Another Good Start for Stanford
Stanford always seems to have plenty of pitching in the College World Series, and it was no different Saturday.
The Cardinal won its fifth consecutive Series opener, beating Notre Dame, 4-3, before a crowd of 21,919 at Rosenblatt Stadium.
“We usually have a pretty good No. 1 starter and that’s really what it falls to,” said Coach Mark Marquess.
That’s true of the program that has produced pitchers such as Jack McDowell, Mike Mussina and the latest, Jeremy Guthrie, who pitched a complete game Saturday for his 13th win of the season.
The Cleveland Indians’ first-round draft pick yielded 10 hits and struck out five. Other than shaky seventh and eighth innings, Guthrie (13-1) was dominant after the Cardinal took a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
“When we’re able to swing the bats as well as we did early it helps everybody settle in,” said Guthrie, who pitched 13 innings in a regional win two weeks ago over Cal State Fullerton. “I know it helps me every time.”
Sam Fuld homered for the Cardinal (46-16), which lost in the last two CWS championship games.
Stanford extended its overall winning streak to 10 games and improved to 10-4 in the opening round.
Stanford is making its fourth consecutive CWS appearance and 14th overall.
The Cardinal last lost an opening-round game in 1995 to Cal State Fullerton, which went on to win the title.
Guthrie walked only one in his sixth complete game this season.
“That Guthrie kid is really good. He threw three different pitches for strikes and he threw really hard,” said Notre Dame Coach Paul Mainieri.
“I don’t know the stats, but I’m sure Guthrie hasn’t given up 10 hits in a game very often.”
Notre Dame’s Grant Johnson (9-5) kept the Irish in the game despite hitting three batters.
He limited Stanford to four runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Texas 2, Rice 1--Despite warm, humid conditions with little or no wind in the usually hitter-friendly ballpark, the second game was a pitcher’s duel rarely seen in the College World Series.
It was the lowest-scoring game since Louisiana State beat Florida, 2-1, in 1996.
Justin Simmons (15-1) pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings, yielding one run and five hits.
He struck out three and walked two.
Owl starter Steven Herce (13-3) was almost as effective, giving up two runs and eight hits while striking out eight in 7 2/3 innings.
The Longhorns (54-15), who beat Rice (52-13) twice during the regular season, won the opener of their 29th CWS and will play Stanford on Monday in a winners’ bracket game.
Notre Dame and Rice, ranked No. 1 in the major polls, will play Monday in an elimination game.
Jeff Ontiveros’ single in the third inning drove in the game’s only run until the eighth, when Dustin Majewski doubled to drive in Tim Moss and give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead.
Eric Arnold broke up the shutout in the eighth with a towering homer over the 30-foot batter’s screen in center, where it is 408 feet to the wall.