Saturday, June 9, 2001
[ COLLEGE BASEBALL ]
Komines winOMAHA, Neb. >> Cal State Fullerton's experience silenced Nebraska's vocal and partisan fans at the College World Series.
streak ends in
The Kalani grad is strong
after a 3-run first, but his
'Huskers fall to the
By Doug Alden
Cal State Fullerton took a one-run lead in the fifth inning and made it stand up, beating Nebraska 5-4 in the CWS last night.
The Titans won the opener of their 11th series and second in three years. Nebraska lost its series debut and will play Tulane tomorrow, with the loser eliminated from the tournament.
"The biggest thing for us was to make sure the crowd didn't get to us. Emotionally for us we were able to do that," said David Bacani, whose leadoff homer in the fifth inning supplied the eventual game winning run.
Aaron Rifkin hit a two-run homer for the Titans (47-16), who were outhit 8-7.
The Titans will play Stanford, a 13-11 winner over Tulane earlier yesterday, on Sunday night. The Huskers and Green Wave will play Sunday afternoon in a game that will knock out one of the CWS newcomers.
Three Fullerton pitchers struck out 14 Cornhuskers. Jon Smith (11-2) lasted only until the sixth inning but got the win after allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out seven. Freshman closer Chad Cordero struck out four of the seven batters he faced to earn his 14th save.
"He doesn't get hit. When we see him running out there we just know it's lights out," Rifkin said of the Titans' closer with the 1.53 ERA.
Kalani graduate Shane Komine (14-2) struck out nine as his streak of 14 straight wins ended.
John Cole was 3-for-4 with a pair of solo homers and Matt Hopper also connected for the Cornhuskers (50-15), who rallied to tie it twice after falling behind 3-0 but never took a lead. Nebraska had won nine straight coming into the series.
"I have mixed emotions right now. It felt pretty good to get a few hits but at the same time it feels pretty bad to lose by one run," Cole said. "I would have taken an 0-for and a win."
Bacani's leadoff homer in the fifth came off a changeup.
"He came in again with a change-up this time and I was able to stay back and got a good part of the bat on it. It ended up being the winning run," Bacani said. "I didn't think it would turn out that way but it did."
Nebraska had just tied it in the top half of the inning on a homer by Cole to center, his fourth in the last five games.
The Titans silenced the crowd of 22,889 with a three-run first inning.
"It's a little disappointing to lose by a run. It just felt like we could have won the game and didn't get it done," coach Dave Van Horn said.
The three runs Komine gave up in the first matched the total he gave up in the first inning all season.
Stanford 13, Tulane 11:Ryan Garko had never been so nervous about catching a baseball. Hours later, the Stanford catcher calmly delivered in the clutch.
Garko, who caught President Bush's ceremonial opening-game first pitch, hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning as Stanford rallied to beat Tulane 13-11 in the longest nine-inning game in College World Series history.
"I wasn't too nervous when the game started," said Garko, a sophomore. "I was awake more last night thinking about dropping that ball from the president than I was about the game."
Garko's single during the Cardinal's five-run seventh gave Stanford (49-16) its first lead in a game Tulane (55-12) led 8-0 early on.
"Stanford made a great comeback," Tulane coach Rick Jones said. "They really battled back. We didn't pitch as well as we have all season, but I credit Stanford."
The game lasted 4 hours, 18 minutes -- surpassing the previous mark of 4:01 by Arizona State and Oklahoma State in 1984.
COLLEGE WORLD SERIESAt Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Neb.
Stanford 13, Tulane 11
Cal State Fullerton 5, Nebraska 4
Today (All times HST)
Game 3 -- Southern California (44-17) vs. Georgia (47-20), 7:30 a.m.
Game 4 -- Miami (49-12) vs. Tennessee (46-18), 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 -- Tulane (55-12) vs. Nebraska (50-15), 9 a.m.
Game 6 -- Stanford (49-16) vs. Cal State Fullerton (47-16), 1 p.m.
Green Wave 13, Cardinal 11
Tulane 053 000 021 -- 11 17 4 Stanford 000 070 51x -- 13 14 1
Bourgeois, Melius (5), Charron (7), Foster (7), Aubrey (8) and Madden; Guthrie, Cunningham (2), Hudgins (3), McCally (6), Wodnicki (7), Wilcox (8), Bruksch (9) and Garko. W--Wodnicki. L--Charron. Sv--Bruksch.
Titans 5, Cornhuskers 4
Nebraska 012 010 000 -- 4 8 3 Cal St.-Fullerton 301 010 00x -- 5 7 1
Komine and Morris; Smith, Nunez (6), Cordero (7) and Kay. W--Smith. L--Komine. Sv--Cordero. HRs--Cole 2, Hopper, Bacani, Rifkin.