Fullerton State 11, Tennessee 1
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Fullerton State’s Mark Kotsay went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and Jon Ward allowed four hits in seven innings to lead the top-seeded Titans over No. 5 Tennessee 11-1 Monday in the Bracket Two winners’ final at the College World Series.
Kotsay, who hit a grand slam, won the battle of Collegiate Baseball’s co-players of the year. Tennessee’s Todd Helton, the other co-player, was 0-for-3 against Ward (10-3), who walked four and struck out four.
The win gives Fullerton (55-9) a few days off. The Titans will play Thursday against the survivor of Tuesday’s loser bracket final. Tennessee (53-15) falls to the elimination bracket to face the winner of Monday night’s Stanford-Clemson game.
Fullerton State, riding a 15-game winning streak, jumped on Tennessee All-America pitcher R.A. Dickey early. Jeremy Giambi hit a sacrifice fly in the first, and Joe Fraser, D.C. Olsen and Tony Martinez opened the second with singles to make it 2-0.
Tony Miranda hit an RBI single for the best-hitting team in the CWS field, and C.J. Ankrum’s grounder to third was bobbled by Scott Vieira to load the bases for Kotsay. He belted Dickey’s pitch over the left-center-field fence for his third grand slam of the season and 19th homer.
Giambi singled in another run in the fourth for an 8-1 lead.
The only run Ward allowed was in the first when Matt Whitley walked, stole second, went to third when the throw went into the outfield and scored on Helton’s groundout.
Fullerton made it 11-1 in the seventh when Kotsay led off with a single and Fraser hit his seventh homer of the year. Olsen followed two pitches later with his 14th homer to chase Dickey (14-4), who allowed 15 hits and 10 earned runs.