#9 Stanford Baseball To Square Off With South Bay Rival Santa Clara February 23-25
Feb. 21, 2001
Stanford, Calif. -
#9 STANFORD CARDINAL (9-4) VS. SANTA CLARA BRONCOS (2-8)
Fri., Feb. 23, 6 pm (at SCU) - RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 1.12) vs. LHP Matt Travis (0-3, 10.38)
Sat., Feb. 24, 1 pm (at STAN) - RHP Jeff Bruksch (2-0, 4.85) vs. LHP John Redmond (1-1, 1.80)
Sun., Feb. 25, 1 pm (at SCU) - Tim Cunningham (3-0, 1.53) vs. Joe Diefenderfer (1-1, 5.93)
Live audio broadcasts of all games available on KZSU 90.1 FM, www.gostanford.com, and realaudio.stanford.edu (Chad Goldberg - Play-by-Play) ... Saturday will be an internet only broadcast until the conclusion of the Stanford women's basketball game.
ESSENTIAL STANFORD BASEBALL NOTES
Stanford had won a season-high seven straight games before being defeated at Texas last Sunday, 2-1 ... Stanford is currently ranked #9 in this week's Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball national polls, while sitting at #7 in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll ... Stanford has won 10 consecutive regular season series ... Stanford has defeated Santa Clara 15 consecutive times dating back to 1997 and holds an all-time series advantage of 71-24-1 ... The Cardinal won all four games between the teams last season ... Chris O'Riordan currently has a career-high 10-game hitting streak and continues to lead the Cardinal offense with a .426 batting average, 17 RBI and five stolen bases ... The Stanford pitching staff continued its impressive beginning at Texas, limiting the Longhorns to only eight runs (seven earned) and 19 hits as the team posted a 2.42 ERA over the three games and lowered its season ERA to 3.42 ... The last time the Cardinal finished the season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final 2.64 ERA ... Stanford's starting pitching trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham are 7-0 with a 2.60 ERA this season.
STANFORD VERSUS SANTA CLARA
#9 Stanford returns to the Bay Area for a three-game series with Santa Clara this Friday-Sunday, February 23-25. Santa Clara will host both Friday's series opener (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday's finale (1:00 p.m.). The Cardinal will host Saturday's middle game (1:00 p.m.). Stanford has posted 15 straight victories over the Broncos dating back to 1997 and holds an all-time series advantage of 71-24-1. Stanford had won a season-high seven straight games before the Cardinal was defeated by Texas, 2-1, in the final game of a three-game set in Austin last Sunday. The seven-game streak had included two victories over Cal State Fullerton, three against Florida State and two versus Texas. The Cardinal will head into the Santa Clara series having won 10 consecutive regular season series. Last year, the Cardinal won all four games between the clubs, sweeping a three-game series from March 3-5 and a single game on May 9. Justin Wayne pitched the Cardinal to a 1-0 victory at Sunken Diamond in the first game of the three-game series, tossing a three-hit shutout. Stanford won another close game Saturday at Santa Clara, scoring five times in the second inning and holding on for a 6-4 win. Five Stanford players had two hits each and Jason Young pitched 6.0 innings without giving up an earned run in Sunday's 8-3 victory. Stanford won the final game of the season series, 16-4, at Santa Clara, as the Cardinal scored seven times in the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie.
ON DECK FOR THE CARDINAL - STANFORD TO BEGIN 11-GAME HOMESTAND BY HOSTING NEVADA AND CALIFORNIA NEXT WEEK
Following this weekend's three-game series versus Santa Clara, Stanford will play its next 11 games at Sunken Diamond. The homestand begins next week when the Cardinal hosts Nevada on February 27 (3 pm) and welcomes California for a three-game non-conference series from March 2-4 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). The Cardinal will also host USC (March 9-11) in a non-conference series, Washington (March 23-25) in its Pac-10 opening series and Saint Mary's (March 27) in a non-conference game before its next road series at Arizona State (March 30-April 1). Stanford holds an all-time advantage of 11-7 over Nevada (since 1977) and 209-203 against California. Last year, the Cardinal's first loss of the season came at the hands of Nevada (4-3) in its sixth game of the year. Stanford won five of the six games it played against California, sweeping the Bears in a non-conference series in Berkeley (6-2, 4-1, 8-2) and winning two-of-three during a Pac-10 set on The Farm (5-7 in 11 innings, 10-6, 12-11). Damien Alvarado's walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning in the final meeting of the season between the clubs was one of the most memorable moments of Stanford's 2001 season.
STANFORD WINS TWO-OF-THREE AT TEXAS
Stanford continued to roll by winning two-of-three games at Texas this past weekend. The Cardinal won the first two games of the series to clinch its 10th consecutive regular season series before falling to the Longhorns, 2-1, in Sunday's series finale. Stanford won Friday's opener, 9-6, holding onto the victory after jumping out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and a half. Scott Dragicevich (3-5, RBI) and Arik VanZandt (3-6, SB) led the way with three hits each. Jeremy Guthrie (2-0) picked up his second consecutive win on the mound, scattering seven hits and three runs (two earned) over the first 7.0 innings. Jason Cooper hit his team-leading fourth home run of the season and John Hudgins recorded his fourth save. On Saturday, Jeff Bruksch and Mike Wodnicki combined for a three-hit shutout in Stanford's 5-0 win. Bruksch tossed the first 8.1 innings before Wodnicki forced a game-ending double play with only his second pitch. VanZandt had another three-hit day, going 3-for-5 with a double, stolen base and RBI. Chris O'Riordan had the only two other Cardinal hits on the afternoon, going 2-for-5 with a stolen base and an RBI. The Cardinal's season-high seven-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday with the 2-1 loss as the Cardinal managed just one run and six hits off the Longhorns' Albert Montes. Stanford scored its lone run in the top of the sixth on a one-out double by Cooper and an RBI single up the middle from Dragicevich. Texas tied the score with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning before Matt Rosenberg scored the eventual game-winner when he was doubled home by Ryan Hubele with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning.
STANFORD HEAD COACH MARK MARQUESS
One of the nation's premier collegiate coaches, Mark Marquess is now in his 25th season as the Stanford head coach. Marquess became the 23rd head coach in the history of NCAA Division I baseball to reach the 1000-career win mark when the Cardinal defeated Florida State earlier this season on February 9, 2001. He began the 2001 season ranked 14th in victories and 19th in winning percentage among active Division I baseball coaches. He 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 conference (1999). He has a career record of 1004-502-5 (.666) at Stanford, including an impressive 411-273 (.601) mark in Pacific-10 Conference action, arguably the toughest league in the nation. 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 (1983, `84, `85, `87, `90, `94, `97, `98, `99, `00) and 18 NCAA Tournament showings. Last season, Marquess coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the CWS final game since winning the 1988 CWS title. His teams have also won NCAA Super Regionals each of the last two seasons, as well as at least a share of a Pac-10 baseball championship (includes Southern Division Championships) for a school-record four straight seasons. 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 professional baseball 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 that 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.
COMMENTS FROM MARK MARQUESS
(On this weekend's series versus Santa Clara) 'Santa Clara always seems to play well against us. We would expect them to do the same this weekend.'
(On the performance of his pitching staff and defense thus far) 'The thing we have done well and the reason we've had some element of success is the fact that we've pitched well and played solid defense. When you do that, you give yourself a chance to win.'
(On the upcoming homestand and his team's early season performance) 'It's good to get back home. We've played 10 of our first 13 games on the road. I've been very pleased with the way that we've played so far early in the season, yet at the same time, I think we need to improve in certain areas of the game.'
(On last weekend's series at Texas) 'It was a great weekend overall, but having won the first two and getting a great pitching performance on Sunday, we would have like to have won all three. But, realistically if you would have told me before the trip that we were going to win two-of-three at Texas that's pretty good.'
STANFORD COACHING STAFF
Dean Stotz is in his 25th campaign with Stanford Baseball. Stotz was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2000 season after 23 years as an assistant. Stotz currently coaches third base while also handling various offensive and defensive aspects of the game. Mark O'Brien (3rd season) and Tom Kunis (2nd season) complete the Cardinal coaching staff. O'Brien assists with all aspects of the game and serves as the Cardinal's first base coach. Kunis is the team's pitching coach.
STANFORD IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
Stanford is currently ranked #9 in the nation by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, while ranking #7 in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll. Stanford retained its spot in the Baseball America poll this week, while moving up one spot in the Collegiate Baseball poll and down a spot in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked #9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked #2 in all three polls. Georgia Tech began the 2001 campaign ranked #1 in all three polls and still sits atop both the Baseball America and Baseball Weekly/ESPN polls. Rice has started the season 10-1 and is now at the top of the Collegiate Baseball poll. Pac-10 foes USC and Arizona State are currently ranked ahead of the Cardinal with the Trojans #2 in Baseball America and Baseball Weekly/ESPN, as well as #3 in Collegiate Baseball. Arizona State is #4 in Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #5 in Baseball America and #6 in Collegiate Baseball. UCLA, ranked #24 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, is the only other Pac-10 team ranked. 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.
STANFORD BASEBALL HISTORY
Stanford's storied baseball program has had many highlights as the program is currently in its 108th season and has an all-time record of 2237-1434-32 (.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 winning seasons over the last 36 campaigns, including six consecutive years with 40 or more wins. Just a few of the highlights have included back-to-back NCAA titles (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 seven 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.
CARDINAL WIN 10TH CONSECUTIVE REGULAR SEASON SERIES
Stanford increased its regular season series winning streak to 10 by winning two-of-three at Texas (2/16/01 - 2/18/01). The Cardinal began the streak with sweeps at Washington State (4/7/00 - 4/9/00) and against Washington (4/14/00 - 4/16/00) before continuing with six consecutive series of winning two-of-three at USC (4/20/00 - 4/22/00), versus California (4/28/00 - 4/30/00), at Oregon State (5/5/00 - 5/7/00), versus UCLA (5/19/00 - 5/21/00), at Fresno State (1/26/01 - 1/28/01) and at Cal State Fullerton (2/2/01 - 2/4/01). The team ran its streak to nine straight with a sweep over Florida State (2/9/01 - 2/11/01) to open the 2001 home season. For good measure, the Cardinal also won two-of-three games over both Alabama (5/27/00 - 5/28/00) and Nebraska (6/2/00 - 6/4/00) in last year's NCAA Regional and Super Regional. The last team to beat the Cardinal in a series was Arizona State (3/31/00 - 4/2/00) when the SunDevils won two-of-three in Tempe.
STARTING PITCHING STANDING OUT
The Cardinal has had a standout effort this season from its starting pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 1.12 ERA), Jeff Bruksch (2-0, 4.85 ERA) and Tim Cunningham (3-0, 1.53 ERA). The group has accounted for 12 of the team's 13 starts, posting a combined 7-0 record and a 2.60 ERA. The group has also logged a hefty 73.0 of the pitching staff's 118.1 innings (61.7%).
Stanford's team batting average has dipped to .269, the lowest it has been since sitting at .263 following the first five games. Stanford struggled offensively in the final two games of the Texas series, posting only 10 hits. For the three-game set, the Cardinal hit only .231 (24-104). Chris O'Riordan continues to lead the team with a .426 batting average, 23 hits, four doubles (co-leader), 17 RBI and five stolen bases (co-leader). O'Riordan is also a current holder of a career-high 10-game hitting streak. Jason VanMeetren and Scott Dragicevich are hitting an identical .370 (20-54) to tie for second on the club in batting average, while Ryan Garko (.303, 10-33) is the only other player on the club hitting higher than .300. Stanford has totaled 13 home runs and 25 stolen bases on the season, compared to a mere five home runs and six stolen bases for its opponents. Jason Cooper leads the club with four home runs, while VanMeetren is second with three. VanMeetren and O'Riordan tie for the club lead in stolen bases with five. Arik VanZandt paces the club with 11 runs scored.
The Cardinal pitching staff has been only a little less than amazing over its past seven games, lowering its ERA from 5.27 after its first six games to its current 3.42. The last time the Cardinal finished a season with an ERA under 3.42 was when the 1973 club posted a final ERA of 2.64. Over the last seven games, Stanford's pitching staff has given up only 34 hits and 12 earned runs in 62.0 innings of work for a 1.74 ERA as the Cardinal has won six of the seven games. The starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham has combined for a 7-0 record and a 2.60 ERA. Guthrie earned NCBWA Pitcher of the Week honors on February 13 after shutting out Florida State on just one hit over the first 7.0 innings in the Cardinal's 6-2 win on February 9. Guthrie has a 3-0 record and a 1.12 ERA in 24.0 innings. Bruksch has rebounded from two ineffective starts to record a 2-0 record and a 4.85 ERA, while Cunningham is 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA. John Hudgins has been the team's leader out of the bullpen with four saves, although he also has an 0-3 record. Mike Wodnicki and Jason Luker have one save each. Wodnicki and Ryan McCally both have a win out of the bullpen as well. Bruksch leads the club in innings pitched (29.2 IP) and strikeouts (28). Cunningham and Bruksch have each combined with Wodnicki for a shutout this season. Opponents are hitting just .225 against Cardinal pitching.
Stanford's defense has improved rapidly since committing five errors in the season opener at Cal Poly (1/21/01) and the Cardinal now has a season-best .974 fielding percentage, which is above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford made just two errors in the Texas series after committing only one error in the previous series versus Florida State. The Cardinal has had multiple errors in a game only once since the Cal Poly game and have been errorless in five contests. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan has recorded seven assists three times. O'Riordan leads the team with 52 assists. First baseman Arik VanZandt recorded 15 putouts in a loss at Fresno State (1/27/00), more than last year's season-high of 13 recorded nine times last year. VanZandt has been perfect in 134 chances, while back-up catcher Ken Tirpack (43 chances) has also been flawless. Scott Dragicevich has played 12 consecutive errorless games at shortstop after two errors at Cal Poly.
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the basepaths. Stanford has totaled 25 stolen bases (32 attempts) in its first 13 games of the season for an average of 1.9 steals per contest, more than double the 0.8 steals per game the club averaged a year ago. Jason VanMeetren and Chris O'Riordan lead the club with five stolen bases each in six attempts. Arik VanZandt is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts, while Dragicevich, Sam Fuld and Brian Hall have three stolen bases each. Stanford opponents have had little success running on the Cardinal with just six steals in 12 attempts.