Sunday, June 23, 2002

Texas wins College World Series

AP Sports Writer

Texas players celebrate winning the College World Series on Saturday.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        OMAHA, Neb. — Texas closer Huston Street has his own national championship story to share with his dad.

        The son of former Texas quarterback James Street, who helped lead the Longhorns to a Cotton Bowl victory in 1970, carried the baseball team to its fifth College World Series title on Saturday.

        But he wasn't about to flaunt it after the Longhorns beat South Carolina 12-6, even with a CWS-record four saves.

        “I don't know if I'll ever have bragging rights with my dad,” Street said. “Everything I am is because my dad taught it to me.”

        The victory made Texas coach Augie Garrido the first to win the CWS with two schools, and gave Texas its first title since 1983. It also tied Texas (57-15) with Louisiana State and Arizona State for second on the list of CWS championships.

        “They are the very best at what they are doing in sport right now,” Garrido said. “This national championship went to a group that really deserved it.”

        Street, a 6-foot freshman from Austin, Texas, pitched 6 1-3 innings in his four appearances, allowing one run on two hits, struck out five and walked three.

        “It's just kind of something that happened,” Street said. “I was praying before the whole thing started that when I came in we were up 10-2 and there wouldn't be any save opportunities. I give credit to the team behind me.”

        Street was voted Most Outstanding Player for the series and became the first freshman to get the honor since Pat Burrell of Miami in 1996.

        On Saturday, Texas' hero was outfielder Chris Carmichael.

        Carmichael, who was making his first start in nearly a month, hit a three-run homer in the fifth that broke the game open for the Longhorns. It was just the second homer of the season for Carmichael, who didn't know he was going to play until just before the game.

        “I felt good and I felt like I was having fun, during batting practice especially,” Carmichael said. “I don't know what it was. I thought I'd take this good feeling into the game.”

        Street pitched 1 2-3 innings Saturday, allowing one hit and a walk. He got pinch-hitter Jared Greenwood to ground out to first for the final out, then Street and first baseman Jeff Ontiveros started a celebratory pileup next to the mound.

        “That's all I wanted to do. That's all anybody wanted to do. Come together and be together,” Street said. “That was the greatest moment.”

        It was the fourth national title for Garrido, who won three at Cal State Fullerton before coming to Texas in 1996. He took the Longhorns to Omaha two years ago, but they were eliminated in two games.

        The Longhorns were perfect on this trip as they edged Rice, swept two games against Stanford and beat South Carolina, which hadn't played in the title game since losing to the Longhorns in 1975.

        The loss ended an amazing run for the Gamecocks (57-18), who were shut out by Georgia Tech 11-0 in the opener last Friday, then won four straight elimination games to make it to the championship.

        “At this moment, it still stings and is very disappointing,” South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said. “But there's only two teams playing baseball today and I'm proud we were one of them.”

        Texas was in its first championship game since 1989, and won the title for the first time since Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi led the 1983 team.

        The Longhorns had a team ERA of 2.80 entering the game. Justin Simmons (16-1), who won a 2-1 decision over Rice in the opening round, picked up his second victory of the CWS.

        “Any time our guys were looking for a fastball, he threw a curve ball. He did a good job today,” said Gamecocks shortstop Drew Meyer, who was 1-for-4.

        South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the first, but never recovered after giving up three in the bottom of the first and Carmichael's homer in the three-run fifth.

        Five of the Longhorns were on the 2000 team and three were in the lineup Saturday, including Carmichael, who hadn't started since May 25 in the Big 12 tournament.

        He was 0-for-1 in the CWS, but Garrido decided to start the senior in his final game. It paid off in the fifth when Ontiveros reached on an error and Brandon Fahey walked, then Carmichael hit a 1-2 pitch from Aaron Rawl (7-2) way out to right.

        Carmichael leaped when the ball cleared and gave Texas a 7-2 lead. He pointed at teammates as he trotted down the third-base line and finished his celebration by spinning his arms in a windmill as he touched home and was swarmed by teammates.

        “He has worked as hard as all of his teammates and played a lot less. That's why you saw that explosion of emotion from his teammates,” Garrido said. “He's probably the best example of how that whole bench played.”

        The homer gave the Longhorns 68 for the season, one more than the school record set in 1988.

        Fahey was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run single in the eighth that put the Longhorns up 10-6. Dustin Majewski drove in two runs with a triple in the first, and Omar Quintanilla was 4-for-5 with an RBI.

        Justin Harris was 2-for-5 with two RBIs for the Gamecocks, who got two runs in the seventh and cut the lead to 8-6 in the eighth on Harris' bases-loaded grounder to second. It could have been a double play, but second baseman Tim Moss dropped the ball before he could throw it to first.

        Two runs scored on the play, but the Longhorns put it away in the bottom of the inning with four runs.


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