Tuesday, June 7, 1988
Stanford, which gave away a victory Monday night, was on the receiving end Tuesday.
The Cardinal pulled out a 2-1 College World Series victory over Miami, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Hurricane second baseman Jose Trujillo's throwing error.
Trujillo's hurried throw on a potential inning-ending double play allowed Doug Robbins to score from second base. It also provided a tarnished ending to an otherwise sterling game that was filled with great pitching and highlight-film defensive plays.
"That was great college baseball out there tonight," Miami Coach Ron Fraser said. "I wish I could have been on the other end of it. But all you can do is compete. I think our kids really competed."
Seventh-ranked Stanford jeopardized hopes of defending its national championship by committing six errors in Monday's 5-3 loss to Cal State Fullerton. The Cardinal bounced back Tuesday, committing just one error.
"I'll take it," Stanford Coach Mark Marquess said. "It's a tough game for either team to lose."
Third-ranked Miami, which ends its season 52-14-1, committed just one error in three CWS games. It couldn't have come at a worse time for the Hurricanes.
Robbins opened the Stanford ninth by drawing a walk off losing pitcher Will Vespe, 5-1. Fraser brought in reliever William Joseph, who gave up a sacrifice bunt by Ron Witmeyer that moved Robbins to second.
Joseph then intentionally walked Brian Johnson to set up a double-play situation.
"We had exactly what we wanted," Fraser said. "And then we get the ground ball and it looks like we're out of the inning."
Stanford designated hitter Jeff Saenger bounced a routine grounder to Trujillo, who fielded the ball cleanly. But the Miami second baseman threw wildly and the ball deflected off shortstop Jorge Robles' glove toward left field.
"It's just one of those things," Fraser said. "He tried to side toss the ball, and he threw it behind Jorge. He never does that, but tonight he did.
"He has made plays in the field that have kept us in a lot of ballgames this year. We would have never had made it this far without him."
Robbins momentarily stopped at third before cruising home with the winning run.
"As I was approaching third, Coach (Dean) Stotz started flagging me around and I wondered what was going on," Robbins said. "I looked back over my shoulder and saw the ball going out to left field. I didn't see anybody close to it, so I knew I was going to score."
Vespe, who held Stanford to six hits in 8 1/3 innings, and Stanford starter Stan Spencer dominated the early play as they dueled through five scoreless innings.
Excellent defensive plays by center fielder Eric DeGraw, in the first, and shortstop Troy Paulsen, in the fourth, helped Spencer keep his shutout alive.
DeGraw robbed Frank Dominguez of an extra-base hit that would have scored Trujillo when he made a running catch at the warning track in right-center field.
Paulsen, who made two errors in Monday night's game, stole a single from Dominguez on a hit-and-run situation in the fourth. Paulsen broke to cover second base on the play and Dominguez bounced a one-hopper to his right.
Paulsen stopped, then dove. He snared the ball and scrambled to his feet to throw out Dominguez at first for the second out. Spencer, a freshman right-hander, then struck out Vespe to end the inning.
"Troy's play was very big, because if that ball gets through they have men on first and third with only one out," Marquess said.
John Viera, who took away a couple of Stanford hits with running catches in center field, gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead when he led off the sixth with his eighth homer.
But Paul Carey quickly pushed Stanford back into a tie. Carey, last year's outstanding player in the series, homered in the bottom of the sixth, his 12th of the season.
"It was very big for us to come right back," Marquess said. "That was a crucial point in the game, and we needed a lift. Paul gave us one."