Baldwin alumnus Kurt Suzuki knocked in the go-ahead run for Cal State Fullerton yesterday...

Kurt Klutch, indeed!

Baldwin alum Kurt Suzuki comes
through with the game-winning hit
as Cal State Fullerton wins
the College World Series

OMAHA, Neb. » After struggling at the start of the season, Cal State Fullerton ended it in championship style.

Jason Windsor pitched a five-hitter, Kurt Suzuki's RBI single capped a three-run seventh inning and Cal State Fullerton won the College World Series with a 3-2 victory over Texas yesterday.

The Titans (47-22) won the best-of-three championship series 2-0 -- a surprising end to a season they started 15-16. The 22 losses are the most by a national champion since Stanford had 23 in 1988.

"I'm in shock. I'm in awe," Fullerton coach George Horton said. "These guys I've been honored to coach have kept surprising me and surprising me and surprising me. This is the greatest turnaround in Cal State Fullerton history."

Fullerton also won national titles in 1979, 1984 and 1995 -- all under current Texas coach Augie Garrido.

"It makes it even more special to accomplish this competing against your mentor and against someone who laid such a strong foundation for Cal State Fullerton," Horton said.

The Longhorns (58-15), the top seed in the field, had moved through the tournament with a string of lopsided victories that made them the prohibitive favorite against Cal State Fullerton.

"It appeared by the way we were playing that we were the best team and would win this tournament, which makes it even harder for the players to understand or accept," Garrido said. "We did our best. They did better."

Windsor (13-4) was strong in throwing his second complete game of the CWS. He struck out 10 and walked one.

Windsor shut out South Carolina on a three-hitter in the Titans' opener, and he pitched three innings of shutout relief Thursday in another win over the Gamecocks.

...and then celebrated with his Titans teammates once the College World Series title was clinched with a 3-2 win over Texas.

In 21 innings, Windsor gave up 11 hits and two runs, struck out 29 and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," Windsor said of his performances. "It will take a few days and some relaxation. I look at it on paper and it looks great and sometimes I don't believe it's me."

Windsor, a senior right-hander, finished the season with 12 straight wins and nine complete games after losing four of his first five starts.

"His numbers are mind-boggling," Horton said. "You can't do it any better than that. The thing I was worried about was whether we would go to the well too many times using Jason."

Garrido said Fullerton did a good job of capitalizing on its opportunities in the seventh inning.

Suzuki, a former Baldwin High standout from Wailuku, lined a two-out single into left field, scoring Ronnie Prettyman from second for the go-ahead run. Suzuki had been 2-for-20 in the College World Series before his big hit.

"I just didn't press," Suzuki said. "Every time I got out, Coach Horton stayed positive with me. I came up that last at-bat and said I want to be the man."

Fullerton, held to five hits over the first 6 1/3 innings, broke through after Texas starter Sam LeCure was relieved by Buck Cody (1-2) with the Longhorns leading 2-0.

Pinch hitter Brett Pill tripled in the seventh on Cody's first pitch, scoring Bobby Andrews to cut Texas' lead to 2-1.

"My teammates told me he throws a lot of fastballs in, and that's what he gave me," Pill said. "I was lucky enough to get a piece of it."

A wild pitch by Cody scored pinch runner Brandon Tripp with the tying run.

Prettyman reached on a throwing error by Texas shortstop Michael Hollimon, and later scored from second on Suzuki's hit off J. Brent Cox.

LeCure turned in a solid effort, holding the Titans to five hits and one run over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked none.

Cal State Fullerton baseball players piled on each other yesterday after winning the College World Series.

LeCure stayed in the game after getting hit on the right ankle by a hard comebacker by Justin Turner in the fifth inning. The ball ricocheted to third baseman David Maroul, who threw out Turner to end the inning. LeCure hopped back to the dugout, and a few minutes later was throwing in the bullpen.

"I thought that was too minor a thing to take me out of the game and hurt the team's chances," LeCure said. "I felt I would be able to continue to be successful. In the seventh inning, it was getting to me. It was tightening up."

But after LeCure left in the seventh, the Texas bullpen couldn't hold the lead and blew its third save opportunity of the Series.

Texas took a 2-0 lead against Windsor, who saw his scoreless-innings streak end at 27 2/3 innings.

Dooley Prince doubled leading off the game and Taylor Teagarden reached on a fielder's choice before Hunter Harris drove both in with a single to center.

Windsor, who hadn't given up a run in five appearances since June 4 against Minnesota, said the 34 pitches he required to get out of the inning did not take a toll.

"I wasn't too worried about the pitch count because of the pitches I have in my repertoire," Windsor said. "I'm capable of using one or two pitches and getting some quick innings."

During one stretch, Windsor retired 22 of 24 batters.

"He's unreal, the biggest competitor I've ever seen," Fullerton left fielder Danny Dorn said. "He's been doing it all year. He just puts up zeros."

Cal St. Fullerton 3, Texas 2

Texas AB R H BI Fullerton AB R H BI
Prince dh 4 1 1 0 Turner 2b 4 0 1 0
Johnston 2b 4 0 0 0 Hardman cf 4 0 1 0
Thigpen 1b 3 0 0 0 Suzuki c 4 0 1 1
Teagarden c 4 1 0 0 Dorn lf 4 0 0 0
Russ rf 3 0 2 0 Garcia dh 4 0 0 0
Harris lf 3 0 1 2 Pilittere 1b 4 0 1 0
Maroul 3b 4 0 1 0 Andrews rf 4 1 2 0
Stubbs cf 3 0 0 0 Walton ss 2 0 0 0
Hollimon ss 3 0 0 0 Pedroza ph 0 0 0 0

Pill ph 1 0 1 1

Tripp pr 0 1 0 0

Davis ss 0 0 0 0

Prettyman 3b 3 1 1 0
Totals 31 2 5 2 Totals 34 3 8 2
Texas 200 000 000 -- 2
Cal St.-Fullerton 000 000 30x -- 3

E--Thigpen, Maroul, Hollimon, Hardman. LOB--Texas 5, Cal St.-Fullerton 7. 2B--Prince. 3B--Pill. SB--Stubbs. S--Harris.

LeCure 6 1/3 5 1 1 0 5
Cody L, 1-2 0 1 2 1 0 0
Cox 1/3 2 0 0 0 1
Street 1 1/3 0 0 0 0 3
Cal St.-Fullerton IP H R ER BB SO
Windsor W, 13-4 9 5 2 2 1 10

Cody pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.
HBP--by Windsor (Thigpen). WP--Cody.
T--2:52. A--21,392.


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