Cardinal, Tigers to play in CWS championship

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2000

OMAHA, Neb. -- Louisiana State and Stanford made sure there will be just one more game at the College World Series.

The Tigers and Cardinal remained the only unbeaten teams in the CWS by winning Thursday and clinching the two spots in Saturday's championship game. LSU has been in the title game four times and Stanford twice.

Neither has lost a championship game.

''We've got a great team and we've got a great chance to win it,'' said LSU's Brad Hawpe, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the Tigers' 6-3 win over Florida State.

LSU (51-17), which has won 12 straight, needed three runs in the bottom of the eighth to advance. Stanford (50-15) decided its game much earlier.

After falling behind by six runs, the Cardinal rolled to a 19-9 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, playing in its first CWS.

''If you come here enough, sometimes it will be your turn and it will fall for you. There's an element of luck,'' Stanford coach Mark Marquess said.

It will be the first time since 1996 that both teams entered the championship game undefeated. A loss by the Tigers or Cardinal on Thursday would have forced an elimination game Friday.

The tournament is double elimination until the championship. With the wins, Stanford and LSU get a day to practice and will have their aces fresh for Saturday's game.

The Tigers are expected to start Brian Tallet (15-3), who got the win in LSU's 13-5 opening-round win over Texas.

Stanford will start Jason Young (9-1), a 6-4 winner over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Neither has pitched since his team's opener.

LSU won the only two meetings between the two schools in the 1990s, beating the Cardinal twice in the 1997 series en route to the Tigers' fourth and most recent national title.

The Cardinal hasn't won since getting consecutive titles in 1987 and '88.

Thursday was the first time in this year's series that LSU scored fewer than 10 runs.

The Tigers had just three through the first seven innings before catcher Brad Cresse broke out of an 0-for-9 slump with a double that started the game-winning rally.

''I hadn't gotten a hit all series long. I hadn't gotten a pitch to hit and I had been swinging at bad pitches,'' said Cresse, who led LSU with a .400 batting average, 30 homers and 104 RBIs this season.

The Tigers got the go-ahead run when Blair Barbier was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Then Cedrick Harris singled, scoring Cresse and Hawpe.

The Seminoles stranded 13 runners, including nine in scoring position.

Louisiana-Lafayette had similar problems, but the 10 runners the Ragin' Cajuns left on base would only have been enough to tie it if each had scored.

After falling behind by six in the first 1 1/2 innings, Stanford came to life, batting around twice.

Edmund Muth hit three homers to set the CWS career home run record with six, and Andy Topham started the comeback from a 6-0 deficit with a grand slam to put the Cardinal in the title game for the third time.

''That just means that I've been here,'' said Muth, playing in his third CWS. ''I don't really care about that. What it means to me is I'm just swinging the bat well. I'm hitting it to left and right, and that really means more to me that I'm going to be able to help this ballclub.''

Cardinal 19, Ragin' Cajuns 9

La.-Lafayette 151 000 110 -- 9 11 4

Stanford 050 017 24x -- 19 17 1

Webb, Gros (2), Templet (6), Welbourne (6), Babin (8), Stutes (8) and Massiatte; Sager, Gosling (2), Wodnicki (3), Mcally (8) and Alvarado. W--Wodnicki. L--Gros. HRs--La.-Lafayette, Feehan, Nelson, Hawkins, Atwood. Stanford, Muth 3, Topham.

Tigers 6, Seminoles 3

Florida St. 000 001 020 -- 3 9 0

LSU 100 110 03x -- 6 9 1

Varnes, Lynch (8), Whidden (8) and McCaleb; Gomez, Brian (6), Youman (7), Guidry (8), Hodges (9) and Cresse. W--Guidry. L--Varnes. Sv--Hodges. HRs--LSU, Hawpe, Wright.

BYLINE1:By DOUG ALDEN

BYLINE2:Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. -- Louisiana State and Stanford made sure there will be just one more game at the College World Series.

The Tigers and Cardinal remained the only unbeaten teams in the CWS by winning Thursday and clinching the two spots in Saturday's championship game. LSU has been in the title game four times and Stanford twice.

Neither has lost a championship game.

''We've got a great team and we've got a great chance to win it,'' said LSU's Brad Hawpe, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the Tigers' 6-3 win over Florida State.

LSU (51-17), which has won 12 straight, needed three runs in the bottom of the eighth to advance. Stanford (50-15) decided its game much earlier.

After falling behind by six runs, the Cardinal rolled to a 19-9 win over Louisiana-Lafayette, playing in its first CWS.

''If you come here enough, sometimes it will be your turn and it will fall for you. There's an element of luck,'' Stanford coach Mark Marquess said.

It will be the first time since 1996 that both teams entered the championship game undefeated. A loss by the Tigers or Cardinal on Thursday would have forced an elimination game Friday.

The tournament is double elimination until the championship. With the wins, Stanford and LSU get a day to practice and will have their aces fresh for Saturday's game.

The Tigers are expected to start Brian Tallet (15-3), who got the win in LSU's 13-5 opening-round win over Texas.

Stanford will start Jason Young (9-1), a 6-4 winner over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Neither has pitched since his team's opener.

LSU won the only two meetings between the two schools in the 1990s, beating the Cardinal twice in the 1997 series en route to the Tigers' fourth and most recent national title.

The Cardinal hasn't won since getting consecutive titles in 1987 and '88.

Thursday was the first time in this year's series that LSU scored fewer than 10 runs.

The Tigers had just three through the first seven innings before catcher Brad Cresse broke out of an 0-for-9 slump with a double that started the game-winning rally.

''I hadn't gotten a hit all series long. I hadn't gotten a pitch to hit and I had been swinging at bad pitches,'' said Cresse, who led LSU with a .400 batting average, 30 homers and 104 RBIs this season.

The Tigers got the go-ahead run when Blair Barbier was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Then Cedrick Harris singled, scoring Cresse and Hawpe.

The Seminoles stranded 13 runners, including nine in scoring position.

Louisiana-Lafayette had similar problems, but the 10 runners the Ragin' Cajuns left on base would only have been enough to tie it if each had scored.

After falling behind by six in the first 1 1/2 innings, Stanford came to life, batting around twice.

Edmund Muth hit three homers to set the CWS career home run record with six, and Andy Topham started the comeback from a 6-0 deficit with a grand slam to put the Cardinal in the title game for the third time.

''That just means that I've been here,'' said Muth, playing in his third CWS. ''I don't really care about that. What it means to me is I'm just swinging the bat well. I'm hitting it to left and right, and that really means more to me that I'm going to be able to help this ballclub.''

Cardinal 19, Ragin' Cajuns 9

La.-Lafayette 151 000 110 -- 9 11 4

Stanford 050 017 24x -- 19 17 1

Webb, Gros (2), Templet (6), Welbourne (6), Babin (8), Stutes (8) and Massiatte; Sager, Gosling (2), Wodnicki (3), Mcally (8) and Alvarado. W--Wodnicki. L--Gros. HRs--La.-Lafayette, Feehan, Nelson, Hawkins, Atwood. Stanford, Muth 3, Topham.

Tigers 6, Seminoles 3

Florida St. 000 001 020 -- 3 9 0

LSU 100 110 03x -- 6 9 1

Varnes, Lynch (8), Whidden (8) and McCaleb; Gomez, Brian (6), Youman (7), Guidry (8), Hodges (9) and Cresse. W--Guidry. L--Varnes. Sv--Hodges. HRs--LSU, Hawpe, Wright.



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