#14 Stanford Baseball To Make Earliest Start In School History With 2001 Season-Opener at Cal Poly

Jan. 16, 2001

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Stanford, CA - #14 Stanford (0-0) opens the 2001 season by playing a single-game at Cal Poly (0-0) in the inaugural game at Baggett Stadium. Stanford's January 21 start is its earliest in school history and the Cardinal will be playing in San Luis Obispo for the first time since 1980 when the Cardinal swept the Mustangs in a three-game series on February 8 and 9, 1980. Stanford leads the all-time series (since 1977) between the clubs, 18-1. Stanford defeated Cal Poly, 11-3, in the only meetings between the teams last year at Sunken Diamond (4/25/00). The Cardinal scored five times in the bottom of the third inning to erase an early 3-1 Cal Poly lead. Andy Topham was one of the Cardinal offensive leaders, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. Chris O'Riordan also had a pair of hits and an RBI. Mike Wodnicki picked up the win with 1.2 innings of middle relief work.

The Cardinal begins the 2001 season with plenty of newcomers as only three offensive starters are slated to return. The team will also feature a new starting rotation as all three starting pitchers from a year ago do not return. However, the Cardinal still expects to be healthy on the hill as a total of nine of the team's 13 pitchers from the 2000 season are back. The Cardinal reached the championship game of the College World Series for the third time in school history last season, before falling to Louisiana State, 6-5, in a heartbreaking loss. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign with a 50-16 and recorded back-to-back 50-win seasons for the first time in school history in 1999 and 2000. Stanford also shared the 2000 Pac-10 baseball title with Arizona State and UCLA, giving the Cardinal a school-record four straight years with at least a share of a Pac-10 baseball title. Cal Poly finished the 2000 campaign with a 32-24 record, going 18-12 in the Big West to tie for third place.

Stanford opens its 2001 home season at remodeled Sunken Diamond with a three-game set versus Fresno State (January 26-28). Friday's first pitch is at 6:00 pm with games on Saturday and Sunday both beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Cardinal posted a 3-0 record against the Bulldogs last season, sweeping a pair of games in Fresno to open the 2000 season and then defeating the Bulldogs in the first round of the NCAA Regional at Sunken Diamond behind a complete game outing by Jason Young.

Stanford's storied baseball program has had many highlights as the program begins its 108th season at Cal Poly on January 21 with an all-time record of 2228-1430-32 (.608). Last year's trip to the College World Series championship game was only the latest chapter in the success story of Stanford Baseball. The program has produced 35 winnings seasons over the last 36 years, including six consecutive seasons with 40 or more wins. Just a few of the highlights have included back-to-back NCAA Championships (1987, 1988), 12 College World Series appearances, 18 conference titles and 21 NCAA Tournament berths. Stanford has boasted a total of 40 All-Americans who have earned a total of 47 All-American honors. Stanford has also garnered three NCAA Player of the Year choices in Jeff Austin (1998), David McCarty (1991) and Steve Dunning (1970). Other numbers for the Cardinal baseball program include 93 all-conference players earning a total of 118 honors, 54 major league players (including eight scheduled to begin the 2001 season in Major League Baseball) and 12 first round draft picks in the last 14 years. Eight members of the 2000 Stanford Baseball team signed professional contracts following the 2000 collegiate season, including first-round draft picks Justin Wayne and Joe Borchard.

The Stanford baseball coaching staff is headed by one of the nation's premier collegiate coaches in Mark Marquess, who begins his 25th season as the Cardinal head coach with 995 career wins. With five more victories, Marquess will become the 23rd coach in the history of Division I collegiate baseball to post 1,000 career wins. Marquess currently ranks 14th for victories and 19th in winning percentage among active Division I baseball coaches. Marquess has been named NCAA Coach of the Year three times and has received Pacific-10 Coach of the Year honors on eight occasions, including three of the last four seasons. Marquess was named the Pac-10 Southern Division Coach of the Year seven times before being named the first Pac-10 Coach of Year in the newly aligned league (1999). He has a career record of 995-498-5 (.666) at Stanford, including an impressive 411-273 (.601) mark in Pacific-10 Conference action, arguably the toughest conference in the nation. He picked up his 950th career win versus Cal State Fullerton last season on February 6, 2000. The 1969 Stanford graduate has led the Cardinal to two NCAA titles (1987, `88), 10 College World Series appearances (1982, `83, `85, `87, `88, `90, `95, `97, `99, `00), 10 Pac-10 regular season titles and 18 NCAA Tournament showings. He coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the CWS final game last season since winning the 1988 title and to victory in the NCAA Super Regionals each of the last two seasons. His teams have won at least a share of a Pac-10 baseball championship in 10 of the last 18 years (includes Southern Division Championships). Nearly as eye-opening as the number of titles won by the Cardinal is the consistent level of success Marquess has brought to the program. The Cardinal has suffered just one losing season during his tenure and has finished either first or second in the prestigious Pacific-10 (formerly Six-Pac) 18 times in the last 20 seasons. Stanford has had 95 draft picks in the past 16 seasons, including 12 first-round selections in the last 14 years. A member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Marquess was the head coach of the 1988 United States Olympic baseball team which captured the Gold Medal. Marquess was an accomplished football and baseball standout on The Farm, and is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. He is one of only six collegiate head baseball coaches to have both played and coached in the College World Series. Marquess was the starting first baseman on Stanford's 1967 College World Series squad and played five years of minor league baseball with the Chicago White Sox organization.

'This is the earliest we've ever started a season, but there's a good reason for it. We've always had good series with Cal Poly. They've asked us to help them open their new stadium, and we're thrilled to do. It will be exciting.'

'It will be a good test for us. The weather has been good, so we've been able to get a lot of work in, but after about two weeks you get tired of playing intrasquad games. It will be good to play a regular game.'

'It will be difficult being on the road because our team is so young, but it will be a good test to see where we are and get our feet wet.'

Dean Stotz has served as the right-hand man for Mark Marquess during his entire tenure at Stanford and also is beginning his 25th campaign with the Cardinal. Stotz was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2000 season after 23 years as an assistant. Mark O'Brien (3rd season) and Tom Kunis (2nd season) complete the Cardinal coaching staff.

The Pac-10 coaches selected Stanford to finish third in their annual preseason poll. USC finished first in the poll with six first-place votes, while second-place Arizona and Stanford picked up the other two first-place votes. Arizona, California, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State ranked fourth through ninth.

Stanford opens the 2001 season ranked #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked #2 in all three major national polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Baseball Weekly). Georgia Tech begins the 2001 campaign ranked #1 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Pac-10 foes begin USC (#2) and Arizona State (#6) begin the 2001 campaign ranked ahead of the Cardinal, while defending national champion Louisiana State is ranked third in both polls. Stanford began the 2000 season at #1 in all three polls before dropping out of the top spot on February 14. Stanford's poll history includes a run as the 'king of the polls' in 1998 when the Cardinal held the top spot in the Baseball America poll for a record 14 consecutive weeks.

Junior left-handed pitcher Mike Gosling and sophomore outfielder Jason Cooper were named 2001 Second Team Preseason All-Americans by Baseball America prior to the season. Scouting directors of major league clubs vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and major league potential. Gosling, a potential first round pick in the 2001 draft, begins his third year with the Cardinal and is slated as the team's opening day starter. Gosling has pitched mostly in a relief role over the past two seasons and has shown flashes of brilliance. He has the highest strikeout-per-nine-inning ratio (11.20) in Stanford history, striking out 119 batters in 95.2 innings. Last season, Gosling was 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA and three saves. He struck out 79 batters in 58.0 innings for an average of 12.26 strikeouts per nine innings as opponents hit just .146 against him. Gosling earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on March 21, 1999. Cooper had a difficult first season in 2000 after entering Stanford as a much-heralded rookie, hitting .189 with two homers and nine RBI in only 74 official at bats. Cooper was the highest player taken in the June 1999 Amateur Baseball Draft that did not sign a professional baseball contract. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round (#63 pick overall).

The 2001 Bay Area College Baseball Media Day is scheduled for Wednesday, January 24, at Planet Hollywood in San Francisco. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and run until approximately Noon. Lunch will be served.

The press conference will feature head coaches and selected players from all six Division I Bay Area baseball programs - California, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, San Jose State, Santa Clara and Stanford. The coaches and players will discuss the upcoming 2001 season. The coaches will preview their teams before taking questions from the media. Both the coaches and players will also be available for individual interviews.

Stanford will be the first Bay Area team to play in 2001 when the Cardinal visits Cal Poly on Sunday, January 21 (1:00 p.m.) for the inaugural game at Cal Poly's Baggett Stadium. The Cardinal are also the first collegiate team scheduled to play in the Bay Area. Stanford will begin its 2001 home season in the newly remodeled Sunken Diamond by hosting Fresno State in a three-game home series from January 26-28. Saint Mary's begins its season with a three-game series at Arizona (January 29-31), San Jose State (vs. Cal State Hayward) and Santa Clara (at USC) both open on January 31, while San Francisco and California begin on February 2 with the Dons traveling to Sacramento State and the Golden Bears beginning a three-game series versus Santa Clara.

Please contact Stanford Assistant Media Relations Director Kyle McRae (650-725-2959 or kyle.mcrae@stanford.edu) to RSVP for the event or if you need additional information.

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