June 19, 2002
By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer
OMAHA, Neb. – The semifinalists at the College World Series share no secrets.
South Carolina and Clemson have played four times this season. Texas and Stanford have played 10 times during the past two years.
“If you live in South Carolina you know when South Carolina and Clemson match up, even if it’s equestrian horse racing, there’s going to be a lot on the line,” designated hitter Trey Dyson said after South Carolina beat Georgia Tech 9-5 in an elimination game Tuesday.
This season, Clemson won three of four from its state rival. One more victory and the Tigers (54-15) will play in the championship Saturday for the first time in their 10 CWS appearances.
To stay alive, the Gamecocks (55-17) must win Wednesday and force a deciding game Friday.
South Carolina survived its second straight elimination game and avenged an 11-0 loss to Tech in the CWS opener.
“If you live in South Carolina you know when South Carolina and Clemson match up, even if it’s equestrian horse racing, there’s going to be a lot on the line.”
Steve Thomas and Justin Harris homered and Aaron Rawl pitched a complete game after struggling in a brief relief appearance in the opener.
Rawl (7-1) allowed 14 hits, 12 of them singles. Rawl also got Tech to ground into three double plays. The Yellow Jackets (52-16), didn’t have an extra-base hit until Jeremy Slayden’s two-run homer in the eighth made it 9-4.
Tech set a school record for wins this season, topping its 51-14 finish in 1987.
Matthew Boggs and Matt Murton drove in two runs for Tech, which fell behind early and could not recover for the second straight game.
The Yellow Jackets were in the elimination round after a 9-7 loss to Clemson on Sunday, with the Tigers scoring eight runs in the second inning.
“They kind of distanced themselves enough from us to where we couldn’t muster enough offense to get back at them,” Tech coach Danny Hall said.
Brian Burks (10-7) pitched 3 2-3 innings for the Yellow Jackets, allowing five runs and five hits.
Stanford moved into college baseball’s final four by holding off Notre Dame 5-3 in Tuesday’s second game. All that stands between Stanford and a third straight trip to the title game is Thursday night’s game with Texas, which beat the Cardinal 8-7 Monday.
Stanford went 2-1 against Texas last year in a regular season series and again in a rematch in the NCAA regional round. The Cardinal won 2-of-3 in a series earlier this season, but lost when it mattered most Monday. Stanford needs two wins over the Longhorns, who opened the CWS 2-0.
“There’s not much we don’t know about them. There’s not much they don’t know about us.” Sam Fuld, who hit a two-run homer in the first.
The Cardinal, CWS runners-up the last two years, improved to 40-0 this season when holding the lead after eight innings by beating the Irish for the second time in the CWS. Stanford won 4-3 in the first round and used early homers by Fuld and Carlos Quentin to pull ahead Tuesday.
The Fighting Irish (50-18) had 22 comeback wins this season, but could not come up with one more.
“It just didn’t happen for us today,” said Steve Stanley who was 2-for-3 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored.
Dan Rich got his sixth save after relieving John Hudgins (10-1), who allowed two earned runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings.
Peter Ogilvie (7-5) recovered well after being down 2-0 on just three pitches, but didn’t get the support he needed.
“We just came up a little bit short,” coach Paul Mainieri said. “I thought Stanford was just a little bit better than we were in these two games.”