Baseball Loses to Stanford 4-2

    May 9, 1998

    STANFORD, CA --- Top-ranked Stanford University (41-8-1, 22-6) clinched its second consecutive Pacific-10 Conference Southern Division title with a 4-2 win over No. 7 USC (37-14, 19-9) on Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. The Six-Pac title is Stanford's eighth in the 20-year history of the conference.

    The game was a rematch of the 1-0 pitchers dual between Stanford's Jeff Austin (Kingwood, TX/Kingwood HS) and USC's Seth Etherton (Laguna Niguel, CA/Dana Hills HS) on April 3 in Los Angeles. Austin and the Cardinal prevailed in that game thanks to a solo homer in the top of the seventh by Jody Gerut (Villa Park, IL/Willowbrook HS). Austin threw a six-hitter in that contest, while Etherton threw a four-hitter with 15 strikeouts.

    Gerut once again came through for Austin on Saturday, blasting a solo homer to right in the bottom of the first that gave the Cardinal the lead for good. The homer was Gerut's team-high 17th of the year. The Cardinal made the lead 2-0 later in the first on a single by John Gall (Portola Valley, CA/St. Francis HS) and an RBI double from Josh Hochgesang (Fullerton, CA/Sunny Hills HS).

    The teams exchanged runs in the fourth and the Trojans scored again in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Jason Lane (Sebastapool, CA/El Molina HS) to cut it to 3-2. The Cardinal then put it away on Hochgesang's solo homer to left in the bottom of the eighth.

    Austin, who improved to 12-2 with the win, has thrown eight complete games in 16 starts this season. He allowed just the five hits and one earned run, while walking one and striking out 10. The 10 strikeouts give him 307 for his career and makes him just the fifth Stasnford hurler to ever break the 300 career strikeout barrier.

    Etherton allowed 10 hits and three runs over 6.1 innings, while walking none and striking out eight, to fall to 10-3. Offensively for the Trojans, Seth Davidson (San Diego, CA/University HS) and Robb Gorr (Vista, CA/Rancho Buena Vista HS) had two hits apiece.

    Game two of the series is on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.

    Linescore                        R   H    E
    USC      000   100   100   ---   2   5    0
    Stanford 200   100   01x   ---   4   11   1
    Etherton, Lane (7), Krawczyk (7) and DePippo; Austin and Alvarado. WP - Austin (12-2). LP - Etherton (10-3). 2B - Gorr (USC), Davidson (USC), Hochgesang (STAN). HR - Gerut (STAN) 1st inning, none on; Hochgesang (STAN) 8th inning, none on. Records - USC 37-14 overall (19-9 in the Six-Pac), Stanford 41-8-1 (22-6).