College World Series (at Omaha, NE)
Game 13 - Stanford 7, Cal State Fullerton 5 (10 inn.)
Stanford's back-to-back victories over Cal State Fullerton in a pair of CWS Bracket One finals on Wednesday and Thursday have given the Cardinal a berth in the inaugural best two-of-three CWS championship series this Saturday-Monday, June 21-23 (6 pm, 1:30 pm, 6 pm, if necessary). Stanford will face Bracket Two winner Rice, who swept through its bracket unbeaten to earn a spot in the CWS championship series. Stanford and Rice have played just three times in school history with the Cardinal sweeping a three-game non-conference series (6-5, 10-4, 3-2) at Stanford from February 16-18, 1991. The teams have never met in postseason action.
Stanford has reached the College World Series championship game in four previous seasons, winning national titles in 1987 and 1988, while finishing as CWS runners-up in 2000 and 2001. The team's first national title in 1987 came during a previous format with one eight-team double elimination bracket. The 1988 title, as well as runner-up showings in 2000 and 2001, came with eight teams split into a two-bracket double elimination format with the winners playing a one-game national championship. Stanford defeated Oklahoma State, 9-5, in the championship game in 1987 before coming back to win another national title in 1988 with a 9-4 victory over Arizona State in the championship game. The Cardinal returned to the national title game in both 2000 and 2001 but lost to Louisiana State (6-5 in 2000) and Miami (12-1 in 2001).
Stanford lost early in the CWS in both of its national championship seasons in 1987 and 1988. In the final year of the one-bracket eight-team double elimination format in 1987, Stanford lost its third game of the CWS to Oklahoma State (6-2) before rolling off three consecutive wins versus Louisiana State (6-5, 10 inn.), Texas (9-3) and Oklahoma State (9-5) to capture the first baseball national title in school history. In the first year of the new format with two brackets of four teams each in 1988, the Cardinal lost its second CWS game to Cal State Fullerton (5-3) before coming back to win four games in a row. Stanford earned a spot in the one-game championship by defeating Miami (2-1) and avenging its loss to Cal State Fullerton with a pair of victories (4-1, 9-5) over the Titans. Stanford then defeated Pac-10 rival Arizona State (9-4) in the championship game.
Stanford has won six of its last seven postseason games over Cal State Fullerton. Stanford started the stretch with a 9-2 victory in the CWS on June 12, 1999. Stanford then picked up a pair of CWS victories over the Titans in 2001, winning 5-2 in 10 innings on June 10 and 4-1 on June 13 in a bracket final. Stanford continued the stretch with a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Titans in 13 innings in a Regional opener at Stanford on May 31, 2002. Cal State Fullerton broke a four-game postseason losing streak to the Cardinal with a 6-5 victory in their first of three meetings at the 2003 CWS (June 15) before Stanford came back for back-to-back bracket final wins on June 17 and 18 (5-3 and 7-5 in 10 innings). Stanford leads the all-time series, 41-33.
Stanford (50-16) has reached the 50-win mark for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
Stanford has won 22 of its last 24 games overall.
Stanford has won nine of its last 10 games versus ranked teams.
Stanford improved to 112-52 (.683) all-time in NCAA postseason play and 37-25 (.597) in CWS action.
Stanford has tied a school record with nine postseason wins, recording a 9-1 postseason record. Stanford has outscored its opponents 88-37 in postseason action this year. The Cardinal is outhitting opponents .332 to .235 and has a 3.40 ERA, while opponents have put up an 8.17 ERA.
Stanford has assured itself to play at least 12 postseason games in 2003 with a minimum of two remaining in the CWS championship series to tie the school record of 12 postseason games played in 2001
Stanford has committed just two errors in five 2003 College World Series games for a .989 CWS fielding percentage and just seven errors in 10 postseason games for a .981 mark.
Stanford has guaranteed itself to play at least seven games at the 2003 College World Series. Stanford has never played more than six games in any of its previous 14 CWS appearances. The Cardinal played six in both the 1987 and 1988 championship seasons.
Stanford scored first on Thursday versus Cal State Fullerton and improved to 42-5 in games in the 47 games in which it has scored first.
Stanford has broken the College World Series hit by pitch record by hitting 12 batters in its first five CWS games.
Several Stanford team totals rank on the school's all-time top five list - saves (19, #2T), fielding percentage (.972, #2T), batting average (.320, #3), triples (29, #3T), doubles (149, #4), hits (765, #5), total bases (1188, #5), putouts (1817, #5) and innings pitched (605.2, #5).
drove home the game-winning runs with a two-run homer off Cal State Fullerton reliever and losing pitcher Darric Merrell in the top of the 10th inning ... leads the team with five postseason homers and 21 RBI, while batting .375.
hit his first career homer in his 315th collegiate at bat off Cal State Fullerton reliever Chad Cordero in the top of the seventh inning to tie the score at 5-5 ... extended his career-high hit streak to nine games.
held Cal State Fullerton scoreless and struck out four over the final 4.0 innings to earn his first career postseason victory in just his second career CWS outing and third postseason appearance ... co-leads the team with 25 appearances this season.
picked up his 22nd career CWS hit with his 53rd career double in the seventh inning ... is now just one hit shy of equaling the all-time CWS record of 23 hits set by Keith Moreland of Texas from 1973-75 ... moved into a tie for eighth on the school's all-time doubles list ... scored one run to bring his season total to 81, just two shy of the Stanford single-season record of 83 set by Jeffrey Hammonds in 1990.
started Stanford's comeback with a two-run homer in the sixth inning that cut Cal State Fullerton's lead from 4-1 to 4-3 ... has homered six times in 54 official postseason at bats (once every 9.0 at bats).
both have updated career averages at or above .400 as both are making a run to become the first Stanford player to hit .400 or better in a season since David McCarty hit .420 in 1991 ... Only five players in school history have ever hit .400 or better in a season, one of which is current head coach Mark Marquess, who hit .404 in 1967.