Texas Wins Spot in CWS Title Game
Friday, June 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Texas beat Stanford when it mattered most.
The Longhorns won 6-5 Thursday night to advance to the College World Series championship game for the first time in 13 years. Texas lost twice to Stanford during the regular season.
``We had our goal set on the World Series and winning it,'' said Dustin Majewski, whose solo homer in the seventh broke a 5-5 tie. ``I think we deserve to be here the way we worked all year long.''
Jeff Ontiveros hit a two run homer and relievers Jesen Merle and Huston Street shut out the Cardinal over the last four innings as Texas beat Stanford for the second time this week.
The Longhorns (56-15) will be in the final for the first time since 1989. They will play for the title Saturday against the winner of Friday's game between South Carolina and Clemson.
Texas lost two out of three in a series at Stanford in March. The Longhorns got some revenge Monday with an 8-7 victory that put the Cardinal on the verge of elimination, then finished them off Thursday after falling behind 3-0.
``They rallied around everything that they could and capitalized on the things that we needed to capitalize on,'' coach Augie Garrido said. ``It was very instinctive. It was very impressive and it's not easy to do.''
The Longhorns are in their 29th CWS and have four national titles, the last in 1983.
``They played tough. We jumped on them early but they battled back,'' Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. ``We had some chances to score, but couldn't get it done and that's a credit to them.''
Stanford had opened its last two CWS appearances 3-0, then lost in the title game.
The Cardinal had a chance in the ninth when Sam Fuld led off with a bunt single, but Street earned his 13th save by getting Ryan Garko to fly out to center and Jason Cooper to ground into a double play.
Chris O'Riordan, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, was on deck when Cooper's grounder to first ended the game.
``It wasn't any different than if I was sitting on the bench with everybody else. You don't like to end the season on a loss,'' O'Riordan said. ``I would have liked to have had a shot, but it just didn't work out that way.''
Chris Carter hit a leadoff homer for Stanford (47-18), which lost to Texas in an NCAA regional a year ago, then beat the Longhorns twice to advance.
Majewski's solo shot off Jeremy Guthrie (13-2) in the seventh kept the Cardinal from doing it again.
``I just wished there were people on base because I didn't think one run was going to hold up against Stanford,'' Majewski said. ``We haven't really won anything yet. We've just made it to where we want to be.''
South Carolina forced the deciding game with a 12-4 victory Wednesday, fueling the state rivalry.
Both benches were warned after brushback pitches in the first and South Carolina players angered the Tigers by showboating.
Clemson shortstop Khalil Greene wants to concentrate strictly on baseball Friday.
``I'm not worrying about vendettas or trying to get back at somebody,'' he said. ``I'm just worrying about trying to go out there and win a game. I'm not particularly looking to beat USC. I want to win to get into the championship game.''