No. 3 Baseball Looks To Pick Up Victory In Series Finale At California
#3 Stanford Cardinal (33-12, 11-6 PAC-10) at California Golden Bears (26-21, 11-9 PAC-10)
Sun., April 29, 1 pm - LHP Mike Gosling (4-0, 3.44) vs. David Cash (8-2, 3.42)
A live audio broadcast of Sunday's Stanford-California baseball games this week will be available on KZSU (90.1 FM) as well as at www.gostanford.com and realaudio.stanford.edu ... Chad Goldberg and Joey Elger will call the action.
ESSENTIAL STANFORD BASEBALL NOTES (THIS SECTION UPDATED FOR SUNDAY'S GAME)
Stanford has fallen into second-place in the Pac-10 (1.0 games behind first-place USC) for the first time this season after losing the first two games of the California series, 7-4 and 4-0 ... California has already clinched its first series victory over Stanford since 1993 as the Cardinal had won 12 consecutive series and compiled a 14-1 record over its last 15 series with the Golden Bears ... Stanford has dropped two straight series for the first time since 1997 when the club dropped two-of-three to Washington in the Pac-10 championship series (5/15-5/17) and two-of-three to UCLA in the final regular season series (5/9-5/11) ... Stanford has dropped four of its last five games to open the second half of the Pac-10 schedule after posting a 10-2 mark in the first half of league play ... California won the first game of the series, 7-4, by erasing a 4-3 Stanford lead in the sixth inning when Brad Smith hit a two-run homer to give the Golden Bears a 5-4 lead and Ben Conley followed with a solo homer ... The Golden Bears picked up a 4-0 shutout win on Saturday as Jason Dennis and Matt Brown scattered nine Cardinal hits ... Chris O'Riordan (3-4) and Ryan Garko (2-3) had multiple-hit games ... Stanford has dropped to No. 3 in the Baseball America poll this week after sitting at the top of the poll for six consecutive weeks ... Stanford is still ranked No. 1 in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll and No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball poll ... Stanford managed to win just one of three games last weekend at USC ... Stanford had won 17 consecutive regular season series dating back to over a year ago before losing the series at USC last weekend (4/20 - 4/22) ... Stanford dropped three in a row last week for the first time since January 30 - February 5, 1999 ... The Cardinal's 7-0 shutout loss to USC (4/21) marked the first time the club has been shutout in 167 games since February 5, 1999 (8-0 at Cal State Fullerton) ... Stanford has had four winning streaks of five or more games this season, including a season-best 10-game winning streak from March 7-31 ... The Cardinal is attempting to win its fifth straight Pac-10 baseball title (includes Southern Division and co-titles) ... Stanford is 20-3 at Sunken Diamond this year, while posting a 13-9 road mark ... The team's current 33-12 overall record is one game under the 34-11 record that the 2000 CWS runner-up squad had posted through 45 games ... Eight of Stanford's 12 losses this season have been by one run ... Stanford is 11-4 against ranked teams this year (according to Baseball America) but has no more regular season games scheduled against teams currently ranked in the national polls... Stanford leads the Pac-10 in both ERA (3.24) and fielding percentage (.975) ... The last time the Stanford staff had a lower ERA for the season was the 2.64 mark posted by the 1973 club ... The starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie (8-3, 2.05), Jeff Bruksch (8-1, 2.76) and Mike Gosling (4-0, 3.44) has combined for a 20-5 record and a 2.64 ERA ... Guthrie leads the team in strikeouts (93) and Bruksch in innings pitched (96.0) ... Gosling (4-0 Pac-10) has won three consecutive Pac-10 starts and recorded his first career complete game at USC (4/22) ... The Cardinal has been errorless in 21 of 45 games ... Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .301 ... Ryan Garko leads the team in batting average (.351) ... Chris O'Riordan is the club's leader in homers (8), RBI (51), stolen bases (15), hits (63) and total bases (98) ... Jason VanMeetren leads the club in doubles (13) and triples (3), while Arik VanZandt has scored a team-high 40 runs ... Sam Fuld paces the club in on base percentage (.440) and bases on balls (24).
NO. 3 STANFORD TO VISIT CALIFORNIA IN KEY THREE-GAME PAC-10 SERIES
Stanford and California will continue a classic rivalry with a three-game Pac-10 series at Evans Diamond this Friday-Sunday, April 27-29 (2:30 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). The Cardinal has won 12 consecutive series over California dating back to 1995 and is 14-0-1 in its past 15 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 won two-of-three games when the teams met in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond earlier this season (March 2-7). All three games were close pitching duals. Stanford came up with a 3-1 victory in the opener as Jeremy Guthrie struck out 10 batters and Carlos Quentin had a pair of hits. The Golden Bears picked up a victory in the second game, snapping a 2-2 tie in the ninth when Brian Horwitz singled home pinch-runner Nick Medrano. Stanford left 16 runners on base in the contest. The third game of the series was rained out twice before the teams finally played on March 7. Stanford won in dramatic fashion when Chris O'Riordan homered with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Stanford a 3-2 win. J.D. Willcox tossed 4.0 innings of scoreless one-hit baseball to earn the win. Stanford owns a slim 211-204 all-time advantage in the 415 games the two schools have played and won five of the six meetings between the clubs last year.
STANFORD BEGINS WEEK WITH WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE AFTER LOSING SERIES AT USC LAST WEEKEND
Stanford completed a two-game season series sweep of San Jose State with a 4-3 victory over the Spartans on Tuesday. Ryan Garko (2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) keyed the victory with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning. Sam Fuld (2-3) was the only other Cardinal player with more than one hit. Starting pitcher Mike Wodnicki tossed 3.0 innings of hitless baseball and was credited with the victory. J.D. Willcox earned his third save of the season with a pair of scoreless innings. Stanford concluded its most difficult week of the season last weekend by losing two-of-three games at USC, snapping Stanford's series winning streak at 17. The Cardinal traveled to USC with a 2.0 game lead over the Trojans in the Pac-10 race. USC cut Stanford's lead to 1.0 game with a 2-1 victory on Friday night as Mark Prior struck out 12 batters and limited the Cardinal to five hits. Stanford then lost 7-0 in a nationally televised FOX Sports Net game on Saturday to even the Pac-10 race as Rik Currier and Fraser Dizard combined for the shutout, the first time the Cardinal had been blanked in 167 games. Carlos Quentin had five of Stanford's 10 hits in the first two games. The Cardinal rebounded for a 9-5 victory on Sunday to regain sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 and avoid a sweep. Mike Gosling tossed his first career complete game, shutting the Trojans out over the final six innings after giving up five runs in the first three frames. Chris O'Riordan had a career-high four RBI, while Jason VanMeetren was 3-for-5. Quentin and Jason Cooper, making his first start since March 3, both hit solo homers. Stanford rallied from an early 5-2 deficit, tying the game with three runs in the top of the fifth inning and taking the lead for good with a pair of scores in the top of the sixth frame.
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 1028-508-5 (.669) at Stanford, including an impressive 422-277 (.604) 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 this weekend's series versus California) 'It's really no different than any weekend. I expect a tough series after what we saw from them earlier in the year in the non-conference series with three close games. Cal's fighting for a playoff spot, while we're fighting to stay on top of the league. They are playing well and always difficult to beat in Berkeley. They have good pitching, team speed and play solid defense.'
(On the USC series) 'I don't think we played poorly, but they played well. We didn't hit the ball well but a lot of that has to do with USC's pitching. If you don't play well on any given weekend in the Pac-10, you can hit a big bump in the road. Fortunately for us, we didn't lose all three games.'
(On the Pac-10 race) 'Six of our nine games are on the road and that always makes things more difficult. The teams that we play the next two weekends (California and Arizona) are making a big push to make the playoffs so those series are especially important for them. At this stage of the season with only three Pac-10 weekends left every game is critical for all of us. The next nine games are going to be really difficult with a lot riding on them.'
(On the play of freshmen Carlos Quentin and Sam Fuld) 'Carlos Quentin has really matured, especially having to hit in that cleanup spot as a freshman. That's a lot to ask of a freshman, but he's responded well. Sam Fuld has done a great job leading off for us and is playing an excellent center field. Both of them have contributed a lot more than we thought they would at this stage.'
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 RANKS ANYWHERE FROM NO. 1 TO NO. 3 IN NATIONAL POLLS
Stanford's two-week run as the unanimous No. 1 team in all three major national collegiate baseball polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball Weekly/ESPN) ended April 23 after the Cardinal lost three of four games last week. The Cardinal had been Baseball America's top team for six consecutive weeks but dropped to No. 3 this week. Despite the 1-3 record for the week, Stanford retained its top ranking in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll and fell one spot to No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Stanford has been ranked No. 1 at one point during each of the past five years. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked No. 9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, No. 11 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 14 by Baseball America. USC (#6 Baseball America, #6 Collegiate Baseball, #7 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) and Arizona State (#20 Baseball America, #19 Collegiate Baseball, #16 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) are the Pac-10's other ranked clubs. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked No. 2 in all three polls after opening the season at No. 1 before dropping out of the top spot on February 14, 2000. Stanford's poll history includes a run as 'king of the polls' in 1998 when the team 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 2261-1440-32 (.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 seven that are currently playing 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.
CONSECUTIVE REGULAR SEASON SERIES WIN STREAK ENDS AT 17
Stanford's consecutive regular season win streak ended at 17 when the Cardinal lost two-of-three games at USC (4/20/01 - 4/22/01). The streak officially lasted for one year and 14 days (4/8/00 - 4/21/01). Stanford swept seven of the series and won two-of-three in the other 10 series during the run. 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.
Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .305. Other than the first two games of the USC series, the Cardinal has been swinging the bats well of late. Stanford has collected double-digit hit figures in six of its last 10 games, including five contests with 16 or more hits. Stanford has picked up a season-high 22 runs versus Oregon State (4/14) and a season-high 23 hits at Nevada (4/10) during the stretch. The Cardinal, which currently ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in hitting, has now racked up 10 or more hits 22 times this season. The Cardinal is hitting .324 in 15 Pac-10 games. Sam Fuld (.347) leads the team in batting average (.347), on-base percentage (453) and bases on balls (23). Chris O'Riordan paces the squad in homers (8), RBI (50), stolen bases (15), hits (58) and total bases (93). Jason VanMeetren is the team leader in doubles (13) and triples (3), while Arik VanZandt has a team-high 39 runs scored. Jason Cooper leads the club with a .667 slugging percentage and Carlos Quentin has been hit by a team-high nine pitches. Ryan Garko (.343), Quentin (.336), O'Riordan (.335), Scott Dragicevich (.333), Cooper (.333) and VanMeetren join Fuld with batting averages at .329 or better. Quentin and Cooper both have hit seven homers to rank tied for second on the club in homers. Stanford has totaled 44 home runs, 270 RBI and 66 stolen bases for the season, compared to 26 home runs, 132 RBI and 17 stolen bases for its opponents.
The Stanford pitching staff leads the Pac-10 with a team ERA of 3.14 and has been even better in 15 Pac-10 games with a 2.98 ERA. 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 .225 off Cardinal pitching. The current starting rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (8-2, 1.69), Jeff Bruksch (8-1, 2.76) and Mike Gosling (4-0, 3.44) has combined for a 20-3 record and a 2.45 ERA. Both Guthrie and Bruksch have won eight of their last 10 starts, while Gosling has won three in a row and recorded his first career complete game at USC (4/22). Gosling is 4-0 in Pac-10 games. 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. In addition, both have been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice (Bruksch - 2/27, 4/9, Guthrie - 3/6, 3/13). Bruksch has had separate scoreless inning streaks of 19.0 and 15.0 during the period. Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.95) had been the team's third starter for most of the season before Gosling's return to the starting rotation. Mike Wodnicki (4-1, 3.66, 4 SV) and J.D. Willcox (2-0, 0.47, 3 SV) have been the team's leaders out of the bullpen. Wodnicki has a team-high 18 appearances (two starts), while Willcox has given up just one earned run in 19.1 innings. John Hudgins (1-5, 6.39, 4 SV) has four saves as well but also has five of the team's 10 losses. Ryan McCally (1-1, 2.70, 2 SV) has also been effective out of the bullpen, while Jason Luker has a win in relief. Guthrie leads the club in strikeouts (82 in 85.0 IP), while Bruksch paces the club in innings pitched (88.0). The Cardinal staff has six shutouts and four complete games in its first 43 contests with Bruksch and Guthrie both recording two complete games. Bruksch has one complete game shutout and has been a part of three others. Guthrie also has a complete game shutout. The staff has held its opponents to three or fewer runs in 26 of 43 games.
Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .975 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage in school history, .003 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford has been errorless in four of its last eight games and 20 of 43 contests overall. Stanford was perfect defensively for four consecutive games from March 25-31. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan leads the Pac-10 in assists (155). O'Riordan has recorded a team-high seven assists three times, while shortstop Scott Dragicevich has also reached the figure once. 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 445 chances for a .996 fielding percentage, while backup catcher Ken Tirpack (136 chances) remains flawless. The starting infield of O'Riordan, Dragicevich, VanZandt and third baseman Andy Topham has made just 20 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). The Cardinal has had a bit more trouble in the outfield as the trio of starters Jason VanMeetren (6), Carlos Quentin (5) and Sam Fuld (2) have combined for 13 errors and a .943 fielding percentage.
REGULAR STARTING PITCHING ROTATION NOW 20-3
Stanford's current regular starting pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (8-2, 1.69), Jeff Bruksch (8-1, 2.76) and Mike Gosling (4-0, 3.47) has a record of 20-3 with a 2.45 ERA this season. Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.51) was the third starter for most of the season before the return of Gosling to the starting rotation. The foursome has a 24-3 record.
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the base paths. Stanford has 66 stolen bases in 90 attempts through its first 43 games, already surpassing its season total of 55 a year ago. The Cardinal is averaging 1.5 steals per contest, compared to the 0.8 steals per game the club averaged a year ago. Chris O'Riordan leads the team with a career-high 15 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 17 thefts in 28 attempts.
GUTHRIE SHOOTING FOR LONG-TIME SINGLE-SEASON ERA RECORD
It may seem like a long shot but Jeremy Guthrie (1.69 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 CURRENTLY SIXTH ON CAREER BATTING AVERAGE LIST
Chris O'Riordan currently ranks sixth on Stanford's career batting average list with a mark of .352 (132-375). 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 second by going 17-for-33 (.515) during his recent eight-game hitting streak (4/3-4/14). He has evened out at sixth after going 4-for-14 (.286) in his last four games.
BEATING THE BEST
Stanford's 33-10 record includes an 11-4 mark against teams ranked among the nation's Top 25 in the Baseball America poll at the time the Cardinal faced them. Stanford has no more games scheduled against teams currently ranked among BA's Top 25.
TOUGH LUCK IN ONE-RUN GAMES
Stanford has lost eight of its 10 games by a single run and is 3-8 overall in one-run games this season. Stanford did beat San Jose State, 4-3, in its most recent one-run contest (4/24). The Cardinal has fared a little better in extra inning games with a 3-2 mark in those games, including three straight victories. Stanford's record in games decided by three or more runs this year is 27-1.
CARDINAL SHUTOUT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 167 GAMES
Stanford's 7-0 loss at USC (4/21) marked the first time the Cardinal had been shutout since February 5, 1999 (8-0 at Cal State Fullerton). Stanford had scored at least one run in 167 consecutive games.
THREE-GAME LOSING SKID A RARITY
Stanford also suffered another rarity last week when the Cardinal lost three straight games to USF (4/17) and USC (4/20, 4/21), marking the first time that Stanford has lost three in a row since January 30-February 5, 1999.
* 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 290 runs while opponents have crossed the plate only 144 times.
* Stanford has drawn better than 2,000 fans in eight of its last 14 home games, including a season-best 2,973 versus USC on March 11 and the season's best weeknight crowd (2249) in its most recent game against USF. The Cardinal has also been a big draw on the road, drawing 2,000 or more spectators for 11 of 20 road contests.