Monday, June 28, 2004

Winning feels good for Titans


CWS Notebook

By Joe Ruff
The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. - Cal State Fullerton first baseman P.J. Pilittere walked into the news conference after his team's 3-2 victory over Texas on Sunday with a large sign written on tape stuck across the front of his shirt.

The sign said, "Think how good it's gonna feel."

Pilittere used the saying all through the season while Cal State struggled. The Titans opened the season 15-16. He began writing the saying down in the dugout during the NCAA regionals.

"Our guys really bought in to it," Pilittere said.

Coming from behind to win the College World Series championship was a microcosm of the their season, Pilittere said.

"We just found a way, and it feels pretty good right now," Pilittere said.

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TERMINATING THE LONGHORNS: The Terminator backed the Titans all the way.

Movie star, former body builder and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent Cal State Fullerton a fax Friday that was read to the team at breakfast Saturday. Schwarzenegger congratulated the Titans on their focus and dedication.

"As a former professional athlete, I understand the remarkable discipline and perseverance it takes to compete at the highest level," Schwarzenegger said.

"Your success is a grand slam for our Golden State, and I say, 'Go Titans!' as you begin the title series."

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DOING WHAT IT TAKES: After failing to gain admission to Saturday night's game, the family of Texas pitcher Sam LeCure made sure they got to see their relative start Sunday.

About 30 of LeCure's relatives, including six of his seven siblings, were standing in the right field general admission line at about 6:30 Sunday morning.

"Our brother is pitching today, so we're going to make sure we see this game," said Mike LeCure of Jefferson City, Mo. "We weren't going to leave anything to chance."

The LeCure gang was actually third in line.

The Grajczyks of Bellevue were first in line. Leah Grajczyk said her family slept in their car outside the stadium so they could get a good spot in line. The Grajczyks, who are Texas fans, were joined in line by their neighbor, 12-year-old Jake Perez.

Although from Nebraska, Perez was decked out in Texas garb.

"We turned him into a Longhorn," Grajczyk said.

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TITHING FOR PARKING?: The College World Series has been a boon for a Roman Catholic church just three blocks south of Rosenblatt Stadium.

St. Rose Catholic Church relies on parish volunteers to help fit about 200 cars into its parking lot, at $10 per game and $15 for a day.

The church raised about $25,000 this year. The money will be used to help renovate the front of the church, said the Rev. Rodney Adams, pastor at St. Rose.

"It's better than spaghetti dinners," Adams said of the CWS as a fund-raiser.

The church has been charging money for parking at the CWS for about 11 years. Proceeds also have gone into the parish's general fund and to help subsidize Catholic education.

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RECORD SAFE: The crowd of 21,392 Sunday was more than 3,000 short of what was needed to set a tournament attendance record. A total of 256,730 fans came through the gates at Rosenblatt Stadium, an average of 23,339 per session.

The attendance record for the series was set last year with 260,091 fans.




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