needing to defeat the unbeaten Titans twice in order to move on.

San Diego finishes its season 33-25 overall.

Sakamoto's first home run broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning and his second of the game one inning later upped Fresno State's advantage to 9-2 after four complete. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate on the night.

The Toreros, who outhit the Bulldogs 15-9, battled back with a pair of runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring balk and two more in the sixth on a double by Kevin Hansen and an RBI single by Josh Romanski to make it 9-6.

Single runs in the seventh and eighth innings brought USD to within a run, but the Toreros left the winning runs on base in two of the final three innings and stranded 13 for the game.

Burke pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for his sixth save of the year, allowing just one hit - a bloop double in the ninth - and striking out two. Andy Underwood (12-3) earned the win for FSU, allowing six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work.

Matt Couch (7-5) suffered the loss, allowing nine runs (five earned) on eight hits in four innings.

Six different Toreros had multiple hits on the night as Romanski and Daniel Magness each had three hits to lead San Diego.