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ASU ousts defending champions

Associated Press

Joe Persichina hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Arizona State rallied from a five-run deficit and hung on to eliminate defending national champion Cal State-Fullerton with a 9-8 win Sunday at Fullerton, Calif.

The Sun Devils, who lost the first game of the best-of-3 Super Regional series when a balk was called during an intentional walk, advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., for the first time since 1998.

Persichina’s solo shot gave Arizona State an 8-7 lead and J.J. Sferra drove in a run on a groundout in the top of the ninth.

Brett Bordes gave up a solo homer to Brett Pill leading off the bottom of the inning, but retired the next three batters for his fourth save. Jason Urquidez (10-4) won.

Tuffy Gosewisch had five hits and three RBIs to help the Sun Devils (39-23) come back from a 7-2 deficit.

Andrew Romine hit his first career homer to make it 7-5 in the sixth inning. Sergio Pedroza homered in the fourth for the Titans (46-18).

Vinnie Pestano (3-4) took the loss.

In other action Sunday, Texas and Mississippi finally completed a game – with Mississippi winning Saturday’s suspended game 6-4 before Texas split with a 3-1 victory.

Tulane defeated Rice 7-0 at New Orleans to draw even in that series.

Baylor defeated Clemson 7-1 at Waco, Texas to force a deciding game.

At Corvallis, Ore., Southern California defeated Oregon State 9-8 in 10 innings, tying their series 1-1. USC rallied from an 8-3 deficit to force extra innings, then won it on Billy Hart’s bases-loaded grounder with one out in the 10th. Oregon State won the opener late Saturday.

All remaining Super Regional games are scheduled for today.

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