Stanford Pulls Out 5-2 Victory Over CS Fullerton In Thrilling CWS Game
June 10, 2001
Stanford (50-16) scored four times in the top of the tenth inning on its way to a thrilling 5-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton (47-17) on Sunday in a winners bracket game at the 2001 College World Series. Chris O'Riordan rolled a one-out RBI single through the right side of the infield in the top of the tenth for the go-ahead run to snap a 1-1 tie and put the Cardinal ahead for good. Sam Fuld followed with a two-RBI triple and Ryan Garko hit a sacrifice fly to complete the rally. Stanford advances to the final of its bracket on Wednesday (6 pm, CT/4 pm, PT) versus the winner of Tuesday's Tulane/Cal State Fullerton elimination game. The Cardinal needs a victory on Wednesday or in a second bracket final on Friday (if necessary) to reach the CWS championship game for the second straight year and the fourth time in school history. The Cardinal won CWS titles in 1987 and 1988, while finishing as runners-up in 2000.
'I want to be the guy hitting in big situations,' said O'Riordan after the game. 'I feel more zoned in during those situations. I really do enjoy those situations.'
Stanford has now won its first two games in the College World Series for three straight years. Sunday's win also gave Stanford its 50th victory of the season, marking the first time in school history that the Cardinal has won 50 games in three consecutive seasons.
'This was a fantastic college baseball game,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'This was as good as you're going to get for a college baseball game - two great pitchers hooking up and some great defense. It's unfortunate that either team has to lose.'
Stanford's Mike Gosling and Cal State Fullerton's Kirk Saarloos were locked in a scoreless pitchers' dual until the Titans' Louie Lamoure connected for a solo homer to left field with one out in the bottom of the fifth to give Cal State Fullerton a 1-0 lead.
Stanford's Ryan Garko tied the game at 1-1 when he led off the top of the seventh inning by blasting a tape measure homer to left field off Saarloos.
Both teams had chances to end the game before extra innings. Gosling walked a pair of batters with two outs in the eighth inning to put Titans on first and second before J.D. Willcox came on in relief and retired the Titans' Jason Corapci on a ground out to second base to get the Cardinal out of the jam.
Stanford loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before Cal State Fullerton reliever Chad Cordero retired Andy Topham on a fly ball to deep right field for the final out of the inning.Cal State Fullerton gave the Cardinal a scare with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Mike Rouse hit a ball to the warning track in left field that was caught by a leaping Brian Hall.
Hall then led off the tenth inning for Stanford with a single through the left side, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a bunt single by Scott Dragicevich. After Cordero struck out Arik VanZandt, O'Riordan followed with his single to drive in Hall with the go-ahead run.
Cal State Fullerton picked up a run in the bottom of the 10th inning on an RBI single by David Bacani and had the tying run at the plate before Jeff Bruksch retired Corapci for his second consecutive CWS save.
Gosling (7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 SO) and Saarloos (8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO) both pitched brilliantly in their no-decision efforts. Willcox (5-0) picked up the win for the Cardinal, scattering two hits and a run in 2.0 innings. Cordero (3-4) was charged with the loss after surrendering four hits and three runs in 1.0 innings.
Garko (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Fuld (2-4, 3B, 2 RBI) and Dragicevich (2-4) had two hits each for the Cardinal, while no Titans had more than one hit.
Stanford has now won 17 of its last 21 games. The Cardinal is also 5-2 in extra-inning games this season and now has three comeback wins in post-season play.