Experience no comfort for South Carolina in CWS


Friday, June 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Sometimes there is just no comfort in a familiar position, even with the experience of having battled back successfully. That is where South Carolina coach Ray Tanner found himself Friday at the College World Series. For a second straight year, his Gamecocks opened the national collegiate championships with a shutout loss.

A year ago it was Georgia Tech manhandling South Carolina 11-0. Friday, Stanford (47-15) blanked the Gamecocks 8-0.

Tanner can only hope his team battles back as well this year as last. South Carolina made it to the title game in 2002, losing to Texas 12-6.

``I don't know if there is any comfort in it, but we do have some experience. We battled back through adversity before,'' Tanner said. ``We've got to regroup and battle.''

Last year the team came back by playing one game at a time, senior third baseman Brian Buscher said.

``At least that's what we're going to tell our young guys. The big guys know that,'' Buscher said.

South Carolina (44-21) plays Sunday against the loser of Friday's late game between LSU and Cal State Fullerton.

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SHORTEST START: South Carolina pitching ace David Marchbanks had his shortest outing as a starter this season in the CWS opener against Stanford. The 15-3 All-American went just 3 1/3 innings against the Cardinal, giving up six runs, all earned, on seven hits.

That came after two strong postseason outings _ a nine-strikeout 3-2 win over Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and a 7-2 complete-game win over Stetson in the NCAA Atlanta Regional.

The left-hander also threw in the Gamecocks' CWS appearance a year ago, but home-state Nebraska roughed him up for three hits and three runs in just one inning of relief that time.

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CARDINAL STRINGS: Stanford continued a College World Series tradition in its opening game Friday against South Carolina. The Cardinal have won at least one game every time they have qualified for a CWS, and that is 15 times, including this year.

Friday's win moved Cardinal coach Mark Marquess into the sole No. 4 spot among most-coaching victories in CWS history. He had been tied with former LSU coach Skip Bertman. Marquess' 30 wins in Omaha trail only the 60 by Southern Cal's Rod Dedeaux, 44 by Texas' Cliff Gustafson and 36 by Arizona State's Jim Brock.

Stanford also met South Carolina in the first round of the 1982 CWS, beating the Gamecocks 15-4 that day.

The Cardinal have won the national title twice _ 1987 and 1988. They were second in 2000 and 2001.

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PLAYER-COACH: Only nine men have played in the College World Series and returned as head coaches. Three of them are in the 2003 tournament.

Texas coach Augie Garrido was a player for Fresno State in the 1959 series. Cal State Fullerton's George Horton played for the Titans in the 1975 series. Stanford's Mark Marquess played for the Cardinal in Omaha in 1967.

The others were Mike Gillespie of Southern Cal, Jack Kaiser and Joe Russo of St. John's, Jerry Kindall of Minnesota and Steve Webber of Southern Illinois. Gillespie returned as Southern Cal's coach, Kaiser and Russo as coaches of their old schools, and Kindall with five Arizona teams.