Five years ago on this day, the Fresno State Bulldogs entrenched themselves within the timelessness of history.
The Bulldogs captured the 2008 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship – blasting through an unforeseen and improbable run in their first College World Series appearance since 1991.
They did it after dropping 12 of their first 20 games of the regular season.
They did it as the lowest seed in CWS history to ever hoist the championship trophy.
Fresno State – a blip on college baseball’s radar for most of the 2008 season – turned heads and perceptions after its late regular-season and postseason play.
The Bulldogs, under coach Mike Batesole, won their first game in the CWS 17-6 against Rice and beat North Carolina 5-3 and 6-1 to advance to the championship series against Georgia, ranked No. 8 nationally.
On Monday, June 23, 2008, the Bulldogs lost the opening game of the best-of-three series 7-6 – a close loss that saw Georgia score four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
But the last two games solidified the nickname bestowed upon the 2008 Bulldogs – the “Wonderdogs” – and give Fresno State its first-ever baseball national title.
The “Wonderdogs” won Game 2 the following day 10-19.
On June 25, 2008, Fresno State held Georgia scoreless through the last three innings, and held a 6-0 lead heading in the eighth inning.
They won the game 6-1.
Steve Detweiler, who was the one to catch the Georgia fly ball in the outfield that sealed the deal, went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate.
Tommy Mendonca, the Bulldogs’ sophomore third baseman, won the Most Outstanding Player Award.