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COLLEGE BASEBALL

Campos Answers Call for Trojans

June 02, 2002|ERIC STEPHENS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

USC pitcher Cory Campos got an unexpected call at 11:30 p.m. Friday night. It came from pitching coach Dave Lawn and it was the news that he has always wanted to hear.

"He told me I was going to start," said the senior pitcher. "I was so happy that I called my girlfriend and told her."

Campos made his first start of the season count in the NCAA baseball regional Saturday at USC, pitching 62/3 strong innings in the Trojans' 7-5 victory over Cal State Northridge.

USC (36-22) needs only one more victory to advance to the super-regionals for the fourth consecutive year since the format began in 1999. The Trojans have reached the College World Series the last two years.

Campos got the start to help neutralize Northridge's army of left-handed hitters. The Matadors got 11 hits off the 5-foot-7 southpaw but only two of them came from the left-handed power trio of Shaun Larkin, Eric Verbryke and Tim Arroyo--the heart of the Northridge lineup.

A starter in high school and for two years at L.A. City College, Campos (6-2) had made all of his 28 previous appearances this season out of the bullpen.

USC Coach Mike Gillespie thought Campos would keep the big-hitting Matadors off balance. Northridge led the Big West Conference with 89 home runs.

"Cory had not started for us this year and there was some question as to how long he could go," Gillespie said. "But in the role Cory's been in this year, he's been money throwing strikes and does not get rattled. We trust his stuff."

Verbryke, who played his first game against USC since transferring from there two years ago, struck out three times against Campos before hitting an RBI single against him in the seventh.

USC took advantage of Bill Murphy's wildness to grab a 4-0 lead in the third. In his first start since May 10, the Matadors' ace walked nine and struck out two in four innings. He also hit two batters.

Northridge knocked Campos out in the seventh by scoring two runs to cut the Trojan lead to 5-4.

USC got two insurance runs in the ninth on a run-scoring double by Michael Morales and a single by Jon Brewster. Northridge, which had 13 hits but stranded 10 baserunners, threatened again in the bottom half but could only muster a run-scoring groundout by Arroyo. Jordan Olson got his second save of the season for the Trojans by getting the final two outs.

USC will play Brigham Young Monday after the Cougars eliminated Northridge, 7-2. Rob Itri hit a two-run home run and Matt Carson had two singles and drove in two runs as BYU won twice Saturday. The Cougars (31-30-1), who do not play on Sundays for religious reasons, eliminated Maine, 12-5, earlier in the day.

For the Matadors (41-17), it was a disappointing end to a season in which they won the Big West Conference in their second year in the league. The loss to BYU was the final game for seventh-year Coach Mike Batesole, who took the Fresno State job on Tuesday.

Stanford 5, Long Beach State 4--Tim Cunningham took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Dan Rich picked up his third save for the Cardinal in a winners' bracket game at Stanford.

With the winning run on second in the ninth, Rich got Todd Jennings to ground out to second for the final out to send Stanford (42-16) to today's regional championship game against Long Beach.

Cal State Fullerton 9, San Jose State 1--David Fischer homered and drove in two runs and Jordan DeJong pitched a six-hitter as the Titans won at Stanford to eliminate San Jose State (45-17).

DeJong (11-3) shut down the Spartans and Shane Costa scored twice and had two hits for the fourth-seeded Titans.

Long Beach (39-20) eliminated Fullerton in the night's last game with Jered Weaver and Chris Demaria combining on a four-hitter in a 4-0 victory. The Titans end 37-22.

Notre Dame 25, South Alabama 1--At the South Bend regional, freshman Grant Johnson threw a one-hitter and Steve Sollmann went six for seven with seven RBIs and set an NCAA tournament record with six runs scored in the Irish's rout of top-seeded South Alabama.

OTHER RESULTS, D15

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