Monday, June 23, 2008

All Bulldog Final

We are not one to gloat, but is there any question which Bulldog team we are rooting for? Our own home state was calling the BullDogs, California's 10th best team at one point, but now they are in the Championship series...the only west team standing, ready to enter into the granddaddy of all dog fights at the Blatt.

Fresno State got its chance at the College World Series championship round after Tommy Mendonca drove in four runs and Clayton Allison overcame a shoulder ailment to shut down North Carolina in a 6-1 victory Sunday night. Gutsy performances fueled by the gutsiest player of them all...third baseman Tommy Mondonca. Is there anyone in recent College World Series history that plays with more passion, intensity and toughness than this guy? What a gamer. If he has an injured throwing hand, what was this guy like when he was healthy? Mendonca did it all for the Bulldogs, playing airtight defense at third base and supplying the bulk of the team's offense. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and four RBIs.

Speaking of gutsy performances, Allison, a 6-foot-5 senior righthander, allowed just one run on six hits and three walks in his first CWS start after missing the first week with a biceps injury. Allison said in order to rehab his arm to the point he could pitch Sunday, he relied heavily upon electrode treatment from the team's trainers, prescription painkillers, and icing his shoulder six or seven times a day for the past 13 days.

As for his performance, Allison is a ground-ball pitcher, and he credited the stellar defense behind him with giving him the piece of mind to attack North Carolina's hitters without having to worry what would happen if the ball was put into play. Of course, he also missed plenty of bats with his split-finger, racking up six strikeouts in six innings.

The Bulldogs looked as loose and confident Sunday as they have since the start of the College World Series. Fresno simply wore down the Tar Heels in Sunday's rematch, a 6-1 Bulldogs victory that propelled them to the CWS Finals for the first time. Overall in the post season, Fresno State has beaten Florida State the nation's number two ranked team, the 3rd ranked Tarheels 3 times and Arizona State the number three ranked team twice. Anyone think that this team is an underdog? They never had any Mt. St Mary's or North Carolina Wilmington's on their road to the final....that proved to be a huge advantage. They'll face a good Georgia club in the best-of-three championship series starting Monday night. Good luck Bulldogs...the guys from the Golden State of course.

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