| ||Friday, June 9|
San Jose St. stumbles in CWS debut
OMAHA, Neb. -- Stanford reminded Louisiana-Lafayette who had been to the College World Series before. The Cardinal took advantage of some control problems Friday night and sent the Ragin' Cajuns, who are in the CWS for the first time, one loss away from a trip home with a 6-4 win. "It's difficult to come here and play for the first time for anybody. I think that's why experience does help," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "It's not the end all, but it certainly helps if your players know what to expect." The win set up a showdown Sunday between Stanford and Clemson, which beat San Jose State 10-6 earlier Friday. The Cardinal (48-15) got a solid performance from starting pitcher Jason Young and closer Jeff Bruksch to win the CWS opener for the sixth time in their last seven trips. Although Young gave up three home runs, he kept the damage to the minimum by keeping the Ragin' Cajuns off the bases. Two of Louisiana-Lafayette's homers were solo shots and the third was with one man on. Young (9-1), who picked up two wins for the Cardinal in last year's CWS, gave up six hits and four runs in 7 1/3 innings. Bruksch pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out three, for his 13th save. Louisiana-Lafayette (47-19) and San Jose State (41-23) will play in Sunday's elimination game. Louisiana-Lafayette starter Justin Gabriel walked three of the first four batters and never recovered, finishing with a season-high seven walks. "I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to determine what those walks were from," coach Tony Robichaux said. "It's tough coming here for the first time and playing in front of this crowd. Next time out, I don't think we'll see some of the same things now that we've been here." Catcher Damien Alvarado was 3-for-3 and scored twice for the Cardinal, who scored two runs in the third inning and added another pair in the fourth. Alvarado led off the third with a single and eventually scored on Edmund Muth's RBI fielder's choice. Eric Bruntlett scored on Rick Haydel's fielding error. Craig Thompson gave the Cardinal two more runs in the fourth with a double. Muth added a solo homer in the seventh. Haydel hit a two-run homer and Jarvis Larry and Nathan Nelson each hit solo shots for the Ragin' Cajuns. Clemson 10, San Jose St. 6
Clemson got an early surprise from San Jose State, but quickly turned the game around with 10 runs in two innings. "We knew we were going to score some runs off these guys. We just got in a groove and hitting is contagious," said Patrick Boyd, whose three-run homer highlighted the Tigers' eight-run second inning. Clemson added two more in the third and it was all the Tigers (51-16) needed. They scored seven runs off four errors. The Spartans (41-23) outhit the Tigers 11-10, but couldn't rally from a 10-2 deficit. Casey Stone and Justin Singleton each drove in two runs for Clemson, which has won six straight since losing to Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. Ryan Mottl (10-3) allowed nine hits and six runs in five innings. Steve Reba, who got the Tigers out of a jam in the seventh inning, earned his second save. The Tigers chased San Jose starter Chris Key (13-3) after just 1 1-3 innings. It was the shortest outing of the season for Key, who allowed eight runs, three earned, on seven hits. "One of our big concerns early in the game was to get out of the first three innings alive. I thought we were a little tight when the game started," San Jose State coach Sam Piraro said. "I'm real pleased to get the first one out of the way," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said.