Friday, June 8, 1990
Georgia pitcher Mike Rebhan rested on his defense Friday night in eliminating top-seeded Stanford from the College World Series.
The fourth-seeded Bulldogs beat the Cardinal 5-1 before 15,919 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium to advance to the championship game today at noon against third-seeded Oklahoma State.
Each finalist won its four-team double-elimination bracket, Oklahoma State without a loss.
The series attendance stands at 121,944 - 10,921 short of the record of 132,865 set last year.
Rebhan, 13-5, tossed a six-hitter to beat Stanford and junior Mike Mussina for the second time as Georgia won two of the three games between the schools.
Stanford had not lost in 13 straight postseason elimination games dating back to 1987, but that didn't faze Rebhan.
"Anybody can be beaten on a given day," said the senior from Athens, Ga. "I just tried to throw strikes and go right at them. I was getting my fastball and my breaking ball over and made them put it in play.
"My defense made some excellent plays behind me."
Georgia third baseman Jeff Cooper snuffed a potential base hit by diving for a line drive off the bat of the first Stanford batter, Jeff Hammonds.
Center fielder McKay Smith closed the Stanford first by running down Paul Carey's drive in deep left-center field - and Rebhan was on his way.
Neither club erred until Cooper overthrew first base after fielding Troy Tallman's bunt with two out in the ninth.
That error did no damage as Roger Burnett was called out on strikes, Rebhan's sixth strikeout, to end the game.
Rebhan, overlooked in the professional draft, won Sunday when the Bulldogs chased Mussina during an 11-run sixth inning.
Friday night, the Bulldogs reached Mussina by bunching five hits - including three of their six doubles - in the fourth inning.
Mussina, 14-5, drafted by Baltimore in the first round as the 20th choice overall, said his pitching shoulder ached.
"I couldn't get loose," he said. "I got my stuff up in the fourth, and they got to me."
Shortstop J.R. Showalter's double and Bruce Chick's two-out single produced the run that equalized Tallman's second-inning homer off Rebhan.
Freshman left fielder Ray Suplee doubled to drive in two runs and break the 1-1 tie as the Bulldogs reeled off four straight hits.
Stanford, winner of the CWS in 1987 and 1988, scored 3.6 runs per game in the CWS in falling short at 59-12 of becoming the first 60-game winner in school history.
Tallman, in the first game of the tournament that started without measurable wind, homered over the left-field fence near the 343-foot marker by the foul pole for his No. 10 of the year.
"The home run was nice," Tallman said. "But it didn't spark us the way I thought it would."
Senior right fielder Carey said Rebhan "had command of his fastball and threw his slider for strikes."
He said the Cardinal had more talent than the '88 CWS championship club, but "didn't click at the end of the season."
Coach Mark Marquess attributed the Cardinal lack of scoring punch in the CWS to "a combination of things - outstanding pitching and the fact we weren't swinging the bats well."
In contrast, Georgia has scored 6.5 runs per game.
Georgia Coach Steve Webber credited the victory to "an outstanding pitching performance by Mike Rebhan."
In the three years of CWS seedings, the No. 1 seed has not won the championship.
Marquess said a factor has been the parity resulting from trying to equalize the strength of the eight regionals.
"Now, the eight strongest teams play in Omaha," he said. "I don't think that was the case before."
Georgia, making just its second CWS appearance in history, will play in the title game for the first time. Oklahoma State, 56-16, will make its sixth championship appearance, having won in 1959.