Alex Todd went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs and Kyle Jones finished with two hits and a run scored to lead No. 4 seed Sonoma State to an 8-5 victory over third-seeded Cal Poly Pomona in the NCAA Division II West Regional Championship game on Sunday afternoon at Triton Ballpark on the campus of UC San Diego.
The Seawolves (36-20) will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals May 28 through June 4 in Cary, N.C., making their first College World Series appearance since 2008. SSU went 3-1 en route to the West Regional title.
Cal Poly Pomona, which defeated Sonoma 5-4 on Saturday to force a seventh and final game of the regional tournament, concluded its season at 36-20. The Broncos went 3-2 in five games in La Jolla.
“Obviously, this is an incredible feeling and a culmination of a year's worth of work and really a career's worth of work,” Sonoma head coach John Goelz said. “This is only our second world series in my 26 years here at Sonoma State so this means a lot and we're excited. Hopefully we'll be ready to play."
SSU held a 4-2 lead entering the seventh inning, but CPP rallied with three runs to take a 5-4 advantage. Chris Miller led off the inning with a solo homer to left field and Humberto Tovalin cracked a two-run shot over the fence in right center two batters later.
The Seawolves came right back with four runs in their half of the seventh to take control. SSU hit four straight singles to lead off the inning and finished with a total of six hits in the frame. Todd drove in the tying run with a single through the left side and Randy Wells hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring home the eventual winning run.
"We all pulled together, executed when we needed to today and we're excited to be heading back to the College World Series,” Jones said. “I was spoiled as a freshman (to reach the CWS), but this means a lot to me to be heading back as a senior."
Garrett Schwartz and Kevin Cramer also had RBI for the Seawolves during the decisive rally.
Kenny Arnerich (9-2) picked up his second victory of the tournament, holding the Broncos without a run on three hits in two and two-thirds innings out of the bullpen. He turned in another outstanding performance after tossing a complete game shutout against top seeded UC San Diego on the opening day of the tournament on Thursday.
SSU starter Jacob Fiss allowed two runs on two hits in three innings of work.
Steven Filippi finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored for the Seawolves, who tallied a total of 12 hits in the game.
Stephen Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Tovalin scored twice to lead the Broncos’ offense. Allen Rodarte, who started the game at second base before coming on to pitch in the sixth, finished with two hits at the plate. On the mound, he gave up two earned runs in a third of an inning before being moved back to second.
Kevin Bosson (10-5) was saddled with the loss for Pomona, allowing two runs on four hits in an inning of work. Starter Jake Reed allowed four runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking two in five and two-thirds innings.
The game featured a total of 23 hits and five lead changes and saw seven pitchers take the mound.
Jones, a center fielder, won the West Regional Most Outstanding Player award after batting .583 (7-12) with .917 slugging and .706 on-base percentages. He totaled six runs scored, five RBI, a double, a home run and five walks over four games.