OMAHA, Neb. — Silver linings don’t provide a lot of consolation when a season reaches the finish line, but Cal State Fullerton can take at least one feel-good element away from its two-game stay at the 2017 College World Series.
Senior shortstop Timmy Richards turned in a huge two-game performance in Omaha to cap a nice sprint to the finish line of a career that got more productive with each season.
Richards slammed his second home run in two games in the sixth inning of a 6-4 loss to Florida State on Monday, and both gave the Titans a lead. He finished with four extra-base hits and nine RBI in eight NCAA Tournament games and was 12 for 26 (.462) overall.
“Making a decision to come back for my senior year (is) something I’ll never regret,” Richards said. “I’m always going to be proud to have worn this jersey and played for Cal State Fullerton, to be a Titan. The success I had this weekend, it’s just trying to do the best for my team.”
Richards is the sixth player to hit multiple homers in a single College World Series since the event moved to less hitter-friendly TD Ameritrade Park.
More than the numbers Richards produced all season, his impact was meaningful, Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said.
“He has played the whole year or half the year with a sports hernia,” Vanderhook said. “So when he’s not running to first base that last at-bat, it’s not that he’s pouting. That means he’s had a sports hernia for half the season and chose that he’s going to play. As long it wasn’t going to hurt him anymore and he had to do stuff easily. But to have a guy do that, and all the guys know it, that he grinds it out every day and does that in a day-to-day manner, that’s just going to teach somebody else what they need to know in the years to come.”
STRIKE ZONE STRUGGLES
The eight walks Fullerton handed out Monday were a season-worst, topping the six the Titans had against UC Riverside on April 2 and UC Irvine on April 30.