An MVP closer and rusty outfielder propel the Longhorns past South Carolina 12-6 in the championship.
Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 23, 2002
OMAHA, Neb. -- Texas closer Huston Street has a 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 Saturday.
But he was not 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 (three titles with Cal State Fullerton) 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 pitched 6 1/3 innings in four appearances, allowing one run on two hits, striking out five and walking three. He was voted MVP for the series and became the first freshman to get the honor since Miami's Pat Burrell in 1996.
Outfielder Chris Carmichael, making his first start in almost a month, hit a three-run homer in the fifth that broke the game open for the Longhorns. It was the second homer of the season for Carmichael, who did not know he would play until just before the game.
Street pitched 1 2/3 innings, 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."
The Longhorns were perfect on this trip as they edged Rice, swept two games against Stanford and beat South Carolina, which had not 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 beaten by Georgia Tech 11-0 in the opener, then won four straight elimination games.
"At this moment, it still stings and is very disappointing," 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 first title since Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi led the 1983 team.