Sunday, June 2, 1985
Freshman Jack McDowell kept Stanford alive in the College World Series by pitching the Cardinal to a 9-2 victory over Arizona on Sunday night.
McDowell scattered nine hits against the Wildcats, who ended their season with a 47-22 record. Stanford, 47-14, advances to a Wednesday night game against the loser of tonight's contest between Arkansas and Mississippi State.
"He's a very fine pitcher," Arizona Coach Jerry Kindall said of McDowell. "He has good stuff and he's just learning. He's blossoming into a fine pitcher."
Stanford, mauled 17-3 in the opening round by Miami, came back with a solid performance that showcased the talents of the 19-year - old McDowell.
He did not allow an extra - base hit until the ninth inning and struck out five in improving his record to 11-4. In his first six innings, Arizona hit only four balls out of the infield against McDowell.
It was McDowell's second win of the season against the Wildcats.
He threw a nine-hitter against Arizona on April 14 in an 11-1 triumph.
Stanford defeated Arizona four times in six meetings during the regular season. The Cardinal got the most important win on Sunday, the one that meant the difference between staying in Omaha for a couple of extra days or hitting the road for home.
"I told the team before tonight's game that we had not been beaten twice in a row all year," said Stanford Coach Mark Marquess, "and we didn't want to start tonight."
Marquess praised the pitching of the 6-foot-5, 185-pound McDowell.
"He's pitched well for us all year, although he's pitching better for us now," he said. "He kept us close. He shut them down until we got on the board."
Stanford, the No. 1 team coming into the tournament, and Sunday's other winner, Oklahoma State, will rest until Wednesday. The tournament's unbeaten teams move into the spotlight, with Mississippi State playing Arkansas tonight at 7:10 and Texas and Miami meeting Tuesday, also in a 7:10 game.
Offensively, the Stanford stars were Walt Harris, who drove in three runs with two singles and a double, and Mike DeBenon, who blasted a grand slam in the eighth inning.
Arizona pitcher David Carley had made two starts against Stanford during the regular season and had given up six runs in six innings against the Cardinal.
Sunday, he held Stanford hitless in the first 3 1/3 innings before the Cardinal got to him for a run in the fourth. With one out, Mark Lundblade singled and stole second. Carley struck out Mike DeBenon before Harris followed with his first single to drive in Lundblade.
Stanford took control in the fifth inning by scoring four runs to increase the lead to 5-0.
John Verducci opened the spree with a one-out walk and moved to third on a single by Pete Stanicek. Carley then walked Ruben Amaro and Mark Davis, both on 3-2 pitches, to force in Stanford's second run.
Carley was replaced by reliever Jim McDonald, and Lundblade blasted a towering sacrifice fly to left field to score Stanicek.
DeBenon then loaded the bases with an infield single. Harris followed with a two-run single to make it -0.
Arizona had a couple of scoring chances in the early innings but couldn't convert against McDowell, who a year ago had just graduated from Notre Dame High School in Van Nuys, Calif.
Tommy Hinzo opened the game with a single off McDowell before Chip Hale also singled. But Stanford right fielder Toi Cook gunned down Hinzo at third base. McDowell got out of the inning with an infield out and a strikeout.
With two outs in the fourth, Todd Trafton and Gar Millay singled.
McDowell got Randy Hayes to hit back to him to end that threat.
Stanford scored four times in the eighth inning when DeBenon rocketed a two - out grand slam down the left-field line.
Arizona pitched to DeBenon after walking Lundblade intentionally.
"Lundblade has hurt us all year," Kindall said. "I would do it again. The strategy was sound, the execution was just weak."
Arizona finally got to McDowell in the ninth. Millay and Randy Hayes had back-to-back doubles that produced the first run before Chuck Johnson's badhop single brought in the second run.
McDowell retired the next three batters to get out of the inning and keep Stanford's national championship hopes alive.
"We ran into some very, very tough pitching here," Kindall said.
"I'd rather credit their pitching than fault our hitting."