No.1 Baseball Host Oregon State In Three Game Series
April 12, 2001
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (21-13, 5-4 PAC-10)
#1 STANFORD CARDINAL (28-7, 7-2 PAC-10)
Thursday, April 12, 6 pm - RHP Thad Johnson (4-4, 4.46) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-1, 1.70)
Friday, April 13, 6 pm - LHP Scott Nicholson (7-1, 2.68) vs. RHP Jeff Bruksch (7-0, 2.75)
Saturday, April 14, 1 pm - TBA vs. LHP Mike Gosling (2-0, 2.38)
A live audio broadcast of all three Stanford-Oregon State baseball games 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 is the nation's top-ranked team in all three major national polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, ESPN/Baseball Weekly) for the first time in 2001 this week ... Stanford has been the nation's No. 1 team in the Baseball America poll for five consecutive weeks but had been No. 2 in the other two polls last week ... Stanford has won 14 of its last 16 games and 26 of 30 ... Stanford currently sits in first-place in the Pac-10 with a 7-2 conference record, one full game ahead of second-place USC ... The Cardinal is attempting to win its fifth straight Pac-10 baseball title (includes Southern Division and co-titles) ... Stanford has won three straight games, most recently with an 18-13 victory in a slugfest at Nevada this past Tuesday in which the Cardinal set new season-highs for runs (18) and hits (23) ... Stanford won the final two games of a three-game Pac-10 series versus UCLA last weekend ... The Cardinal has won 16 consecutive regular season series and nine straight Pac-10 regular season series dating back to last year ... Stanford has also defeated the Beavers in both series since the Pac-10 North and South Division merged prior to the 1999 season ... Stanford swept the Beavers at Sunken Diamond in 1999 (W, 7-0, W, 10-5, W, 9-8) and took two-of-three last year in Corvallis (W, 10-6, L, 2-5, W, 7-5) ... Stanford leads the all-time series over Oregon State, 26-9 ... Arizona State was the last team to have taken a regular season series against the Cardinal, winning two-of-three in Tempe more than a year ago (3/31/00 - 4/2/00) ... Stanford is 16-2 at Sunken Diamond this year, while posting a 12-5 road mark ... Six of Stanford's seven losses this season have been by one run as the Cardinal is 2-6 in one-run games (the other loss was a 2-run loss) ... Stanford is 10-2 against ranked teams this season (according to Baseball America) ... Stanford's pitching staff has given up more than three runs in a game only seven times in its last 29 games ... Stanford leads the Pac-10 in both ERA (3.03) and fielding percentage (.976), the latter being .004 percentage points higher than the school record established three times in the 1990's ... The last time the Cardinal finished a season with a lower team ERA was in 1973 (2.64) ... The Cardinal has been errorless in 16 of 35 games, including six of the last 10 ... However, the Cardinal has struggled defensively with nine errors in its last four contests ... Stanford's team batting average currently sits at a season-high .300 ... Sam Fuld leads the team in batting average (.352), on-base percentage (.478) and bases on balls (20) ... Jason VanMeetren leads the club in doubles (12), triples (3) and total bases (82) ... Chris O'Riordan is the club's leader in homers (7), RBI (41) and stolen bases (11) ... Scott Dragicevich paces the club with 48 hits, while Arik VanZandt leads the team with 34 runs scored ... Andy Topham (15 games) and Fuld (12 games) are working on career-high hitting streaks ... Jeremy Guthrie and Jeff Bruksch have both won seven of their last eight starts ... Bruksch has given up just four earned runs in his last 53.2 innings ... Mike Gosling started his first Pac-10 game last Sunday and held UCLA to one run and three hits over the first 8.0 innings.
STANFORD TO HOST OREGON STATE IN THREE-GAME PAC-10 SERIES
Oregon State visits Sunken Diamond this Thursday-Saturday, April 12-14 (6 pm, 6 pm, 1 pm) for a key three-game Pac-10 series between of the conference's top three clubs. Stanford and Oregon State both won two-of-three games over UCLA and California, respectively, last weekend. The Cardinal has won 14 of its last 16 overall, while the Beavers have been 5-5 over their last 10 games. Stanford has won five of the six meetings between the teams since the Pac-10 North and South Divisions merged prior to the 1999 season. Last year, the Cardinal won two-of-three games in a tough series at Corvallis. Chris O'Riordan had a 4-for-4 day during a 10-6 win in the series opener. OSU's Scott Nicholson held the Cardinal to two runs and five hits in a complete-game 5-2 Beaver win on Saturday. The Cardinal picked up a 7-5 victory in the rubber game, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie. Stanford swept the Beavers (7-0, 10-5, 9-8) when the teams played at Sunken Diamond in 1999. Stanford leads the all-time series, 26-9.
STANFORD BEGINS WEEK WITH WILD 18-13 WIN IN SLUGFEST AT NEVADA
Stanford set new season-highs with 18 runs and 23 hits in a wild 18-13 win at Nevada this past Tuesday. Arik VanZandt (4-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Sam Fuld (4-5, 2B, 3 RBI) and Scott Dragicevich (4-5, 2B, 2 RBI) all set new individual career-highs with four hits. Ryan Garko (3-5, HR, 3 RBI) and Carlos Quentin (3-7, 2 RBI) had three hits each. The game featured a total of 31 runs, 39 hits, nine home runs, eight errors and 16 bases on balls combined. Andy Topham (15 games) and Fuld (12 games) both extended their career-high hitting streaks, while Jason VanMeetren had his snapped at 11. Stanford scored four times in the top of the second to erase Nevada's only lead, a 2-0 margin that came when Mike Gillies hit the first of six Nevada home runs in the bottom of the first inning.
STANFORD WINS TWO-OF-THREE OVER UCLA
Stanford captured its 16th straight regular season series by winning two-of-three games from UCLA last weekend. The teams split a Saturday doubleheader that was necessary after Friday night's series-opener was rained out. UCLA won the first game, 6-4, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and holding off a late Cardinal rally. Stanford came back for a 9-0 win in the nightcap. Jeff Bruksch and J.D. Willcox combined on a six-hit shutout, the sixth of the year for the Cardinal pitching staff. Bruksch tossed the first 8.0 innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters. Willcox pitched a perfect ninth inning. Jason VanMeetren led (3-3, 3B, 2 RBI) led Stanford's offensive attack. Stanford came back with an 11-2 victory in Sunday's rubber game as Mike Gosling made his first Pac-10 start and gave up just one run and three hits in 8.0 innings. VanMeetren (3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Sam Fuld (3-5, 2B) paced Stanford's offense as the Cardinal equaled a then-season-high 16 hits.
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 1023-505-5 (.669) at Stanford, including an impressive 418-275 (.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 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 upcoming Oregon State series at Sunken Diamond) 'Oregon State has played very well this year. You can't approach this series 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 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 our more experienced players are really beginning to hit the way they were earlier in the season. We have continued to pitch well all year long. That's the main reason we have been successful as we've been.'
(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 UNANIMOUS NO. 1 TEAM IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
Stanford is the unanimous No. 1 team this week in all three major national collegiate baseball polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball Weekly/ESPN) for the first time this season. The Cardinal has been Baseball America's top team for five consecutive weeks but moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 in the other two polls this week. Stanford, which has now been ranked #1 at one point during each of the past five seasons, was the nation's unanimous top team in the 200 preseason polls but had not returned to that status since. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked #9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America. USC (#9 Baseball America, #10 Collegiate Baseball, #7 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) and Arizona State (#15 Baseball America, #16 Collegiate Baseball, #12 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 2256-1437-32 (.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 WINS 16TH CONSECUTIVE REGULAR SEASON SERIES
Stanford increased its regular season series winning streak to 16 by taking two-of-three versus UCLA (4/7/01 - 4/8/01). 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) more than a year ago. Below is a look at Stanford's 16 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)
4/7/01-4/8/01 Stanford vs. UCLA (2-1)
Stanford's team batting average currently sits at a season-high .300 after the Cardinal exploded for season-bests of 18 runs and 23 hits in an 18-13 win at Nevada this past Tuesday. The Cardinal has posted 39 hits in its last two games after having racked up a previous season-high tying 16 hits in the final game of the UCLA series. The Cardinal hit .315 (34-108) in the three-game set versus the Bruins. Sam Fuld (.352) now leads the team in hitting as well as on base percentage (.478) and bases on balls (20). Chris O'Riordan paces the club in homers (7), RBI (41) and stolen bases (11). Jason VanMeetren is the team leader in doubles (12) and triples (3), while Scott Dragicevich (48 hits) and Arik VanZandt (34 runs scored) lead the team in other high-profile categories. Jason Cooper has a team-high .667 slugging percentage. Dragicevich (.343), VanMeetren (.336), Cooper (.333), Carlos Quentin (.330), O'Riordan (.329) and Ryan Garko (.304) join Fuld with batting averages over .300. Stanford has totaled 35 home runs, 220 RBI and 62 stolen bases for the season, compared to 19 home runs, 106 RBI and 15 stolen bases for its opponents.
The Stanford pitching staff gave up double-digit runs for the first time this season in last Tuesday's 18-13 win at Nevada, as well as a season-high 18 hits and six homers to the Wolf Pack. Still, the staff leads the Pac-10 with a team ERA of 3.03. 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 .227 off Cardinal pitching. Jeff Bruksch (7-0, 2.40) and Jeremy Guthrie (7-1, 1.70) have both won seven of their last eight starts. Guthrie (NCBWA Pitcher of the Week, 2/13) and Bruksch (Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, 2/26) have both earned one national honor this year. Both have also been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice (Bruksch - 2/27, 4/9, Guthrie - 3/6, 3/13). Mike Gosling (2-0, 2.38), who started the team's season-opener at Cal Poly (1/21), has returned to the starting rotation as the club's third starter. He made his first Pac-10 start last Sunday and held UCLA to only one run and three hits in 8.0 innings. Bruksch has given up just four earned runs over his last 53.2 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). Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.58) had been the team's third starter for most of the season before Gosling's return. Mike Wodnicki (3-1, 4.15, 4 SV) has been the team's leader out of the bullpen with a team-high 15 appearances. John Hudgins also has four saves but has four of the team's seven losses. Ryan McCally (1-1, 2.11) and J.D. Willcox (2-0, 0.59, 1 SV) have been effective out of the bullpen as well. Jason Luker also has a win out of the bullpen. Bruksch leads the club in innings pitched (75.0 IP) while Guthrie is the strikeout leader (67 in 69.0 IP). The Cardinal staff has six shutouts and a pair of complete games in the team's first 35 contests with Bruksch and Guthrie recording one complete game shutout each. The staff has allowed more than three runs in a game only seven times in its last 29 performances and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.31 (273 SO, 118 BB).
Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .976 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage in school history, .004 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. However, Stanford has struggled lately in the field, committing three errors in three of its last four games as its percentage dipped from a season-high .980 to its current .976. Still, Stanford has been errorless in 16 of its 35 games. Stanford was flawless for four consecutive games from March 25-31. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan has recorded seven assists three times. O'Riordan leads the Pac-10 with 130 assists. Shortstop Scott Dragicevich is second on the club with 104 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 two errors in 360 chances for a .997 fielding percentage, while part-time starting catcher Ken Tirpack (134 chances) remains flawless. The starting infield of O'Riordan, Dragicevich, VanZandt and third baseman Andy Topham has made just 16 errors between them for a fielding percentage of .980. 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).
ANDY TOPHAM AND SAM FULD EXTEND CAREER-HIGH HITTING STREAKS
Andy Topham (1-5, HR, RBI) and Sam Fuld (4-5, 2B, 3 RBI) both hit safely at Nevada (4/10) to extend their career-high hitting streaks to 15 and 12 games, respectively. Topham's 15-game streak is the longest by a Cardinal player this season and is approaching John Gall's team-best 20-game streak last season (3/28/00 - 5/1/00). Stanford has had six hitting streaks of 10 or more games this year. Jason VanMeetren's 11-game streak was the most recent to be broken when he went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and three walks at Nevada (4/10).
REGULAR STARTING PITCHING ROTATION SUFFERS FIRST LOSS OF SEASON
Stanford's regular starting pitching rotation for most of the season consisting of Jeremy Guthrie (7-1, 1.70), Jeff Bruksch (7-0, 2.40) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.58) suffered its first loss of the season when Guthrie was charged with the loss in a 6-4 defeat at the hands of UCLA (4/7). With the change to Mike Gosling (2-0, 2.38) as the third starter in place of Cunningham, the foursome now has a 20-1 record this year.
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the base paths. Stanford has 62 stolen bases in 80 attempts through its first 35 games, already surpassing its season total of 55 a year ago. The Cardinal is averaging 1.8 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 11 stolen bases, while Arik VanZandt and Andy Topham are tied for second with eight each. Sam Fuld and Jason VanMeetren have seven each, followed by Scott Dragicevich and Brian Hall with five. Of Stanford's 14 most prominent positions players, 13 of them have at least two stolen bases. Stanford opponents have had little success running on the Cardinal with 15 thefts in 23 attempts.
GUTHRIE SHOOTING FOR LONG-TIME SINGLE-SEASON ERA RECORD
It may seem like a long shot but Jeremy Guthrie (1.70 ERA) still 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 FIFTH
Chris O'Riordan currently ranks fifth on Stanford's career batting average list with a mark of .351 (121-345). O'Riordan had threatened to enter the list ahead of current leader Jack Shepard (.362, 1951-53) before a midseason slump. He dropped to as far as 10th at one point before moving back up to fifth by going 10-for-22 (.455) during his current five-game hitting streak.
BEATING THE BEST
Stanford's 28-7 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 has lost six of its seven 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 242 runs while opponents have crossed the plate only 118 times.
* Stanford has drawn better than 2,000 fans in six of its last nine 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 17 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.