Stanford 13, South Carolina 6
Five straight years and five straight College World Series appearances. As if that were not enough, the Cardinal have won at least two games in each of the CWS appearances with today's 13-6 victory over South Carolina. You know when the worst performance from the top five batters is Sam Fuld's 2-5 performance, it's going to be a pretty good day, and for the Cardinal, it certainly was.
Like Friday's game against South Carolina, the Cardinal started hot in the first inning. After Sam Fuld and Jonny Ash flied out to start the game, Carlos Quentin knocked a single up the middle off senior RHP Chris Hernandez. Ryan Garko followed with a two-strike hit, and Danny Putnam took a 1-0 fastball up the middle, giving Stanford a 1-0 lead.
Ryan McCally started for Stanford, and after retiring the first two batters of the inning, Brian Buscher walked on four pitches. Landon Powell flied out to the wall in center to end the inning, preserving the 1-0 lead for the Cardinal. It would be the first of many runners left on base for South Carolina today.
After a 1-2-3 top of the 2nd, McCally got into trouble in the bottom of the inning. A one-out single by Bryan Triplett and a walk to DH Trey McDaniel put runners on first and second, but they stayed for just four pitches as McCally walked the #8 hitter Michael Campbell to load the bases. With Steven Tolleson at the plate, McCally got ahead 0-1, and Tolleson hit a one-hopper to short. Swope momentarily bobbled it, but went to second for one and Lowrie's throw to first just nipped Tolleson, who went in diving. The Cardinal still held a 1-0 lead and McCally got out of trouble unscathed.
In the third, Stanford got one-out singles from Ash and Quentin, but Garko flied out to deep center. With two outs, Danny Putnam doubled home his second run of the game, putting Quentin on third with two outs, and just one pitch later Chris Carter singled to center. All of the sudden, Stanford led it 4-0.
McCally got out of another two-on, two-out jam in the third without allowing a Gamecock run. Then in the fourth, Stanford broke it open. A one-out bunt single from Swope followed by a hit from Sam Fuld put runners at first and second. The red-hot Jonny Ash stepped up and smoked a triple to right to give Stanford a 6-0 lead, which knocked out Chris Hernandez. Aaron Rawl came in and gave up a sac fly to Quentin and just like Friday, Stanford led 7-0 after four.
McCally stranded two more runners in the fourth, and two more in the fifth for a total of nine South Carolina runners left on base through five innings! He threw a 1-2-3 sixth, and Stanford failed to score in the fifth and sixth though still held a 7-0 lead. McCally got some further insurance in the seventh when Putnam homered to right, driving home his third and fourth runs of the game, giving the Cardinal a 9-0 lead.
South Carolina finally got their first run off a Stanford pitcher in the seventh when McCally gave up a solo homer to Buscher, his third extra-base hit of the game. But Stanford responded with four in the eighth, keyed by another Ash single and another Putnam RBI, as they led it 13-1 after 7 1/2.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Stanford 1 0 3 3 0 0 2 4 0 13 17 1
South Carolina 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1 6 11 1
WP: Ryan McCally (7-2)
LP: Chris Hernandez (5-5)
HR: Stanford - Putnam (15); South Carolina - Buscher (15), Triplett (7), Tolleson (3)
Records: South Carolina
(45-22)*; Stanford (48-16)
* Season Complete
- Stanford's win puts them in a rematch with Cal State Fullerton tomorrow at 11 AM PDT. The Cardinal must win two games against Fullerton to move on to the Championship Series, while the Titans need just a victory in the next two to advance. The Cardinal will come back with John Hudgins (12-3, 3.01 ERA) on four days rest while Cal St. Fullerton will start lefty Ryan Schreppel (5-3, 2.45).
- Top five hitters of Fuld, Ash, Quentin, Garko, and Putnam: 14-22, 10 RBI. Ash was 3-5 with 3 RBI, Quentin was 3-3 with 2 RBI, and Putnam was an amazing 4-5 with a 2B, HR, and 5 RBI.
- Ryan McCally delivered another solid postseason performance despite being in and out of trouble: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2 K. He has allowed just two runs in 17 innings in Omaha during his four year career.
- Brian Buscher for South Carolina had a big day: 4-4 with a HR and 2 2B.
- One rough spot for Stanford was Jonny Dyer's relief performance in the eighth, when he got an out but then gave up two doubles and two homers - four runs in total.
- David O'Hagan struck out two, allowing an unearned run in 1.2 IP.
- Freshman John Mayberry, Jr. pinch hit for the second time in Omaha, both coming late against the Gamecocks, and he this time recorded his first career CWS hit with a single into right field. Ryan Garko scored on the play but Mayberry was not credited with the RBI; the right fielder for USC instead was saddled with a fielding error.
- Stanford has won 20 of 22 games overall and seven of eight in the postseason.
- South Carolina ends their season with a 45-22 record.
Chad Goldberg is the voice of Stanford Baseball on KZSU, 90.1 FM.
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