May 24, 1998
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Mike Fischer turned in his second outstanding pitching effort of the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional on Sunday as South Alabama defeated Virginia Commonwealth 6-0 to reach the finals.
Fischer (11-1), who also defeated No. 3 seed VCU 2-1 in the teams’ regional opener, pitched a four-hit shutout Sunday.
He struck out seven and walked two as the fourth-seeded Jaguars eliminated VCU (46-15) and earned the right to meet the University of Southern California in Sunday night’s regional final.
Rams starter Matt Burch (12-4) was bested by Fischer for the second time in four days. South Alabama (41-18) had four runs against Burch in the second inning when Juan Pierre snuck a two-run single under VCU second baseman Ian Caballero’s glove.
Jaguar shortstop Rob Breazeale broke an 0-for-9 regional slump with an RBI single in the fourth inning. South Alabama scored an unearned run in the seventh and padded its lead on Eben Wells’ solo home run in the eighth.
It was Fischer’s seventh complete game of the season and his third shutout.
“I don’t know how you could ask for any better pitching than we’ve had in this series,” said South Alabama coach Steve Kittrell.
South Alabama will make its second straight appearance in a regional final. The Jaguars lost two straight games to LSU in last year’s South I Regional finals to fall short of the College World Series.
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