Field Nearly Filled for College World Series
June 4, 2001
By The Associated Press
The HuskerNation is ready for a 50-mile road trip - to the College WorldSeries.
Nebraska, winners of its super regional over the weekend, will take theshort trip from Lincoln to Omaha later this week for its first appearance incollege baseball's eight-team, double-elimination tournament for the nationaltitle.
'We just ratcheted up the interest level in the total state of Nebraska,'Jack Diesing Jr., president of College World Series Inc., said Sunday.
It's just the second time the CWS will have a team from Nebraska. In 1991,Creighton, a private Jesuit school in Omaha, made it to the CWS.
Husker football fans pride themselves on following their team all over thecountry - they nearly outnumbered Notre Dame fans early last year at a game inSouth Bend, Ind. - and should pack the 24,500-seat Rosenblatt Stadium whenNebraska opens against top-seeded Cal State Fullerton either Friday orSaturday.
After Sunday's super regionals, seven of the eight CWS teams were set. Thesecond game of the Florida State-Georgia best-of-three series resumes Mondaywith the Seminoles leading 8-6 in the seventh inning. The Bulldogs won thefirst game Saturday.
On Sunday, Tulane joined the Huskers as first-timers in the CWS with a 7-1victory over state-rival LSU, the defending national champions. Also winningtheir super regionals were Stanford and Tennessee.
On Saturday, Cal State-Fullerton, Miami and Southern California joinedNebraska in clinching CWS berths.
The first-round matchups in Omaha will be Nebraska vs. Cal State-Fullerton,Tennessee vs. Nebraska, Tulane vs. Stanford and Southern California vs. theGeorgia/Florida State winner.
At Metairie, La.
Tulane 7, LSU 1
Beau Richardson allowed seven hits and struck out eight as the Green Wave(55-11) denied retiring LSU coach Skip Bertman another trip to Omaha.
Tulane won the best-of-three super regional, two games to one after droppingthe opener 4-3 in 10 innings on Friday. The Green Wave won Saturday, 9-4.
During Bertman's 18 years at LSU, the Tigers won five national titles, made11 CWS appearances and won seven Southeastern Conference titles. Bertman willtake over as LSU's athletic director. LSU finished 44-22-1.
'For me to coach and get paid a lot of money and still get to go to work ina jogging suit was fantastic,' Bertman said. 'On Aug. 1, when I go to work ina tie, it'll be the first time in my life.'
The crowd of 11,870 broke the attendance record for an NCAA regional set inFriday's first game, which drew 11,719.
At Stanford, Calif.
Stanford 3, South Carolina 2
Andy Topham hit a two-run homer in the fifth as Stanford advanced to itsthird straight CWS.
Mike Wodnicki (6-1) pitched 3 1-3 innings in relief to pick up the win. Heallowed a run on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. J.D. Wilcoxrecorded the final five outs for the save.
Chris O'Riordan had four hits for Stanford (48-16), which lost to LSU inlast year's CWS title game.
Stanford won series, 2-1.
At Kinston, N.C.
Tennessee 6, East Carolina 3
Stevie Daniel's grand slam capped a five-run eighth inning as Tennesseerallied for the win.
The victory gave the Vols (49-15) a sweep in the best-of-three superregional. Tennessee (49-15) will play in its third CWS, and first since 1995.
In the eighth, the Vols opened with a walk and single and scored whenreliever Glen Tucker overthrew third base while trying to get the lead runneron a sacrifice bunt. Chris Burke walked to load the bases, and Daniel followedwith his homer to right-center.
At Athens, Ga., the Florida State-Georgia game, with the Seminoles leading8-6 in the top of the seventh, was postponed by rain and will resume on Mondayat 1 p.m. EDT.
Georgia leads the best-of-three super regional 1-0.
In Saturday's games:
- At Fullerton, Calif., Aaron Rifkin hit three homers and drove in six runsas Cal State Fullerton beat Mississippi State 9-3 to sweep the super regionaland advance to the CWS for the 11th time.
- At Coral Gables, Fla., Charlton Jimerson hit a three-run homer and P. J.Prunty earned the decision as Miami beat Clemson 14-6 to sweep the superregional and move to the CWS for the seventh time in eight years.
- At Lincoln, Neb., Jeff Leise's single in the 10th drove in the go-aheadrun as Nebraska beat Rice 9-6 to earn its CWS berth.
- At Los Angeles, Rik Currier pitched a five-hitter and struck out 11 as USCbeat Florida International 6-0 to sweep the super regional.