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Hudgins, Stanford Stifle South Carolina

June 14, 2003|Eric Stephens

OMAHA — Pitcher John Hudgins handled the present and Stanford Coach Mark Marquess kept his eye on the future Friday as the Cardinal dominated South Carolina, 8-0, in the opening game of the College World Series.

Hudgins, a junior right-hander from Mission Viejo High, limited the Gamecocks to two hits in eight innings. He pitched to two hitters over the minimum and threw only 84 pitches in improving his record to 12-3 in front of 15,789 at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Because of the low pitch total, Marquess pulled his ace to leave open the possibility of pitching him again Tuesday or Wednesday based on what the team does in Sunday's game against Cal State Fullerton.

"I don't have any grand plan, but it gives me a lot more flexibility," Marquess said. "It's nice to have a two-hit shutout, but that's not what we're here for."

Catcher Ryan Garko, a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award as the top catcher in the nation, drove in three runs in the first two innings to raise his RBI total to 91. Center fielder and leadoff hitter Sam Fuld had three hits and scored twice for the Cardinal (47-15).

"I like coming to the College World Series," said Garko, an Anaheim Servite High graduate who is hitting .483 with nine RBIs in nine career CWS games. "There's a heightened awareness here and I seem to feed off of that. I have to give a lot of credit to Sam for getting on base for myself and Carlos [Quentin]. He's done that a lot this year."

South Carolina (44-21) was shut out for only the second time this season.

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