Stanford's Season Ends In CWS Bracket Final With 6-5 Loss To Texas
June 20, 2002
Omaha, Neb. - Stanford (47-18) ended its season with a 6-5 loss to Texas (56-15) in a College World Series bracket final before 21,554 on Thursday at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Cardinal, which had advanced as far as a CWS bracket final for the fourth consecutive season, needed a pair of victories over the Longhorns on Thursday and Friday to reach the CWS championship game for the third straight season. Texas' Dustin Majewski snapped a 5-5 tie when he hit a 3-0 pitch from Stanford starter Jeremy Guthrie into the bleachers beyond the right field fence with one out in the top of the seventh inning for the winning margin. Guthrie (13-2) took only his second loss of the year and his first career postseason loss, giving up six runs (four earned) and seven hits with six strikeouts over the first 6.1 innings.
'It was another great college baseball game,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We wanted to get back to the championship game again, but it wasn't meant to be. Our hats are off to Texas. They played tough, coming back after we jumped on them early with a 3-0 lead.'
'I'm very pleased with our team,' continued Marquess. 'It's been a great year for us. I'm also very proud of our six graduating seniors. They were instrumental in us getting to Omaha. Going to the College World Series for four straight years is quite an accomplishment.'
Stanford's Sam Fuld (2-5, 3B) set a new school single-season hit record when he tripled in the first inning for his 109th hit of the campaign and recorded his 38th multiple-hit game of the year. He also led the team with a .375 season batting average and has finished his first two years on The Farm as Stanford's career batting average leader with a lifetime mark of .367.
Fuld's second hit of the game and 110th of the season was a bunt to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning for the first and only hit off Texas reliever and winning pitcher Jesen Merle (3-3) in his 4.0 innings of work. However, Texas closer Huston Street came on and retired Ryan Garko on a well-hit ball to center field for the first out of the inning before enducing Jason Cooper into a season-ending 3-6-1 double play to record his 13th save of the year.
Stanford had another threat two innings earlier in the bottom of the seventh. Chris O'Riordan reached on a two-out error by Texas third baseman Omar Quintanilla to start the threat and Carlos Quentin tied a school record when he was hit by a pitch for the 19th time this season to put runners on first and second base. However, Merle struck out Scott Dragicevich to end the inning.
O'Riordan, who started the final 176 games of his career at second base, was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base. He finished his collegiate career ranked among Stanford's all-time leaders in batting average (.352, 7th), doubles (49, 9th-T) and hits (262, 10th). Chris Carter (2-5, 2B, HR, RBI) also had a pair of hits for the Cardinal and finished the season with an 11-game hit streak.
Stanford had jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Carter hit his third postseason homer to lead off the inning. Fuld's triple restarted the rally before O'Riordan and Dragicevich had RBI singles later in the inning.
Texas rallied back for two runs in the top of the second inning when Kalani Napoleon singled home a pair of runs with a two-out single. The rally began when Dragicevich made an error on a ground ball hit to third base by Ryan Hubele. Guthrie then gave up a single to Brandon Fahey and after a passed ball and a walk the Longhorns had the bases loaded to set up Napoleon's hit.The Longhorns took a 5-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning with a three-run rally sparked by Jeff Ontiveros' two-run homer. The roundtripper was his 20th of the season and established a new Texas single-season record. Texas had scored a run earlier in the frame when Quintanilla tripled to lead off the inning and scored on an RBI single by Majewski.
Stanford tied the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs on an RBI double by Cooper and an RBI single from O'Riordan.
Ryan McCally had another impressive relief appearance for the Cardinal, retiring all eight batters he faced after entering the game with one out in the top of the seventh.
Guthrie finished his season with a 13-2 record and a 2.51 ERA, setting a new single-season school record of 157.2 innings pitched and adding 136 strikeouts (sixth on Stanford's single-season list). Guthrie has a 26-6 career record and a 2.65 ERA after two seasons at Stanford. His 26 career wins rank tied for eighth all-time at Stanford.
Eight of Stanford's nine postseason games in 2002 were decided by either one or two runs. Stanford was 2-2 in four one-run games and a perfect 4-0 in two-run contests. The Cardinal won 11 of its final 13 games overall and had a 7-2 record in nine postseason efforts.
Stanford's senior class of Dragicevich, O'Riordan, Dan Rich, Andy Topham, Arik VanZandt and J.D. Willcox were the first group of Stanford players to ever make it to the College World Series for four consecutive seasons. The group, which finished its four-year career with a 198-66 (.750) overall record, earned CWS runner-up honors twice (2000, '01) in addition to winning an outright Pac-10 title in 1999 and sharing a Pac-10 title in 2000.
Texas will play the winner of Friday's South Carolina/Clemson matchup in Saturday's CWS championship game to be televised live by CBS (12:30 pm, CDT/10:30 am, PDT).
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