It was a good day followed by a wild night in Bulldog Nation, as my efforts to comply with an established superstition with a proven track record of success here at Dawg Sports met with more than a few roadblocks.
Tradition now requires that I post a preview of the Diamond Dogs’ next College World Series opponent at a predetermined time on the night before the game, but, at the time I sat down to write this preview, I had no way of knowing whether Fresno State or North Carolina would be Georgia’s opponent in the finals, as the deciding game was not scheduled to begin until 7:00 on Sunday evening.
Accordingly, I took the same approach that Alex P. Keaton adopted when choosing a date to the senior prom and prepared a preview of both teams, with the expectation that the game would not end until after the time had passed for me to post my last-minute look at an opponent to be named later.
Naturally, I found myself late in the game shortly before my deadline, not knowing whether it would be over by the appointed hour . . . and, to make matters worse, a thunderstorm in the area interfered with my satellite reception, forcing me to follow the contest on-line.
So, with all that borne in mind, here is what we know about Fresno State, which recorded the final out of the ninth frame only moments ago. Naturally, all stats go through Saturday night’s game rather than tonight’s.
The Golden State Bulldogs represent the "feel good" story of the baseball season, inasmuch as no one expected Fresno State to be in Omaha, much less in the finals of the College World Series. As of Saturday evening, three F.S.U. regulars (Danny Muno, Steve Susdorf, and Erik Wetzel) had ten or more stolen bases this season, but the star of the show offensively was Alan Ahmady, who led the team in batting average (.388), runs batted in (89), and slugging percentage (.594).
Although four West Coast Bulldogs came into Sunday’s contest having drawn more than 33 walks, eight already had notched more than 38 strikeouts, including Ahmady and Wetzel with 39 apiece, Trent Soares with 40, Muno and Susdorf with 45 each, Gavin Hedstrom with 50, Steve Detwiler with 60, and Tommy Mendonca with a whopping 95.
The Fresno State pitching staff features Tanner Scheppers, who leads the team in earned run average (2.93), wins (8), strikeouts (109), and batting average allowed (.202), but the F.S.U. ace is prevented from pitching by injury. The Golden State Bulldogs, who have adopted the "Wonderdogs" nickname we in the Peach State associate with the 1978 Georgia football team, arrived at this juncture by winning the regional in Long Beach, Calif., and the super regional in Tempe, Ariz. F.S.U. carried an 8-4 ledger at neutral-site games into Sunday evening’s showdown at Rosenblatt Stadium.
I regret that this was the best that I was able to do under the circumstances, but superstition has been served; may victory ensue.