Stanford Beats Tulane, 13-11, In First Round College World Series Game
June 8, 2001
Omaha, NE - Stanford (49-17) stormed back for a 13-11 comeback victory over Tulane (55-12) in its opening game at the 2001 College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium on Friday. The comeback was tied for the second biggest in CWS history as the Cardinal rallied from an 8-0 deficit through four and a half innings. The victory was the fourth straight time the Cardinal has won its CWS opener. Stanford will next play a winners' bracket game versus top-seeded Cal State Fullerton on Sunday (6 pm, CT/4 pm, PT). The Titans defeated hometown favorite Nebraska, 5-4, in Friday's second contest.
Sophomore catcher Ryan Garko, who caught the first pitch thrown out by President George W. Bush prior to the game, put the Cardinal ahead for good with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning that put Stanford ahead 9-8 at the time.
'It was an exciting day and a long day,' said Garko. 'Catching the first pitch from Mr. Bush was an honor - something very nice that I'll never forget.'
'I was just happy to come through in a spot,' Garko continued about his single that drove home the go-ahead run. 'I was just trying to drive the ball to the outfield and ended up getting the ball up the middle.'
Stanford scored five runs in the eighth inning to take the lead for good. Jason VanMeetren walked to lead off the inning and the Cardinal had runners at first and second after Tulane pitcher Joey Charron bumbled Arik VanZandt's sacrifice bunt. Fuld then doubled home VanMeetren with the tying run before Garko's single scored Fuld with the go-ahead run. Stanford added two more runs on a two-RBI single by Jonny Ash and a third run on an error by Tulane third baseman Jake Gautreau.
Tulane nearly spoiled Stanford's comeback with one of its own. The Green Wave entered the top of the ninth inning behind, 13-10, before cutting the margin to 13-11 on three consecutive singles by Michael Aubrey, Matt Groff and Jay Heintz. Jeff Bruksch, who tied a single-season save record with 13 saves in 2000 but a member of the regular starting rotation this year, came in with Tulane runners on second and third base, no outs and one run already across the plate. Bruksch earned his first save of 2001 by retiring three straight batters, the final two via strikeouts.
Tulane began its near comeback in the top of the eighth inning, cutting Stanford's lead to 12-10 on a two-out, two-RBI double by Gautreau.
Stanford started its comeback with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to turn an 8-0 deficit into a one-run game. The Cardinal loaded the bases to begin the inning on a walk to Chris O'Riordan and back-to-back singles by Sam Fuld and Garko. Carlos Quentin put Stanford on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly. Stanford scored its final six runs after two were out. Brian Hall walked with the bases loaded for Stanford's second run and pinch-hitter Jason VanMeetren drove in a pair with a two-RBI single to cut the Green Wave lead to 8-4. The Cardinal scored its final three runs on three consecutive RBI singles by VanZandt, O'Riordan and Fuld.
Stanford picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. VanZandt led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a throwing error by Aubrey in left field. VanZandt later scored on Fuld's sacrifice fly.
Tulane jumped out to an 8-0 lead by scoring five times in the second inning and three runs in the third frame. The Green Wave knocked Stanford ace Jeremy Guthrie out of the game with seven hits and a base on balls in the second inning. A two-run double by Heintz put the Green Wave on the board. Scott Madden singled home another run before Jon Kaplan and Andy Cannizaro hit back-to-back RBI doubles.Tulane's three runs in the third inning came on a sacrifice fly by Madden and an RBI double from Kaplan.Stanford's Fuld (4-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Ash (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI) tied career-highs for hits, while Garko (2-4, RBI) and VanZandt (2-4, 2B, RBI) had two hits each.
Cannizaro (3-4, 2 2B, RBI, SB) and Aubrey (3-5) had three hits each for Tulane. Anthony Giarratano (2-4), Gautreau (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Heintz (2-5, 2B, 3 RBI) and Kaplan (2-6, 2 2B, 3 RBI) had two hits each for the Green Wave. Cannizaro became the school's all-time hit leader with his 347th career hit.
'Normally, our type of team focuses on pitching and defense,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'Normally, we don't come out on the positive end of a slugfest, but today we did.'
Mike Wodnicki (7-1) recorded the victory for the Cardinal, improving his all-time best career record to 14-1 on The Farm. Charron (9-2) took the loss for Tulane.
Stanford has now won 14 of its last 17 games.