The Saddleback baseball program had two former players involved in the Sunday afternoon matchup between Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton…a game that would decide which program would head to the College World Series. Fullerton prevailed with a 2-1 win to head to Omaha next week.
Former Gauchos John Sheaks and Hunter Cullen were on opposing sides on Sunday as Sheaks started on the mound for Long Beach State and Cullen started in right field for Cal State Fullerton. Cullen would get the last laugh as his Titans advanced to the CWS with a gritty 2-1 win over the 49ers.
Sheaks (left) started for Long Beach and completed five innings, surrendering two runs. It was the only two runs Fullerton would score as the 49er offense was silent for most of the day in the 2-1 loss. Sheaks was a pitcher for Saddleback in both 2015 and 2016. He was 8-2 lifetime for the Gauchos, striking out 73 batters in 93 innings of work. The San Clemente High School graduate appeared in 27 games over two seasons for Saddleback, finishing his two-year career with a 2.81 ERA.
Cullen played for Saddleback in 2014 and left after his freshman season for CSUF. He batted .293 in 28 games while finishing eighth on the team with 24 base hits. Cullen graduated from Corona Del Mar in 2013 before playing for the Gauchos.
Cal State Fullerton will play in the College World Series for the 18th time in program history starting next weekend. They will face top-ranked Oregon State next Saturday.