USC Advances to College World Series

    May 24, 1998

    CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - After a two-year drought, the University of Southern California will make a trip to Omaha, Neb. for the College World Series thanks to Sunday's 4-3 defeat of South Alabama at the NCAA Tournament's East Regional.

    Reliever Jack Krawczyk pitched 3 2/3 nerve-wracking innings to record his 21st save - one short of the NCAA record for a season - in the championship game.

    Jason Lane (8-1) allowed just one run over 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory for top-seeded USC (44-16).

    "It's the greatest feeling I've had in sports so far, and I hope to have another one," said USC designated hitter Eric Munson.

    Shortstop Seth Davidson had an RBI single in the first inning off Justin Carter (8-3) as USC built a 2-0 lead. The advantage was stretched to 3-0 when Munson's hit drove home Morgan Ensberg in the third.

    South Alabama (42-19) trailed 4-1 in the top of the seventh, but drew within 4-3 on consecutive doubles by Gabe Bolton, Rob Breazeale and Eben Wells. The Jaguars had Krawczyk in trouble again in the eighth with runners on first and second and two out, but pinch hitter Scott Calahan popped to shortstop to strand the runners.

    USC will make its 19th appearance in the College World Series and its first since 1995.

    "We are, of course, tremendously thrilled and proud of having been able to accomplish this," said USC head coach Mike Gillespie. "(Lane and Krawczyk) pitched courageously and did more than we possibly could ask."

    Munson, who was 10-for-18 with eight RBIs in five games during the regional, was named the most valuable player.