Steve Detwiler and Fresno State: "Underdogs to Wonderdogs"

Greg Howe@@gmhowe87Correspondent IJune 26, 2008

The Fresno State Bulldogs overcame all odds and won the College Baseball World Series.

Not only was this the first National Title for the Fresno State baseball team, it was the first National Title won by any men’s team in any sport at Fresno State.

This team had to win its conference tourney, Western Athletic Conference, just to make the CWS.

If they didn’t do that, then they would have been sitting at home watching the games on TV.

The Bulldogs entered the tournament as a No. 4 seed—which is equivalent to a No. 15 or 16 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament—in the Long Beach regional.

Its RPI, 89, suggested that they would be an easy first-round opponent for anyone.

Instead, Fresno State went on to become the first No. 4 seed ever to make the College World Series, let alone win the whole thing.

This team not only overcame six elimination games, but they also stunned four national seeds (No. 3 Arizona State in the Super Regionals, No. 6 Rice, and No. 2 North Carolina to reach the CWS finals) on their way to the title.  

This was a team who started 8-12, yet last night, they became the No. 1 team in the nation.

One of the best stories on this team is outfielder Steve Detwiler.

This guy left everything on the field. He was in the middle of a huge slump coming into the championship series—4-for-39 in the NCAA tournament—but in the end, he became the hero.

In the championship series, Detwiler carried his team.

He set CWS records for home runs (four), RBI (11), and hits. He also made a few great plays out in right field, including catching the final out of the game.

He belted two home runs and drove in all six runs for the Bulldogs in the championship game.

Oh yeah, did I mention that he did all of this with a torn tendon in his thumb?

It isn’t just any torn tendon. The tendon is completely gone. Doctors have to go take part of a tendon from somewhere else and put that into his thumb. Imagine the pain!

Detwiler summed it up the best when he said, “It's mind over matter. It's just a little pain. The pain is temporary. Pride is forever.”

This team just kept surprising everyone except themselves. They played like a true team and got contributions from a different player every night.

They overcame everything that was thrown at them and they are now National Champions.

Congratulations to the Fresno State Bulldogs for playing the game the way that it is supposed to be played and for coming out on top. No one deserves it more.

Information from the Associated Press and Espn.com was used in this article.


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