Stanford Falls 6-5 to Cal State Fullerton
June 15, 2003
By ERIC OLSON
Associated Press Writer
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Cal State Fullerton's P.J. Pilittere was determined toscore from first base when he saw Richie Burgos' deep fly bounce off the gloveof Stanford right fielder Carlos Quentin.
'I told myself I better start running because I'm not the fastest guy inthe world,' Pilittere said.
As Pilittere headed to third, Titans third-base coach Rick Vanderhooksignaled him to come around and score. The run turned out to be the game-winnerin the Titans' 6-5 victory in the College World Series on Sunday night.
'I saw Hooky waving me, so I went as hard as I could,' Pilittere said.
Quentin, a first-round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks, looked as ifhe would catch Burgos' fly as he neared the wall.
'I jumped and the ball hit the base of my glove,' Quentin said. 'That'sall I've got to say about it.'
The play was the difference in a game that featured three lead changes andwas, as Fullerton coach George Horton said, a microcosm of the series betweenthe two West Coast schools.
'We've had a lot of great battles,' Horton said. 'We were just lucky toget one more point than them tonight.'
Relief pitchers Wes Littleton and Chad Cordero held Stanford hitless overthe last four innings as Fullerton took control of their side of the bracket.The Titans (50-14) are off until Wednesday, when they'll play the winner of anelimination game Tuesday between Stanford (47-16) and South Carolina (45-21).
Burgos' triple knocked out Stanford starter Mark Romanczuk (12-1), who wasthe first Cardinal pitcher to win his first 12 decisions.
Littleton (7-3) took over for Titans starter Dustin Miller in the sixth andretired all six batters he faced. Cordero, the 20th overall draft pick byMontreal, came on in the eighth and earned his eighth save.
'You never feel good with a one-run lead against the Cardinal,' Hortonsaid, 'but you certainly feel a lot better when Chad Cordero has thebaseball.'
Pilittere's RBI double in the first and freshman Justin Turner's firstcareer homer gave the Titans a 3-0 lead.
Stanford tied it in the third on Brian Hall's two-run homer and Sam Fuld'ssolo shot, but Jason Corapci's RBI double put the Titans back in front in thebottom of the inning.
Stanford tied it again in the top of the fourth when Chris Carter homered,and took a 5-4 lead in the fifth on Quentin's RBI double.
Turner's two-out RBI single tied it again in the sixth, and the Titans wentahead for good on Burgos' triple into the right-field corner the next inning.
Stanford coach Mark Marquess said he thought there could have been a play atthe plate on Pilittere. Quentin gunned the ball to freshman second baseman JedLowrie, the cutoff man, but Lowrie hesitated before making a half-hearted throwhome.
'You have to remember that that's a freshman, and we're not used to thenoise,' Marquess said. 'I'm not sure we would have gotten him anyway, but itwould have been close.'
Romanczuk allowed six runs, 10 hits and walked four in 6 1-3 innings beforegiving way to Matt Manship.
The biggest factor, Marquess said, was Cordero.
Cordero threw 26 pitches after taking over for Littleton, who walked RyanGarko to start the eighth. Cordero got Danny Putnam to hit into a double play,then struck out three in a row before Donny Lucy grounded out to end the game.
'He's the premier closer in college baseball,' Marquess said. 'He'stough, but he's been tough for three years. There may be guys as good as him,but there certainly is no one better. He dominated us tonight.'