FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Washington scored twice in the bottom of the 10th inning to come from behind and defeat Cal State Fullerton 6-5 on Sunday night to win the deciding game three of the super regional and advance to the College World Series.
The Huskies (35-24) reached their first CWS in school history, a program that began in 1901. Fullerton fell short of reaching its 19th CWS.
Trailing 5-4, Joe Wainhouse walked to lead off the bottom of the 10 and Jack Johnson came on to pinch run. Levi Jordan reached first when Titans reliever Brett Conine fielded Jordan’s bunt but his throw to first was wide and sailed into right field. Johnson advanced to third on the play.
AJ Graffanino then singled to short. Johnson scored on the play to tie the game at 5-5. Willie MacIver then hit a ball to short that Sahid Valenzuela couldn’t handle loading the bases.
Kaiser Weiss then hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Jordan — the winning run.
“I really wasn’t nervous,” Weiss said. “I went up there swinging and I knew I had to square it up and put it in play.”
Huskies coach Lindsay Meggs said he knew it was going to be a tight game.
“Image having something taken from the palm of your hand twice in a half hour,” Meggs said, referring Fullerton’s comebacks. “We had two outs in the 10th and the ball goes over the fence. A lot team may have folded but our guys were up on the railing encouraging each other, you can’t ask for a better attitude than that. This has been a work in process.”
Alex Hardy (5-2) got the win and Conine (4-2) took the loss.
The Titans (36-25) erupted for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 4-3 lead but the Huskies tied the score at 4-all on a one-out RBI single by Jonathan Schiffer in the bottom of the ninth.
Washington junior right hander Joe DeMers was pitching a one-hit gem until the ninth inning when he gave up four hits and three runs.
“I was little tired and wasn’t throwing as hard as I was earlier and they got a few hits in the ninth,” DeMers said. “I tried to treat it like a regular game but it’s something special to be going to Omaha.”
DeMers retired the first 18 Fullerton batters he faced. He induced 11 groundouts, struck out three and only allowed two balls to be hit to the outfield over the first six innings.
Hank LaForte notched the Titans’ only hit to that point when he led off the seventh inning with a double to right.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after Nick Kahle belted his 6th homer of the season over the left field wall to lead off the inning.
MacIver upped Washington’s lead to 2-0 after he blasted his third HR of the season to left to lead off the fifth inning.
Jordan’s two-out RBI single in the sixth inning gave Washington a 3-0 lead.
LoForte doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-1 in the seventh. He homered with two outs in the 10th to give the Titans a 5-4 lead.
Washington has won 10 its last 12 games.
“It was heavy weigh fight,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. “In the 10th they put down a bunt and we didn’t execute. Then they hit two more groundballs and we didn’t execute. It was a good ball game. From where we started the season, and then to get to within one win of going to the College World series, I’m really proud of these guys.”