Stanford Advances To Super Regional With 8-4 Win Over Long Beach State

June 2, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford (43-16) moved on to an NCAA Super Regional for the fourth straight year with an 8-4 victory over Long Beach State (39-21) in a Regional Final at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. Jason Cooper hit a key two-run homer to spark a five-run Cardinal fifth inning to snap a 2-2 tie and John Hudgins picked up his first career postseason win with a complete game, scattering 11 hits and four runs. Chris O'Riordan and Chris Carter also went deep for the Cardinal, while John Hudgins (9-1) tossed his third complete game of the season by scattering 11 hits and four runs with six strikeouts. Stanford was a Regional winner for the 12th time in school history and also extended its season-high win streak to seven games.

'I am very proud of this group,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'To win this Regional, which I thought was the toughest in the country, was impressive. We had three difficult games, and I was impressed by Long Beach State and the way they battled back.'

'I have never had a group that has gone to the College World Series three straight years and played in two national championship games,' continued Marquess. 'Honestly, it's something that we shoot for. When you get to a Regional, you remind your players that in the first meeting of the season you talk about getting to the College World Series.'

Stanford will take its next step towards the 2002 CWS by playing in an NCAA Super Regional versus the winner of the Los Angeles Regional to be completed on Monday between Brigham Young and USC. The Trojans are undefeated in the Regional and need only one win on Sunday to advance to an NCAA Super Regional matchup with the Cardinal. Brigham Young needs a pair of victories over the Trojans on Monday to earn the right to face the Cardinal.

The sites of all eight 2002 NCAA Super Regionals will be announced on Monday, June 3 (12:00 pm, PDT).

Sunday's game was tied 2-2 before Stanford's five-run fifth inning, the 26th time the Cardinal has scored five or more runs in an inning this season. Sam Fuld started the rally with a one-out single and scored on an RBI double by Ryan Garko before Cooper's two-run homer off starter and losing pitcher Josh Alliston (2-4). The Cardinal added a pair of unearned runs later in the inning when Carlos Quentin drew a two-out walk, stole second base and scored when Scott Dragicevich reached on a throwing error by Long Beach State shortstop Kevin Randel. Andy Topham closed out the rally with an RBI single to score Dragicevich.

O'Riordan led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer to give the Cardinal an 8-2 lead, his 10th home run of the season.

Long Beach State scored twice off Hudgins in the bottom of the eighth on a leadoff solo homer by Randel and a two-out RBI single from Nick Covarrubias.

Stanford jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings when Carter led off the bottom of the first with a homer and Dragicevich singled home Quentin with an unearned run in the second, helping the Cardinal taking advantage of three Long Beach State errors.

Garko (2-4, 2 2B, RBI, SB) and O'Riordan (2-4, HR, RBI) had two hits each for the Cardinal, who had one hit from each of the other seven starters to total 11 hits. Fuld's hit was his 102nd of the season, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on Stanford's single-season hit list and only six hits from equaling the school record of 108 co-held by Troy Paulsen (1990) and Mike Dotterer (1981).

Covarrubias (3-4, RBI) and Tim Hutting (3-4) had three hits each for the 49ers. Covarrubias ended the season with a 14-game hit streak.

Stanford improved to 27-4 at Sunken Diamond this season.

The Cardinal had six of the 11 players on the 2002 NCAA Regional All-Tournament team, including Most Outstanding Player Jeremy Guthrie (Pitcher). Guthrie tossed a 13-inning complete game to lead the Cardinal to a 3-2 win over Cal State Fullerton in the first game of the Regional. Garko (Catcher), O'Riordan (Second Baseman), Andy Topham (Shortstop), Dragicevich (Third Baseman) and Carter (Designated Hitter) also earned spots on the team.

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