Top-Ranked Stanford Baseball Begins Three-Game Set Versus UCLA Friday
April 6, 2001
#1 STANFORD CARDINAL (25-6, 5-1 PAC-10)
Friday, April 6, 6 pm - RHP Josh Karp (2-0, 3.09) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-0, 1.31)
Saturday, April 7, 1 pm - RHP Jon Brandt (3-2, 4.68) vs. RHP Jeff Bruksch (5-0, 2.75)
Sunday, April 8, 1 pm - TBA vs. TBA
A live audio broadcast of all four Stanford Baseball games this week will be available on KZSU (90.1 FM) as well as at www.gostanford.com and realaudio.stanford.edu ... The KZSU broadcast team includes Chad Goldberg, Joey Elger and Aaron Levine.
ESSENTIAL STANFORD BASEBALL NOTES
Stanford has been the nation's top-ranked team in the Baseball America poll for four consecutive weeks ... Stanford has won 11 of its last 12 games and 23 of 26 ... The Cardinal had its season-high 10 game win streak snapped with a 6-5 loss at #6 Arizona State on April 1 after sweeping the first two games of the series, 6-2 and 5-2 ... Stanford rebounded with a 10-inning, 5-3 victory at San Jose State last Tuesday ... Stanford has won 15 consecutive regular season series, eight straight Pac-10 regular season series dating back to last year and four in a row over UCLA going back to the 1997 season when the Bruins beat the Cardinal two-of-three in Los Angeles and at Stanford ... Arizona State was the last team to have taken a regular season series against the Cardinal, winning two-of-three in Tempe just over a year ago (3/31/00 - 4/2/00) ... Stanford is 14-1 overall at Sunken Diamond this year and plays six of its next seven games at home ... The Cardinal has a 10-5 road mark ... All six of Stanford's losses this season have been by one run as the Cardinal is 2-6 in one-run games ... Stanford, which is attempting to extend its school record string of Pac-10 titles to five in a row (includes Southern Division), sits alone in first place in the Pac-10 with a 5-1 Pac-10 mark ... Stanford is 10-2 against ranked teams this season (according to Baseball America) ... Stanford is ranked #2 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball Weekly/ESPN and NCBWA ... Stanford's regular starting pitching rotation (Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch, Tim Cunningham) is a combined 17-0 with a 2.47 ERA this season ... Stanford's pitching staff has given up more than three runs in a game only five times in its last 25 games ... Stanford leads the Pac-10 in both ERA (2.84) and fielding percentage (.980), the latter being .008 percentage points higher than the school record established three times in the 1990's ... The Cardinal has been errorless in 15 of 31 games, including five of the last six ... Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .290, seventh in the Pac-10 ... Carlos Quentin (.357) leads the team in batting average, while Chris O'Riordan (6 HR, 36 RBI, 10 SB), Jason Cooper (6 HR), Scott Dragicevich (41 hits), Jason VanMeetren (10 2B, 2 3B) and Arik VanZandt (28 runs scored) hold team leads in other high-profile categories ... Quentin and Andy Topham both have current career-high 11-game hitting streaks, while VanMeetren and Sam Fuld have each hit safely in eight straight games ... The last time the Cardinal finished with a lower ERA than its current 2.84 of the pitching staff was in 1973 (2.64) .... UCLA and Stanford will be playing at Sunken Diamond for the second straight season ... Stanford won two-of-three games over the Bruins on the final weekend of the regular season last year, allowing Stanford to gain a share of the Pac-10 title with UCLA and Arizona State ... Stanford leads the all-time series, 172-130.
STANFORD TO HOST UCLA IN THREE-GAME PAC-10 SERIES
UCLA visits Sunken Diamond this Friday-Sunday, April 6-8 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm) for a three-game Pac-10 series. Stanford won two-of-three games against the Bruins on the final weekend of the 2000 season, enabling the Cardinal to move into a three-way tie for the Pac-10 crown with UCLA and Arizona State. UCLA erased a 9-5 deficit with five runs in the last three innings to win Friday night's series-opener, 10-9, and clinch a share of the conference title. Stanford responded by winning Saturday's game, 19-3, hitting four home runs and pounding out 19 hits. With a share of the Pac-10 title on the line on Sunday, the Cardinal jumped out to a 9-0 lead and held on for a 17-11 win. Joe Borchard was 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI. Stanford leads the all-time series, 172-130.
STANFORD BEGINS WEEK WITH A 5-3, 10-INNING WIN AT SAN JOSE STATE
Stanford opened its play this week by squeezing out a 5-3, 10-inning win in a non-conference game at San Jose State. Scott Dragicevich's two-out, two-RBI single in the top of the 10th inning proved to be the game-winner. Chris O'Riordan (3-5, HR, RBI) led a 13-hit Stanford offensive attack and homered on the first pitch of the game, the third time this season he has led off a game with a home run. Arik VanZandt (2-4, RBI, SB), Dragicevich (2-5, 2 RBI) and Sam Fuld (2-5, 2B) had two hits each, while Carlos Quentin and Andy Topham extended their career-high hitting streaks to 11 games each. Reliever Mike Wodnicki (2-1) picked up the win with 3.1 innings of scoreless two-hit relief. Starter Mike Gosling was impressive, equaling a season-high with strikeouts while allowing no runs and only four hits through the first 5.0 innings.
STANFORD BEATS SAINT MARY'S AND TAKES 2-OF-3 AT ARIZONA STATE
Stanford ran its win streak to a season-high 10 games by winning its first three contests last week before falling to Arizona State in the series finale last Sunday. Stanford opened the week with an 8-3 victory over Saint Mary's on Tuesday. The Cardinal trailed 3-2 before scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth. Arik VanZandt (2-3) was the only Stanford player with more than one hit and set a new Stanford individual season-high by scoring four runs. Stanford then won two-of-three at Arizona State. The Cardinal captured Friday night's opener, 6-2, as Jeremy Guthrie (7-0) won his seventh consecutive start, scattering three hits and two runs through 6.0 innings. Jeff Bruksch (6-0) picked up the victory in a classic pitching dual with Arizona State ace Jon Switzer on Saturday. The Cardinal eventually won the game, 5-2, but Stanford held only a slim 1-0 lead before scoring four insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. The Cardinal would need the runs as ASU tallied twice in the bottom of the ninth frame, knocking Bruksch out of the game and sending the tying run to the plate with no outs before reliever Mike Wodnicki retired all three batters he faced for his fourth save of the year. ASU won Sunday's game, 6-5, jumping out to a 4-1 lead and holding on for the win. Carlos Quentin hit his fourth home run for the Cardinal.
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 has a career record of 1020-504-5 (.669) at Stanford, including an impressive 416-274 (.603) 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. 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). Last season, Marquess coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the College World Series title game since winning the 1988 CWS championship. His teams have 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 last weekend's key series at Arizona State) 'If you had told me before we went to Arizona State that we were going to go down there and win two-of-three, I would have taken that. But when you win the first two game, you sure would have like to have won the third one. On the whole, it was good weekend.'
(On the Pac-10 race) 'I don't think anything has really changed from the beginning. I think USC is still favored and they should be. They are the most experienced team in the conference. They're still the team to beat. The conference is also very balanced. You've already seen that with the Northern schools winning some big games.'
(On the team's six Pac-10 home games prior to the USC series) 'You can't approach it by saying that we have to win the games just because they are home games, because we've also played well on the road. If we don't play well, whether we're at home for the next six or on the road, I think we'll get beat. If we play well, be fine.'
(On the state of the team) 'We need to continue to improve. The freshmen players are improving, and we need to get some of our more experienced players back to the way they were hitting earlier in the season. We continued to pitch well at Arizona State. That's the main reason we were able to win two-of-three games.'
(On the team's lineup) 'We only have 14 guys (position players) so there's not a lot of flexibility. You'll pretty much see the same guys we've been putting out there. Most of the guys have had a pretty good opportunity to find a spot in the lineup.'
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 has been ranked #1 in the nation by Baseball America for four consecutive weeks. The Cardinal jumped all the way from #10 to #1 after sweeping USC in a three-game series March 9-11 and have remained in the top spot since. Stanford has now been ranked #1 at one point during each of the past five seasons. The Cardinal did drop back to #2 in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll after being on top of the poll for one week the previous week. Stanford remained at #2 in this Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll, which the Cardinal has not been on top of all season. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked #9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America. Arizona State (#10 Baseball America, #9 Collegiate Baseball, #6 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) and USC (#12 Baseball America, #15 Collegiate Baseball, #11 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) are the Pac-10's other ranked clubs. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked #2 in all three polls after opening the season at #1 before dropping out of the top spot on February 14, 2000. 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 the entire regular season (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 2253-1436-32 (.610). 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 (also 52 of last 54), 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, 55 major league players (including six that began 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 15TH CONSECUTIVE REGULAR SEASON SERIES
Stanford increased its regular season series winning streak to 15 by taking two-of-three at Arizona State (3/30/01 - 4/1/01). 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) just over a year ago. Below is a look at Stanford's 15 consecutive regular season series victories. 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.
Dates (Series, Record)
4/7/00-4/9/00 (Stanford at Washington State, 3-0)
4/14/00-4/16/00 (Stanford vs. Washington, 3-0)
4/20/00-4/22/00 (Stanford at USC, 2-1)
4/28/00-4/30/00 (Stanford vs. California, 2-1)
5/5/00-5/7/00 (Stanford at Oregon State, 2-1)
5/19/00-5/21/00 (Stanford vs. UCLA, 2-1)
1/26/01-1/28/01 (Stanford at Fresno State, 2-1)
2/2/01-2/4/01 (Stanford at Cal State Fullerton, 2-1)
2/9/01-2/11/01 (Stanford vs. Florida State, 3-0)
2/16/01-2/18/01 (Stanford at Texas, 2-1)
2/23/01-2/26/01 (Stanford at/vs. Santa Clara, 3-0)
3/2/01-3/7/01 (Stanford vs. California, 2-1)
3/9/01-3/11/01 (Stanford vs. USC, 3-0)
3/23/01-3/25/01 (Stanford vs. Washington, 3-0)
3/30/01-4/1/01 (Stanford at Arizona State, 2-1)
Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .290, four points from a season-best .294 after the first game of last weekend's series at Arizona State. After hitting .255 (25-98) in the Arizona State series, the Cardinal rebounded with 13 hits at San Jose State last Tuesday. Stanford has posted 10 or more hits in seven of its last 10 contests. Carlos Quentin (.357) continues to lead the club in batting average, while Scott Dragicevich has a team-high 41 hits and is second with a .333 mark. Chris O'Riordan co-leads the team with six home runs and is club leader in RBI (36) and stolen bases (10). Jason Cooper co-leads the club with six homers and has a team-high .667 slugging percentage. Jason VanMeetren leads the team with 10 doubles and two triples. VanMeetren also has five homers. Arik VanZandt paces the club with 28 runs scored. Sam Fuld is the team-leader in walks (18) and on-base percentage (.457). Cooper (.333), VanMeetren (.320), O'Riordan (.317) and Fuld (.300) join Quentin and Dragicevich with batting averages .300 or better. Stanford has totaled 28 home runs, 181 RBI and 59 stolen bases for the season, compared to a mere 10 home runs, 87 RBI and 13 stolen bases for its opponents.
The Cardinal pitching staff has been phenomenal over the first 31 games and currently has a team ERA of 2.84. The last time the Cardinal finished a season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final ERA of 2.64. Opponents are hitting only .222 off Cardinal pitching. The regular starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham has combined for a 17-0 record and a 2.47 ERA. Guthrie (7-0, 1.31) has won seven consecutive starts and earned NCBWA Pitcher of the Week honors on February 13 before being named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice in row (March 6 and 13). Bruksch (6-0, 2.69) has won six of his last seven starts and given up just four earned runs over his last 45.2 innings, including separate scoreless inning streaks of 19.0 and 15.0 during the period. He was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week (2/26) and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week (2/27). Cunningham is 4-0 with a 3.17 ERA primarily as the team's Sunday starter. John Hudgins and Mike Wodnicki have been the team's leaders out of the bullpen as both pitchers have four saves, although Hudgins does have four of the team's six losses. Hudgins picked up his first collegiate win versus Nevada (2/27). Wodnicki has appeared in a team-high 14 games and has won a pair of games. Ryan McCally has added a pair of saves, while Jason Luker and J.D. Willcox have one each. Willcox (2-0, 0.00, 1 SV) has been sparking out of the bullpen and has not given up a run in 12.2 IP, recording a pair of wins and a save in seven appearances while giving up just six hits and striking out nine. Mike Gosling, Wodnicki, McCally and Luker each have one win out of the bullpen as well. Bruksch leads the club in innings pitched (67.0 IP) while Guthrie is the strikeout leader (58 in 62.0 IP). The Cardinal staff has five shutouts and a pair of complete games in the team's first 31 contests with Bruksch and Guthrie recording one complete game shutout each. The staff has allowed more than three runs in a game only five times in its last 25 performances and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.21 (237 SO, 107 BB).
Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .980 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage in school history, a full .008 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford has committed more than one error only four times this season and has been errorless in 15 of its 31 games, including eight of its last 12 games while committing just five errors in that period. Stanford was flawless for four consecutive games (3/25-3/31) over the stretch. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan has recorded seven assists three times. O'Riordan leads the Pac-10 with 116 assists. Shortstop Scott Dragicevich is second on the club with 90 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 during the 2000 season. VanZandt has committed just one error in 314 chances for a .997 fielding percentage, while part-time starting catcher Ken Tirpack (128 chances) remains flawless. The starting infield of O'Riordan, Dragicevich, VanZandt and third baseman Andy Topham has made just 11 errors between them for a fielding percentage of .984. Dragicevich had a stretch of 12 consecutive games (1/26-2/18) without an error at shortstop and only one over a 23-game period (1/26-3/23).
REGULAR STARTING PITCHING ROTATION NOW 17-0
Stanford's regular pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (7-0, 1.31), Jeff Bruksch (6-0, 2.69) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.17) has combined for a 17-0 record and a 2.47 ERA this season. The group has accounted for 26 of the team's 31 starts and logged 177.1 of the pitching staff's 282.1 innings (62.8 %). Opponents are hitting a mere .206 off the trio.
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the base paths. Stanford has 59 stolen bases in 76 attempts through its first 31 games, already surpassing its season total of 55 a year ago. The Cardinal is averaging 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 10 stolen bases, while Arik VanZandt ranks second with eight. Andy Topham and Jason VanMeetren have seven each, followed by Sam Fuld with six. Scott Dragicevich and Brian Hall both have five. Of Stanford's 14 most prominent positions players, 12 of them have at least two stolen bases. Stanford opponents have had little success running on the Cardinal with 13 thefts in 21 attempts.
GUTHRIE SHOOTING FOR LONG-TIME SINGLE-SEASON ERA RECORD
It may still seem like a long shot but Jeremy Guthrie (1.31 ERA) has 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.
CHRIS O'RIORDAN CAREER AVERAGE RANKS NINTH
Chris O'Riordan currently ranks tied for 10th on Stanford's career batting average list with a mark of .348 (114-328). O'Riordan, who officially reached the minimum 300 career at bats during a game against Washington (3/24), had threatened to enter the list ahead of current leader Jack Shepard (.362, 1951-53) but is hitting just .247 (21-85) over his last 21 games since raising his batting average to a season-best .463 on February 11.
ANDY TOPHAM AND CARLOS QUENTIN EXTEND HITTING STREAKS
Andy Topham and Carlos Quentin both had one hit at San Jose State (4/3) to extend their career-high hitting streaks to 11 games (3/9/01 - 4/3/01). Both players are currently tied with Chris O'Riordan for the second longest Cardinal hitting streak of the season. Scott Dragicevich's 12-game hitting streak (2/26/01 - 3/27/01) was the longest by a Stanford player this season. Sam Fuld and Jason VanMeetren are both current owners of eight-game hitting streaks (3/23/01 - 4/3/01).
BEATING THE BEST
Stanford's 24-6 record includes a 10-2 mark against teams ranked among the nation's Top 25 in the Baseball America poll at the time the Cardinal faced them. The Cardinal has only three more games (at USC, 4/20-4/22) scheduled against teams currently ranked among BA's Top 25.
Stanford's fate late in games has been contradictory this year. Stanford has lost each of its six games by a single run and is 2-6 overall in one-run game this season. However, after losing its first two extra-inning games of the season, the Cardinal has won three consecutive games that advanced into extra frames.
* 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 State and Stanford picked up the other two first-place votes.
* Stanford has more than doubled its opponents scoring this season with 200 runs while opponents have crossed the plate only 97 times.
* Jeremy Guthrie earned back-to-back Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors on March 6 and 13.
* Stanford has drawn better than 2,000 fans in four of its last six home games, including a season-best 2,973 versus USC on March 11. The Cardinal has also been a big draw on the road, drawing 2,000 or more spectators for 11 of 16 road contests.
* Stanford has added freshman Matt Lottich to the team's roster. Lottich was a member of the Cardinal's Elite Eight men's basketball squad this past season.