OMAHA, Neb. — Fresno State was smashing in its final performance as college baseball's team of destiny, winning a championship that would have been impossible to predict.
With Steve Detwiler providing all the offense Justin Wilson needed, the Bulldogs captured their first national championship in a men's sport with a 6-1 victory over Georgia in Game 3 of the College World Series finals Wednesday night.
Detwiler homered twice and drove in all six runs, and Wilson allowed five hits in eight innings.
Fresno State, located in California, was forecast to be a Top 25 team, but the Bulldogs lost 12 of their first 20 games. They needed to win the Western Athletic Conference tournament just to make the NCAA field of 64, fought off elimination in the regional and super regional, and became the first No. 4 regional seed to reach the CWS since the tournament expanded in 1999.
The Bulldogs finished 47-31 and the title was the second in school history. The softball team won a title in 1998.
Playing with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Detwiler hit a two-run homer in the second inning that barely cleared the rightfield fence.
There was no doubt about Detwiler's second blast, a high drive that landed three-quarters of the way up the stands in left. The three-run shot off Dean Weaver was Detwiler's third homer of the CWS and 12th of the season. He also had an RBI double in the fourth.
"It's mind over matter," Detwiler said, referring to his thumb. "It's just a little pain. The pain is temporary. Pride is forever."
A junior lefty, Wilson struck out nine, walked one and held Georgia to three singles and a triple in seven shutout innings.
"When you've got a wonderful defense behind you and your offense is outstanding, it can't get better than that," he said.
Detwiler caught a line drive in right to end the game, then tucked the ball into his back pocket and sprinted to join the celebration.
Mitchell High star commits to UF
Mitchell junior left-hander Patrick Schuster, who still hopes to drafted in 2009, announced his backup plan — he has committed to Florida.
Schuster, who tied a 51-year-old Pasco County record when he struck out 20 Gulf batters on April 15, said he chose the Gators over UCF, North Carolina and Texas, among others.
USF likely to lose 3 basketball signees
TAMPA — Point guard Dwan McMillan, who signed with USF in April, has not been cleared to attend summer classes at USF and likely won't play for the Bulls this season.
USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez has likely lost two signees as well. Twin guards Andrea and Andrell Smith of Lake Gibson, who have yet to post qualifying scores to meet NCAA initial eligibility, started classes at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City.
UCONN: Geno Auriemma signed a five-year, 8-million extension that will keep the women's basketball coach with Connecticut through 2013, the university announced.
SEC: Former Tennessee basketball player Candace Parker, who led the Vols to back-to-back national titles and now plays for the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA, was named the SEC female athlete of the year in a vote of athletic directors.
Times staff writers Joey Knight and Greg Auman contributed to this report.