May 21, 1998
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Mike Fischer retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and South Alabama scored the winning run in the eighth to edge Virginia Commonwealth 2-1 Thursday in the first round of the NCAA East Regional.
Fischer (10-1), expected to be picked by the third round in the major league draft, held third-seeded VCU (44-14) to six hits and struck out eight.
The fourth-seeded Jaguars (40-17) scored the go-ahead run on a VCU error.
With one out and runners on first and second, South Alabama’s Juan Pierre grounded the ball to second baseman Ian Caballero. After stumbling to get a forceout at second, Caballero dropped the ball.
The Jaguars’ Dwayne Pugh then rounded third and raced toward the plate. Caballero retrieved the ball and threw home, but it was high and late.
Virginia Commonwealth starter Matt Burch (12-3) allowed four hits and struck out five.
VCU managed to squeak a run across in the third inning. Justin Martin lined a hit just over the outstretched glove of South Alabama shortstop Rob Brazeale to drive home Mike Tomes for a 1-0 Ram lead.
The Jaguars evened the score on Ben Keats’ RBI single in the seventh and went ahead when Pugh scored in the eighth.
South Alabama will meet the winner of the Clemson-Citadel at 7 p.m. Friday. Virginia Commonwealth will face No. 1 seed Southern Cal in an elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday.
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