Baseball Sweeps To Second Straight CWS Title Game With 4-1 Win Over CS Fullerton
June 13, 2001
Omaha, Neb. - Stanford (51-16) has earned a spot in the College World Series championship game for the second straight year after a 4-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton (48-18) on Wednesday completed a Cardinal sweep through bracket one at the 2001 College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium with its second victory over the top-seeded Titans in the last four days. The victory was also the fourth in a row for Stanford over Cal State Fullerton this season. Jeremy Guthrie (13-4) scattered four hits and one run over the first 7.0 innings to earn the victory, while Jeff Bruksch pitched the final 2.0 hitless innings to pick up his third consecutive CWS save and fourth career CWS save, both tying records. Brian Hall and Ryan Garko hit solo homers in the third and sixth innings, respectively, while Andy Topham had a key two-RBI single in the fourth inning to account for Stanford's four runs.
'This was another fabulous college baseball game and a huge win for us,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'The last two games between Stanford and Cal State Fullerton have been great baseball games, especially for the baseball purist who likes pitching and defense. These last two games have been as good as you're going to get.'
'We've got one more to go,' continued Marquess. 'Hopefully, we can play like we have all year.'
Stanford, who entered the 2001 CWS as the fourth seed, will play either second-seeded Miami or unseeded Tennessee in the CWS championship game to be televised nationally by CBS on Saturday, June 16 (12:00 p.m., CDT/10:00 a.m., PDT). Miami and Tennessee square off in the bracket two final on Thursday, June 14 (2:00 p.m., CDT/12:00 p.m., PDT). Miami advances to the CWS championship game with a victory, while a Tennessee win will force a second bracket championship game on Friday, June 15 (1:00 p.m., CDT/11:00 a.m., PDT).
Stanford has won CWS titles in 1987 and 1988, while finishing as runners-up to Louisiana State in 2000 when the club also swept through its bracket. Stanford has now won 18 of its last 22 games overall and is 9-2 in 2001 NCAA post-season play, tying a school record for the most post-season wins. Stanford's 51 victories overall are the third most in school history.
'I've coached a long time at Stanford but this is a special group because not much was expected of them,' emphasized Marquess. 'I'm very proud of them. To get all the way to the CWS championship game is truly amazing.'
Hall, making his first start in the post-season, led off the bottom of the third inning by homering over the left centerfield fence to put the Cardinal ahead, 1-0.
Topham capped Stanford's fourth-inning rally with a two-RBI single up the middle to score Carlos Quentin and Garko. Garko had started the rally when he was hit by a pitch with one out. Back-to-back singles by Quentin and Jonny Ash loaded the bases for Topham.
Garko closed out the Cardinal scoring when he hit second homer of the College World Series, a solo shot that cleared the batters eye in left centerfield with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Cal State Fullerton scored its lone run in the top of the seventh inning. Guthrie walked Robert Guzman and Jason Corapci to lead off the inning. Guzman scored on a two-out RBI double by Mike Rouse down the right field line before Guthrie struck out pinch-hitter Matt Belfanti as the tying run to end the Titan threat.
Guthrie cruised through the middle innings of the game, retiring 10 straight batters from the third to sixth innings, including a stretch of nine outs via eight ground balls. Overall, he recorded 14 ground ball outs and gave up just one fly ball out.
'Jeremy Guthrie pitched one of his best game of the season,' said Marquess.
Guthrie improved to 3-0 (3.28 ERA) in the post-season and has recorded three of the four victories by a Stanford starter in the post-season.
The game was played in two hours and 34 minutes to mark the shortest contest thus far at the 2001 College World Series.
Quentin (2-3) and Cal State Fullerton's Shane Costa (2-3) were the only players for either team with more than one hit in a game that featured only 10 hits and no errors. Stanford hitters did not record either a walk or a strikeout.
Cal State Fullerton starter Jon Smith (11-3), suffered the loss as he gave up six hits and four runs over the first 6.0 innings.
Stanford has committed only one error in three games at the 2001 College World Series.