Card Top Trojans 4-2 To Win Game One

Behind the arm of Jeremy Guthrie and two clutch home runs from Carlos Quentin and Chris Carter, the Stanford Cardinal defeated the USC Trojans 4-2 to take Game One of the Super Regionals. Guthrie tossed eight quality innings on the mound to improve to 12-1 on the season as the Cardinal now need just one more win to advance to the College World Series. Read on for a recap.

The Stanford Cardinal took one big step tonight toward their fourth consecutive College World Series appearance with a 4-2 victory over the USC Trojans in Game One of the NCAA Super Regionals at Sunken Diamond.  Jeremy Guthrie was outstanding once again on the mound tossing eight quality innings while giving up two runs on just four hits.  Offensively, the Cardinal used the long ball tonight as Carlos Quentin and Chris Carter came through with clutch home runs.

The game began as a pitcher's duel between Guthrie and USC starter Anthony Reyes.  The Trojans had a great opportunity in the top of the second to score off Guthrie when they had runners on second and third base with just one out.  But Guthrie induced Travis McAndrews to hit a ground ball to Scott Dragicevich at third to which he threw home to get Bill Peavey who was trying to score from third for the second out of the inning.  Michael Morales was the next hitter and the Trojan left fielder was unable to come through with the clutch two-out hit as he grounded out to Chris O'Riordan at second to end the threat.

Stanford didn't mount a serious rally off Reyes until the bottom of the fourth, but unlike USC they were able to cash in.  With one out, Jason Cooper doubled down the right field line and after an O'Riordan ground out, Carlos Quentin put one over the fence in left field to put Stanford ahead 2-0.  Then in the bottom of the fifth with two out and nobody on base, Chris Carter hit a line drive home run to straight away center field to increase the lead to 3-0.

Guthrie was dealing at this point in the game as he worked 1-2-3 fifth and sixth innings to keep the score at 3-0.  The Trojans put together a two-out rally in the seventh as Anthony Lunetta singled and then McAndrews walked to put two runners on.  But Guthrie settled down to strike out Morales to end the inning.  Finally in the top of the eighth, the Trojans got to Guthrie.  With one out, Brian Barre singled and then #2 hitter Michael Moon belted a home run to right field to cut the lead to 3-2.  The next batter was Pac-10 Player of the Year Alberto Concepcion and the USC catcher crushed a ball to deep center field but Sam Fuld had just enough room in deep center as he made the catch with his back right up against the wall.  Guthrie then got clean-up hitter Bill Peavey to ground out to retire the side.

The Cardinal then added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to push the lead up to 4-2.  Chris Carter led off with a walk, advanced to second on a ground out, and then moved over to third on a wild pitch.  Ryan Garko then stepped up and the Cardinal catcher got the job done with a fly ball to center field that was plenty deep enough to score Carter from third with Stanford's fourth run of the evening.

Senior Dan Rich was brought into the game in the ninth and the lefty gave up a two-out bunt single to Nick Mosich but then got pinch-hitter David Gordon to line-out to center field to end the game and give Stanford the Game One victory.

Game Notes :
* With the win Guthrie improved his record to 12-1.  Stanford also now finishes the year a perfect 10-0 in Guthrie's home starts.

* The Cardinal have now won eight consecutive games, a season-high.  This loss snapped USC's winning streak at six games.

* Two Stanford players had multi-hit games tonight.  They were designated hitter Chris Carter (2-for-3, HR, RBI) and catcher Ryan Garko (2-for-3, RBI).

* USC starter Anthony Reyes went 7 1/3 innings tonight yielding eight hits and four runs.  He walked one and struck out two and saw his record fall to 4-2 on the season.

* In other Super Regional action around the country, Notre Dame knocked off top seeded Florida State 10-4 while second seeded Clemson also fell tonight (9-6 to Arkansas).  Other winners tonight included : Georgia Tech (over Florida Atlantic), Nebraska (over Richmond), Houston (over #5 Texas), #4 Rice (over LSU), and #6 South Carolina (over Miami).

USC           0 0 0  0 0 0  0 2 0   -   2   5   0
Stanford      0 0 0  2 1 0  0 1 x   -   4   8   1

Game Two of this best-of-three game series is tomorrow afternoon at 1pm.  A pair of lefties will be on the mound as Stanford will start Tim Cunningham (9-2, 3.86) while USC will send out Cory Campos (6-2, 4.09).  The Trojans will be the designated home team.

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