Fresno State Bulldogs Win College World Series Baseball National Championship
NCAA Baseball, Georgia Bulldogs

Most Unlikely Champion In The History Of College Sports

6/26/08 in NCAA Baseball   |   CriticalFanatic   |   respect



I'm often prone to hyperbole, but the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team really is the most unlikely national champion in the history of college sports.

Fresno State figured to be a decent team this season, projected into the late top 25 by some polls, but they started the year losing 12 of their first 20 games. The Bulldogs were 33-27 after the regular season, needing to obviously win the Western Athletic Conference Tournament to get into the college baseball postseason tournament.

The rest is, well, history. Fresno State tied USC's '98 squad for the most runs scored in a single College World Series with 62. FSU breezed through solid teams like San Diego and Arizona State in the early rounds, and then survived annual CWS participants Rice and North Carolina.

Since this isn't basketball or football, most of you are likely to just pass over this news. Let's put this in perspective: Fresno State is the lowest seeded team to EVER win a national championship in the history of college athletics. Let that one soak for a minute. One more time... Fresno State is the lowest seeded team to win it all in the history of NCAA postseason play. This is the equivalent of roughly a 14 seed going all the way during March Madness. Perhaps if George Mason won it all a few years ago, that would have been on par, but remember, this was barely a .500 team after the regular season.

What's been so impressive in watching some of these games is that a great deal of the Bulldogs top players are injured. Not sitting on the bench, however, still playing through broken bones, torn ligaments, you name it.

Right fielder Steve Detwiler played with a torn ligament in his left hand, but that didn't stop him from hitting two home runs in tonight's finale. Third baseman Tommy Mendonca has two dislocated fingers on his throwing hand, but was named CWS most outstanding player, tallying up four home runs and 11 RBI's, but those offensive stats were no match for his defense. Seriously, have you seen some of the plays he made this week. He's been on Web Gems more the last few weeks than Omar Vizquel in his prime.

Awesome story and truly the Most.Unlikely.Champion.Ever.

Fresno State 6, Georgia 1

Fresno State Baseball Wins College World Series Celebration
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

6/30/08   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

Metal bats need to be thrown away in CB. But Fresno State winning it all is not the great underdog achievment or even close to it. It's baseball, any team can suddenly feel it and win. Any one can win the tourney. Its available for anyone. What are rankings? How do you determine those things in baseball? How significant has the rankings been in the past? Not very. So to use their seed is outright shenanigans. I applaud those boys for accomplishing a CWS title, good for them. But it's baseball. Different every game. Tim Kurkjian says it best about the LAD vs LAA game.

6/27/08   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

Beat_LA415 wrote:
I fail to understand how metal bats make the run these Dogs just completed any less impressive.  They won 6 elimination games all against Top 10 ranked teams.  They had to beat ASU twice in Tempe when the Devils had 3 home loses all season.  They knocked off a #2,#3,#6,#6 (both SD and Rice were ranked 6th when they played the dogs),#8 ranked team.   The MVP of the Championship game had a torn thumb, the MVP of the CWS had 4 dislocated fingers and they did it without their Ace on the mound.

Ok there feat was good, not even close to the best ever. When scores are 19-10 and its was a comeback and all you here that ping, its a bat that is designed to get hits and runs. Plus they cant use them in the next level. Most of these players have dreams of playing pro ball they shoud get use to it. Plus I feel the metal bats are a hazzard, but thats just me.

6/27/08   |   Beat_LA415

I fail to understand how metal bats make the run these Dogs just completed any less impressive.  They won 6 elimination games all against Top 10 ranked teams.  They had to beat ASU twice in Tempe when the Devils had 3 home loses all season.  They knocked off a #2,#3,#6,#6 (both SD and Rice were ranked 6th when they played the dogs),#8 ranked team.   The MVP of the Championship game had a torn thumb, the MVP of the CWS had 4 dislocated fingers and they did it without their Ace on the mound.

6/26/08   |   danny_n94   |   114 respect

Anybody can pull of this feat with aluminum bats. Thats a joke to hear ping! I don't care until they get rid of the metal bats this college sport is a joke

6/26/08   |   Reef PIE   |   1 respect

Congrats Fresno State.......hopefully next year Compton State will win it all

6/26/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

It's amazing all of the excitement that can happen in college sports when all of the top teams get to play each other to decide the champion.  Good thing all college sports are like that....oh wait

6/26/08   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Well this tops Pepperdine beating Cal State Fullerton in 1992.

 

Stupid Waves and stupid Eric Ekdahl.

6/26/08   |   RunningDawg   |   248 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
So, in other words, even though Fresno St. wasn't good during the regular season, they would have subconsciously known they were good and could beat teams that they got killed by in the regular season. But they just waited until the postseason for some reason to finally capitalize on their subconscious superiority.

You may have an easier time finding a more unlikely national champion in NCAA history than convincing anyone of that argument.
(Edited by RunningDawg)

Fresno put together a fantastic run through the tournament, say what you will that is a great accomplishment that could only happen with teamwork and a chemistry that was fun to watch.  Last night the Freshman shortstop makes an error, and you see the Junior pitcher laugh and say something like "shake it off, no problem" and goes on to pitch a real gem!  That short stop make the plays the rest of the way, that was fun to see.  Real teammates caring about each other pulling for a common goal.

 

They might have had a tough regular season, but they all pulled it together and beat the best teams along the way to a championship!

6/26/08   |   RunningDawg   |   248 respect

My boys and I went over to Omaha and caught the second UNC Fresno game. but they had their own games on Monday through last night.  Fresno was very impressive with their enthusiasm and heart.

 

It was the greatest show on dirt!

6/26/08   |   Puma170

As a fan of college baseball, I am both happy for Fresno and the sport itself. Stories like this will bring attention to the sport and help in general for people to realize that this is something worth watching.

6/26/08   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

Don't make it into the tournament without winning their conference tournament, stave off elimination 5 times during the NCAA tournament and defeat a few national seeds along the way.  How is this not the most unlikely champion in history? 

A 4 seed in the tourney loses the first game of the regional against the 1 seed which can be a national seed, which they did, and then either loses the next day or the day after.  They never make it past the regional. 

I am usually the one that is the hater, but not this time.  Well earned and well deserved.  Fresno did not back down and showed no intimidation.  Quit hating and start appreciating what you watched last night.  A hell of pitching performance in a tourney filled with offense and a one man offensive show(with one good thumb).

6/26/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

wrote:
No, it suggests that is what a layman would believe.  Nobody but those inside that locker room, and possibly not even them, knew what they were capable of.  My main point stands, I just fail to see how this can be considered the un-likeliest Champion in the 100+ year history of the countless sports in NCAA.

So, in other words, even though Fresno St. wasn't good during the regular season, they would have subconsciously known they were good and could beat teams that they got killed by in the regular season. But they just waited until the postseason for some reason to finally capitalize on their subconscious superiority.

You may have an easier time finding a more unlikely national champion in NCAA history than convincing anyone of that argument.

6/26/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

wrote:
Again, I realize the past dominance of the teams, and again the inferior opponents Fresno played in the regular season, and the fact they had never shown this promise before, but I'm not sure they wouldn't have thrown the same beatdowns in the regular season against the same teams.

What you just wrote seems to suggest Fresno would never have beaten teams as good as UNC, Rice, and ASU in the regular season.

6/26/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

wrote:
I realize it was in an inferior Conference, and they were undeniable underdogs, but I fail to see how a team that won more regular season games than their supposed Goliath opponent can be considered anywhere close to the least likely Champion ever.  Not even in just baseball.

It's less about playing Georgia, actually. It's more about how they beat Rice and UNC. Also that they beat ASU in the super regional. ASU was probably even better than Rice, if you go by national rankings.

It's the fact that they continuously mowed down vastly superior opponents this postseason. Georgia wasn't even anywhere close to some of the mega powers they knocked off.

6/26/08   |   RichmondSpider

Congrats Fresno - you earned it!

6/26/08   |   Beat_LA415

Unbelievable.  Thats all I can say.