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CSLA still alive in World Series

BASEBALL: Team with two locals staves off elimination by winning last two games in tourney.

May 30, 2007|By Jeff Tully

BURBANK — The Cal State Los Angeles baseball team has been able to fight its way back from its share of tough situations this season.

Coming back from elimination has been a useful trait for the Golden Eagles, who include former Burroughs High standouts Mike Diaz and Kyle Williams.

Facing elimination in the 40th annual NCAA Division II Baseball Championship in Montgomery. Ala., Cal State L.A. was able to stay alive in the tournament by posting a 4-2 win Tuesday against Nebraska-Omaha.

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The win puts Cal State L.A. (46-16-1) into the semifinals against Columbus (50-18) at 12:30 p.m. today.

On Sunday, the Golden Eagles battled back to notch a 4-1 victory against Kutztown.

It was sixth time since it entered the NCAA playoffs that Cal State L.A. has avoided elimination.

Diaz and Williams didn't see any playing time in the three games.

Against Kutztown, Matt Winkleman slugged a two-out home run in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie to carry the Golden Eagles in the first elimination game of the tournament.

The Golden Eagles added two more runs in the ninth inning. Jeff Carroll opened the inning with a double and scored on Brian Hernandez's single. Kurt Crowell doubled off reliever Phillip Rummell for the final run.

Kyle Owsley (7-3) pitched a fine game for the Golden Eagles, tossing seven scoreless innings. Arturo Reyes pitched the final two innings to post his 10th save.

Cal State L.A. opened the tournament Friday with a 13-5 loss to defending champion Tampa.

The Spartans (50-10) scored four runs in the first, three in the fourth and five in the seventh to walk away with the win.

Cal State L.A. came back to make the score 8-5 by scoring single runs in the middle three innings. But Tampa's five-run seventh closed the door on the Golden Eagles' rally.

Fernando Franco and Crowell each had two hits for the Golden Eagles.

Two weeks ago, the Golden Eagles lost to Chico State in their opening game of the NCAA West Regional and then posted wins over Nebraska-Kearney, Sonoma State and Mesa State (twice).

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