But Hope had trouble with his slider, and Stanford jumped ahead 2-0 in the first. McDowell, too, was pitching from behind in the count and without much oomph. In the fourth, consecutive homers by OSU's No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Benny Castillo and Brad Beanblossom, put the Cowboys ahead 3-2.
For Stanford, it was rally time once again, and in the fifth the Cardinal scored four times to take a 6-3 lead. Centerfielder Toi Cook, one of four football players on the baseball roster, drove in Amaro with a double and Sprague later hit a sacrifice fly to put Stanford up for good. McDowell lasted seven innings, gave up 12 hits and got the win; Hope took the loss. Ventura went 4 for 5, but Stanford rubbed him off the bases with three of its four double plays. In all, the Cardinal made 12 double plays in its 6 games, to tie a CWS record.
Carey, who along with Cook and Sprague had three hits, was voted the Series MVP. "I'm buzzing," he said. "I'm numb. My head's spinning. I feel like I'm up in the air right now." And how did Marquess feel? "I'm happy," he said, clutching the championship plaque. But... "I never really have had the specific goal of winning the national championship. I spend more time getting them to play to the level I want them to. I'm hard, I'm demanding, maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist."
Can the coach rest now? Nah. Maybe one perfect ending isn't enough.