Cal State-Fullerton 8, Miami 1
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Ron Fraser’s 30 years as baseball coach at Miami ended one game short of a third NCAA title, partly because his team couldn’t figure out how to pitch to Cal State-Fullerton’s Phil Nevin.
Nevin, the college player of the year, had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs to lead the fourth-seeded Titans to a 8-1 victory over Fraser’s top- ranked Hurricanes in a soggy semifinal of the College World Series on Friday.
A steady rain began falling in the fifth, causing one 22-minute delay and a slick field thereafter.
The Titans (46-16) earned a berth in Saturday’s title game against seventh- seeded Pepperdine (47-11-1), which won the West Division with three straight wins. The title contest will mark the first time in the 46-year history of the CWS that two teams from the same state will play for the championship.
Fraser’s run for a third national title in his final season came up one game short. Miami ended with a 55-10 record, and Fraser now can concentrate on his duties as coach for the U.S. Olympic team.
Fullerton, under coach Augie Garrido, won titles in its only two finals in 1979 and 1984. It is Pepperdine’s first trip to the title game in two CWS appearances.
Just as in Wednesday’s 7-5 win over Miami, Fullerton jumped on top early with Jason Moler’s RBI single in the first against Jeff Alkire (14-3). Defensive miscues and Nevin’s bat helped cost the Hurricanes two runs in the third and fifth innings.
In the third, a hit batsman, Jeremy Carr’s single and a walk with none out loaded the basesa. One run scored as Nevin grounded out to short and a second came home when Miami shortstop Luis Hernandez’s throw to first went into the Hurricanes’ dugout.
Nevin, picked No. 1 overall by Houston in the major league draft, doubled in the fifth and scored on an infield error. Steve Sisco, who reached on the error, later scored on catcher Charles Johnson’s throwing error.
Nevin got his second RBI when he followed Chris Powell’s leadoff single in the sixth with a line-drive double to the fence in left-center. Carr singled home another run in the seventh and Tony Banks added an RBI double in the eighth.
James Popoff (13-3) scattered seven hits and allowed Miami’s only run when Kevin DiGiacomo singled home Johnathen Smith in the seventh. Popoff took the 4-3 loss in the teams’ first meeting on Sunday, then got the save in Wednesday’s 7-5 win.