What followed was a week of drama that included an opening loss to Arizona State, followed by a 13-inning win over Cal State Fullerton in the longest game in CWS history, and another extra-inning triumph over Arizona State. The ’Eaters fell to eventual champion Oregon State to tie for third.
Serrano, at the time rumored to be among the projected candidates to coach at Tennessee, thanked his players afterward, dismissed the Tennessee rumors, and vowed that the experience would only make the returners better-suited to achieve future success in Omaha.
He was later named National Coach of the Year by Baseball America for guiding the Anteaters to a 47-17-1 record.
Serrano’s departure to Fullerton, was greeted with more than disappointment. Contributors to UCI athletics message boards, as well as some within the athletic department, questioned the timing of the move, particularly in light of Serrano’s aforementioned statement that he had no interest in the job.