#10 Stanford To Make Up Game With California Before Hosting #4 USC In Final Games Before Break
March 7, 2001
Stanford, Calif. -
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (10-6) AT #10 STANFORD CARDINAL (14-5)
Wednesday, March 7, 5 pm - RHP Brian Montalbo (1-0, 1.85) vs. LHP Tim Cunningham (4-0, 1.53) or LHP Mike Gosling (0-0, 27.00)
A live audio broadcast of Wednesday's game will be available on the internet at www.gostanford.com and realaudio.stanford.edu (Chad Goldberg - Play-by-Play).
#4 USC TROJANS (12-4) AT #10 STANFORD CARDINAL (14-5)
Friday, March 9, 6 pm - RHP Mark Prior (4-0, 1.83) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-0, 1.15)
Saturday, March 10, 1 pm - RHP Rik Currier (4-0, 1.82) vs. RHP Jeff Bruksch (3-0, 3.48)
Sunday, March 11, 1 pm - RHP Anthony Reyes (1-0, 4.44) vs. TBA
A live audio broadcast of all three games of the USC series will be available on the internet at www.gostanford.com and realaudio.stanford.edu ... The Friday and Sunday games will also be broadcast live on KZSU, 90.1 FM (Chad Goldberg - Play-by-Play).
ESSENTIAL STANFORD BASEBALL NOTES
Stanford has now won 12 of its last 14 games after splitting the first two games of the California series ... Stanford is currently ranked #10 in the nation by Baseball America and #9 by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN ... Stanford will be shooting for its 12th consecutive regular season series in Wednesday's game versus California dating back to last year ... Stanford had won eight in a row at Sunken Diamond prior to Saturday's 3-2 loss to California, the team's first home loss of 2001 ... Chris O'Riordan leads Stanford with a .364 batting average, 22 RBI and seven stolen bases ... Jason Cooper has a team-high six home runs ... The pitching staff has a team ERA of 2.98 ... 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 (Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch, Tim Cunningham) are a combined 11-0 with a 2.13 ERA this season ... Stanford's pitching staff has given up more than three runs in a game only twice in its last 14 games ... Guthrie earned his first Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor on March 6.
STANFORD VERSUS CALIFORNIA
Stanford and California will attempt to conclude their non-conference three-game series at Sunken Diamond on Wednesday, March 7 (5 pm). The game has already been rained out twice (Sunday and Monday). The Cardinal has won 11 consecutive series over California dating back to 1995 and is 13-0-1 in its past 14 series with the Golden Bears. The last time California has beaten Stanford in a series was when the Golden Bears won two-of-three from May 7-9, 1993. Stanford owns a slim 210-204 all-time advantage in the 414 games the two schools have played and won five of the six meetings between the clubs last season. The teams split the first two games of this year's first series with a 3-1 Stanford victory on Friday and a 3-2 Cal win on Saturday. Jeremy Guthrie (4-0) picked up his fourth straight victory with 8.0 innings of four-hit baseball in Friday's 3-1 win as he struck out a career-high 10.
STANFORD VERSUS USC
Stanford welcomes #4 USC to Sunken Diamond for a three-game non-conference series from March 9-11 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). The two teams have constantly been at the top of the Pac-10 standings in recent years with seven consecutive Pac-10 crowns (includes Southern Division titles) between them. The two teams combined for eight of 10 conference titles (also includes Southern Division) in the 1990's. USC is one of the few teams to lead Stanford in the all-time series as the Trojans boast a 194-134-3 lead. Stanford did win four of the six games played between the schools last season, winning two-of-three non-conference games at Sunken Diamond (March 17-19) and two-of-three conference contests at Dedeaux Field (April 20-22). Pitching efforts by Justin Wayne and Mike Gosling, as well as an offensive explosion from Edmund Muth and Joe Borchard highlighted the two victories. Wayne tossed a complete-game four hitter in the 4-3 series-opening victory, while Gosling pitched 6.2 innings of two-hit scoreless relief in Sunday's 11-4 win. Muth (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Borchard (2-5, HR, 5 RBI) combined for nine RBI in the victory. The Cardinal won the final two games of the conference series after dropping the opener, 7-3. Jason Young (7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO) outdueled Mark Prior in a 4-1 victory on Saturday before the Cardinal exploded for an 18-4 win in Sunday's finale. Stanford scored 12 runs in the final three innings to break open what had been a tight 6-4 Cardinal lead. Stanford pounded out 23 hits as five players had three or more hits each, led by four-hit performances by Damien Alvarado (4-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Muth (4-6, 2B, HR, 3 RBI).
STANFORD WILL RETURN FROM 11-DAY BREAK TO FACE WASHINGTON IN FIRST SERIES OF PAC-10 SCHEDULE MARCH 23-25
Stanford breaks for 11 days after this weekend's three-game non-conference series versus #4 USC. When Stanford returns, the Cardinal will begin by hosting Washington in the team's first Pac-10 series of the season. Stanford had won three consecutive Pac-10 openers before falling to Arizona a year ago. Stanford holds an all-time series edge of 25-9 over Washington. Last season, the Cardinal swept a three-game series at Sunken Diamond (6-5, 7-2, 9-4). Justin Wayne picked up the victory in the series-opener thanks to Stanford's two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, both runs scoring on John Gall's RBI single up the middle with two outs. Gall (3-4, 2B, RBI) led five different Cardinal players with two or more hits on Saturday while Jason Young tossed a complete-game six-hitter. Stanford pounded out 15 hits on Sunday with Gall (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI) once again leading the way. Tim Cunningham scattered six hits and two runs over the first 5.1 innings to earn the victory.
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 1009-503-5 (.667) 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 title game since winning the 1988 CWS championship. 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 the upcoming USC series) 'This is our last series before the break and it will be our toughest series so far this year. ï¿½SC will be the best team that we've played. They are favored to win our conference. Some people think they are the best team in the country, and I think that's justified. They have all three starting pitchers back from last year's College World Series team and they were a great team last year. This will be a good series for us because it will point out the areas where we need to improve. It will be our best test to date and give us a chance to see where we are.'
(On how he expects the team to be affected by its upcoming 11-day break) 'You don't know. Sometimes, we've come off the break and been a little rusty. Other times, we've come back and played well.
(On the starting pitching rotation) 'We've had some great pitching staffs here but Guthrie, Bruksch and Cunningham have been as good of a starting trio as we've had here with their current statistics. Remember, we are only a third of the way done and there's a lot of season left but to date that's the primary reason we've been successful this year. Our starting pitching has been phenomenal.'
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 Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN, as well as #10 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN. Stanford retained its #9 spot in Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN, while dropping a slot in the Baseball America 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 all three polls despite a temporary exit from the Collegiate Baseball poll. Pac-10 foes USC (#4 in all three polls) and Arizona State (#6, Collegiate Baseball, #8 Baseball America, Baseball Weekly/ESPN) rank ahead of the Cardinal. The other ranked Pac-10 team is UCLA, ranked #20 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #22 by Collegiate Baseball and #23 by Collegiate Baseball. Stanford began the 2000 season #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 2242-1435-32 (.609). 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 11TH CONSECUTIVE REGULAR SEASON SERIES
Stanford increased its regular season series winning streak to 11 by sweeping Santa Clara (2/23/01 - 2/26/01). Stanford needs a win over California on Wednesday to increase the streak to 12. 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 and extended it to 10 by winning two-of-three at Texas (2/16/01 - 2/18/01). 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 regular season series was Arizona State when the Sun Devils won two-of-three in Tempe (3/31/00 - 4/2/00).
STARTING PITCHING STANDING OUT
The Cardinal has had a standout effort this season from its starting pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (4-0, 1.15 ERA), Jeff Bruksch (3-0, 3.48 ERA) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 1.53 ERA). The group has accounted for 17 of the team's 19 starts, posting a combined 11-0 record and a 2.13 ERA. The group has also logged a hefty 118.1 of the pitching staff's 172.1 innings (68.6%). Opponents are hitting a mere .198 off the trio.
Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .275, which is .011 points lower than its season-high of .286 following a game at Texas on February 16. Stanford has posted double-digit hit games only twice since then but has recorded nine hits three times during the eight-game stretch. Stanford managed only a .230 batting average in the first two games of the California series and was limited to a season-low-tying five hits in a 3-1 win on March 2. Chris O'Riordan has slowed dramatically as he is just 5-23 (.217) in his last six games but continues to lead the team with a .364 batting average, 28 hits, six doubles, 22 RBI and seven stolen bases. Jason Cooper paces the club with six home runs, while Jason VanMeetren has four. Arik VanZandt paces the club with 17 runs scored. Cooper (.333), VanMeetren (.329), Scott Dragicevich (.325) and Carlos Quentin (.302) are all hitting .300 or better. Stanford has totaled 20 home runs, 100 RBI and 37 stolen bases on the season, compared to a mere five home runs, 59 RBI and nine stolen bases for its opponents.
The Cardinal pitching staff has continued its amazing start and currently has an ERA of 2.98 through 19 games. The last time the Cardinal finished a season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final ERA of 2.64. The Cardinal's ERA actually dipped to a season-low 2.97 following a 6-1 victory over Santa Clara on February 25. Over the last 13 games, Stanford's pitching staff has given up only 75 hits and 24 earned runs in 116.0 innings of work for a 1.86 ERA as the Cardinal has won 11 of the 13 games. Opponents are hitting only .193 off Cardinal pitching during the stretch. For the entire season, the starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham has combined for an 11-0 record and a 2.13 ERA. Guthrie (4-0, 1.15) earned NCBWA Pitcher of the Week honors on February 13 and was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on March 6. Bruksch (3-0, 3.48) rebounded from two ineffective starts to win three consecutive starts and was recently named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week (2/26) and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (2/27). Cunningham (4-0, 1.53) and Guthrie tie for the club lead with four victories. John Hudgins and Mike Wodnicki have been the team's leaders out of the bullpen. Hudgins has four saves and picked up his first collegiate win versus Nevada (2/27). Wodnicki has three saves. Jason Luker, Ryan McCally and J.D. Willcox have one save each. Wodnicki and McCally both have a win out of the bullpen as well. Bruksch leads the club in innings pitched (44.0 IP) and strikeouts (39). The Cardinal staff has accounted for three shutouts in the team's first 19 games and has allowed more than three runs in a game only twice in its last 13 performances. Opponents are hitting just .224 overall against Cardinal pitching.
Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .975 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage, a full .003 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford has committed more than one error only three times this season and has been errorless in seven of its 19 games, including three of the last seven. Stanford has committed just three errors in its last five games. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan has recorded seven assists three times. O'Riordan leads the team with 71 assists, while shortstop Scott Dragicevich has 63 assists. First baseman Arik VanZandt recorded 15 putouts in a loss at Fresno State (1/27), more than last year's season-high of 13 recorded nine times last year. VanZandt had been perfect in his first 16 games until finally committing an error against Nevada (2/27) while part-time starting catcher Ken Tirpack (62 chances) remains flawless. Dragicevich had gone 12 consecutive games without an error at shortstop before finally committing one at Santa Clara (2/23) and has still only committed one error in his last 18 games and only three all season.
JEREMY GUTHRIE WINS PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Jeremy Guthrie earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for the first time in his career on March 6. Guthrie picked up his fourth consecutive victory in Stanford's 3-1 win over California on March 2. He struck out a career-high 10 batters, while holding the Golden Bears to four hits and one unearned run in 8.0 innings of work.
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the basepaths. Stanford has totaled 37 stolen bases in 45 attempts through its first 19 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. Chris O'Riordan leads the club with seven stolen bases. Jason VanMeetren, Arik VanZandt and Brian Hall have five each, while Sam Fuld and Scott Dragicevich are close behind with four. Stanford opponents have had little success running on the Cardinal with (9-for-16).
AT A RECORD PACE?
It may seem like a long shot but both Jeremy Guthrie (1.15) and Tim Cunningham (1.53) have an opportunity to make a run at the school's single-season ERA mark. The best single-season ERA ever put up by a Cardinal pitcher was the 1.10 ERA by Harvey Shank in 1968.
O'RIORDAN NEARS AT BAT MINIMUM FOR STANFORD'S ALL-TIME BATTING AVERAGE RECORD
Chris O'Riordan's current career batting average of .366 (102-279) would put him on top of Stanford's all-time batting average list if he had enough at bats to qualify. However, O'Riordan should soon officially enter the list as he is only 21 official at bats away from 300 for his career, which is the minimum number of at bats to qualify.
TOUGH LUCK IN ONE-RUN GAMES
Stanford is 1-5 in one-run games this season has lost seven of the last eight one-run games it has been involved in dating back to a 10-9 loss to UCLA (5/19/00) last season. All five of the Cardinal's losses in 2001 have come by a single run with the first three coming in the opponents' final at bat. The team's only one-run victory during the recent stretch was a 9-8 win at Cal State Fullerton (2/3/01).
* The Pac-10 coaches picked Stanford to finish third in their annual preseason poll. USC finished first 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.
* Jason Cooper and Mike Gosling were named Second Team Preseason All-Americans by Baseball America.
* Jeremy Guthrie was named the NCBWA Pitcher of the Week on February 13 following his masterful performance against Florida State (2/9/01). Guthrie held the Seminoles scoreless on one hit over the first 7.0 innings in a 6-2 Cardinal win, striking out eight. Guthrie was the first Cardinal pitcher to receive a national Pitcher of the Week honors since Justin Wayne was named one of Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week on March 7, 2000.
* Jeff Bruksch won a pair of honors after tossing his first career shutout in an 8-0 win over Santa Clara (2/26). Bruksch allowed only three hits and no walks, while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts. He was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and also earned the Pac-10's first Pitcher of the Week honor for 2001. The national honor was his first while the Pac-10 honors marked the second time he had been honored with the conference's weekly award.