Valley Fans Swept Up In College World Series Fever

June 18, 2008 9:27:54 PM PDT
It's impossible not to be swept up by College World Series fever. Fans want to be decked out in the team colors as Fresno State prepares for a Friday afternoon battle against either LSU or North Carolina. The Bulldog Shop in Northeast Fresno was packed with fans waiting for their official world series gear. Shirts, jerseys and caps were snapped up during a normally slow time of year for the store.

The Diamond Dogs have clearly struck a nerve around the country. Boxes were full of internet orders coming in from New England to Colorado. Bulldog fan Larry Trujillo said "Having America's team. Turning the bulldogs into America's team. It's The loose bunch came in as underdogs but have shown they are the team to beat. Long-time fan Lupe Cisneros said "I think we need alot more bulldog fans and you know, why does it take the world series for them to hop on with the dogs? "

Travel agents like Cheri Verrastiro have been busy trying to get more fans to Omaha. Some of them at the series thought Fresno State would be done after two games. Verrastiro said "I'm getting alot more calls. Alot of people who already went are trying to extend their trips so they're staying longer and then a couple of people are going today trying to get there before the game."

Former All-American Steve Hosey helped lead Fresno State to the College World Series 20 years ago. He's impressed by the team's mental strength. Hosey said "You can't rattle those guys because they've been through so much already so no matter what happens from here on out they get down you're gonna see the same club, same attitude. You're gonna see them go after it with the same looseness."

Hosey hosted a family gathering Tuesday night to watch the Bulldogs as well as the Boston Celtics. Steve's half-brother Paul Pierce led the Celtics to the NBA title and was named series MVP. Hosey said "The consistent part has always been his drive and motivation. Whenever the other stuff wasn't working he had that. To see him display that one the biggest stage that you can and everybody to see that it made me very happy."

Hosey was in Los Angeles to cheer on his little brother in Games Four and Five of the NBA Finals. But now he can turn attention solely to the Fresno State Bulldogs.


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