Rosenblatt's most unlikely champions had the most unlikely heroes. As a No. 4 seed in 2008, Fresno State was the lowest-seeded team to ever win a national championship. And it was driven to victory by Steve Detwiler, who had played with a torn tendon in his left thumb for nearly three months. He set College World Series records for homers (four), RBI (11) and hits. As Fresno State beat Georgia 6-1 to win an improbable championship, Detwiler went 4-for-4 with two homers and drove in all six runs.
2 of 8Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Huston Street, Texas
Huston Street's four saves still stand as an NCAA record and led his Texas squad to the 2002 national title. As just a freshman, Street recorded the save in each of the Longhorns' four College World Series victories. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2002 CWS.
3 of 8Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Charlton Jimerson, Miami
On his way to Most Outstanding Player honors of the 2001 College World Series, Charlton Jimerson accomplished something that has yet to be duplicated in a single CWS: he hit leadoff home runs in two consecutive games. Jimerson also stole a series-high seven stolen bases and robbed a homer in a one-run victory over USC. Miami went on to win its second national title in three seasons.
4 of 8Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Warren Morris, LSU
Warren Morris was not a home run hitter. Hampered by a wrist injury for much of the 1996 season, Morris hadn't hit a ball out of the park the entire 1996 season coming into LSU's championship game matchup with Miami. That all changed with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Batting from the ninth spot in the order, Morris came up with a runner on third and the Tigers trailing 8-7. The left-hander sent a screamer down the right-field line that barely cleared the wall, sending the crowd into a frenzy and delivering LSU the championship on the walk-off, two-run shot.
5 of 8Collegiate Images/Getty Images
Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura carried a 58-game hit streak into the Cowboys' 1987 College World Series contest against Stanford, a record that still stands in the NCAA record books. Needing a hit to prolong his streak, Ventura stepped up in the ninth and grounded a slow roller to Stanford second baseman Frank Carey, who bobbled the ball before making a wild throw past first base. After reviewing the play, official scorer Lou Spry ruled it a two-base error, ending Ventura's streak and drawing a chorus of boos from the crowd.
6 of 8Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Will Clark, Mississippi State
Even after getting drafted, Will Clark had unfinished business at Mississippi State. In the 1985 College World Series with the Bulldogs, Clark went 7-for-15, compiling a stat line that included two home runs, a double, triple, five RBI and six runs scored. On the day he was drafted second overall by the San Francisco Giants with the second pick of the draft, Clark went 3-for-4 with a home run in a 5-4 win against Arkansas.
7 of 8Collegiate Images/Getty Images
Dave Winfield, Minnesota
Before he hit over 450 home runs as an outfielder with the Padres and Yankees, Dave Winfield pitched at Minnesota. And he delivered a series of gems in the 1973 College World Series. In a 1-0 victory against Oklahoma, Winfield struck out 14 batters, including the final out of the game with the bases loaded. Pitching later against USC, Winfield struck out 15 through eight innings, but ran out of gas in the ninth. He was removed with a four-run lead before Minnesota collapsed, losing 8-7. USC would go on to win its fourth of five straight national titles.
8 of 8AP
Steve Arlin, Ohio State
In an elimination game, Steve Arlin wasn't giving the ball to anyone else. With his Ohio State team battling Washington State for the right to keep playing in the 1965 College World Series, Arlin shut out the Cougars for 15 innings, striking out 20 in a game the Buckeyes would go on to win, 1-0. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!