The Stanford Cardinal moved within one victory of reaching the College World Series Championship game for the second consecutive year with a 5-2 10-inning victory over Cal-State Fullerton in a Sunday night thriller in Omaha. Stanford scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning to secure a hard-fought 5-2 decision over the Titans. Stanford's starter Mike Gosling threw a masterful 7 2/3 innings of 2-hit ball before yielding to J.D. Wilcox (5-0), who recorded four crucial outs in the eight and ninth innings.
Chris "Uno" O'Riordan drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th with a clutch, opposite-field single but it was freshman Sam Fuld's two-run double that iced the victory for the Cardinal. Stanford now gets two days of rest before facing the winner of the Cal-State Fullerton-Tulane elimination game on Wednesday.
"Goose" Gosling and Fullerton's ace, Kirk Saarloos, were locked in a classic pitching duel for the better part of 8 innings on Sunday night. Each starting pitcher yielded only one run as the teams went to extra innings tied 1-1. Louie Lamoure had provided the lone Titan run with a home run in the fifth inning but Stanford catcher Ryan Garko's 7th inning blast had tied the game at 1. Stanford threatened in the eight and ninth innings but failed to score while Cal State Fullerton's Mike Rouse almost ended the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when he hit a ball to the warning track in left field. But, Stanford left-fielder Brian Hall made a leaping catch to preserve the tie.
In the decisive 10th frame, Hall lead off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Scott Dragicevich's bunt single sent Hall to third. With one out, O'Riordan spanked a single to right field for a 2-1 lead. On the very next pitch, Sam Fuld creamed a triple into the power alley in right center, scoring both Dragicevich and O'Riordan. Garko's sacrifice fly scored Fuld with Stanford's fifth run. Fullerton scored a meaningless run in bottom of the 10th before Jeff Bruksch got the final out for his second save in as many games at Rosenblatt Stadium for the Cardinal.
For the third consecutive year, Stanford has now won its first two games at the CWS and are in a commanding position to advance to Saturday's championship game. The win was Stanford's 50th of the season, another feat that this team has accomplished for three consecutive seasons.
On Monday, coach Marquess said that Jeremy Guthrie, who lasted only 1 1-3 innings in the opener against Tulane, will get the starting nod on Wednesday.
Notes: In Omaha on Monday, Tennessee eliminated Georgia 19-12 while Miami sent USC to the losers bracket with a 4-3 decision. In Tuesday's elimination games, Tulane and Cal-State Fullerton square off while the nightcap features the Trojans and the Volunteers. Also on Monday, Santa Clara University announced that they have hired Stanford assistant coach Mark O'Brien as the Broncos' 35th head coach. O'Brien will take over the Santa Clara program at the conclusion of CWS play.