COLLEGE WORLD SERIES (at Omaha, NE)
Championship Series Game 2
Stanford 8, Rice 3
Stanford evened the inaugural CWS Championship Series versus Rice with an 8-3 victory on Sunday to set up a rubber game in the series to be televised on ESPN Monday (6 pm, CT/4 pm, PT) to decide the NCAA champion. Stanford will be looking to win its third College World Series as the Cardinal also won CWS titles in 1987 and 1988, while finishing as runners-up in 2000 and 2001. Rice is looking to win its first NCAA title in any sport.
Stanford's 8-3 victory over Rice in the second game of the CWS Championship Series on Sunday snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinal in CWS championship round games.
Stanford has now won four straight elimination games in the 2003 CWS and has an all-time record of 20-11 in CWS elimination contests.
Stanford improves to 51-17 overall with the 51 wins being tied for the third most in school history.
Stanford has announced LHP Mark Romanczuk (12-1, 3.72) as its starting pitcher for the third and deciding game of the CWS Championship Series versus Rice on Monday.
Stanford has lost to the eventual national champion each of the last three years, falling in the CWS title game in 2000 (Louisiana State) and 2001 (Miami), as well as a CWS bracket final in 2002 (Texas).
Stanford's victory over Rice on Sunday was its fourth victory in five all-time meetings with the Owls. Prior to splitting their two games at the 2003 CWS (Rice, 4-3; Stanford, 8-3), Stanford and Rice had played just three previous contests 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.
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 23 of its last 26 games overall and 10 of its last 12 games versus ranked teams.
Stanford fell to 113-53 (.681) all-time in NCAA postseason play and 38-26 (.594) in CWS action.
Stanford has set a new school record with 10 postseason wins, recording a 10-2 postseason record. Stanford will play 13 postseason games in 2003 to set a new school record, surpassing the old record of 12 postseason games played by the Cardinal in 20021.
Stanford has outscored its opponents 99-44 in postseason action this year. The Cardinal is outhitting opponents .317 to .239 and has a 3.31 ERA, while opponents have posted a 7.37 ERA.
Stanford will set a new College World Series record when the Cardinal plays its eighth game at the 2003 CWS in the third and deciding game of the Championship Series on Monday night. 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 has committed just three errors in seven 2003 College World Series games for a .989 CWS fielding percentage and just eight errors in 11 postseason games for a .981 mark.
Stanford scored first for the 49th time in 67 games this year and improved to 43-6 in games in which it has scored first.
Stanford continued its success in day games as the Cardinal are 35-6 in daylight and just 16-11 at night this season.
Sunday's June 22 game marked the latest date on the calendar the Cardinal has ever. Prior to last night's game on June 21, last year's season finale on June 20 versus Texas had been the latest date the Cardinal had played previously.
Several Stanford team totals rank on the school's all-time top five list - saves (19, #2T), fielding percentage (.972, #2T), hits (772, #3), at bats (2424, #3), batting average (.318, #3T), triples (29, #3T), doubles (150, #4), total bases (1199, #4), putouts (1846, #4) and innings pitched (615.1, #4).
extended his career-high hit streak to 11 games (5/31 - 6/22)
has an updated career CWS batting average of .422 (19-45), an updated 2003 CWS batting average of .438 (14-32), an updated career postseason batting average of .404 (38-94) and an updated 2003 postseason batting average of .415 (22-53)
has tied the single-series CWS record with 32 at bats in the 2003 CWS
improved his batting average to .401 and is attempting along with Ryan Garko (.404) to become just the sixth Stanford player in history to bat .400 or better in a season and the first since David McCarty hit .420 in 1991
took over the team lead with 105 hits, ranking fifth on Stanford's all-time list