Baseball: Freshman Fab Four Chat Wrap
June 14, 2001
On Thursday, June 14th, Stanford's 'Fab Four' group of freshmen - Jonny Ash, Sam Fuld, Brian Hall and Carlos Quentin - made a special to talk Cardinal Baseball. The group has been at the forefront of Stanford's run to the 2001 College World Series championship game, which will match the Cardinal versus either Miami or Tennessee in a nationally televised CBS contest this Saturday, June 16 (10 a.m., PDT).
Stanford has rolled through the first three games of the 2001 CWS with a comeback 13-11 win over Tulane in the CWS opener last Friday and a pair of victories over top-seeded Cal State Fullerton last Sunday (5-2, 10 innings) and Wednesday (4-1). Stanford will be appearing in the CWS title game for the second straight year and the fourth time in school history. The Cardinal won CWS championships in 1987 and 1988, while finishing runners-up in 2000.
If you missed the group's June 14 chat, an edited transcript follows:
Moderator: We're ready to start taking questions for Jonny, Brian, Sam and Carlos.
Marcia Desautel: Johnny Ash: What made the difference for you all of a sudden, i.e., in the playoffs?
Jonny Ash: Getting adjusted to playing on a more regular basis, I became extremely comfortable in the DH role and have been able to perform quite comfortably. The coach's faith in playing me allowed me to relax and just have fun.
bryan K, stanford: Brian!!! I can't believe your on espn website. haha! Im so proud your doing so well! haha. what do u want me to do with all the stuff on your desk? throw it away?
Brian Hall: Hey Bryan. I can't believe this. It has been a wonderful series and all of your support (Larkin) has been unreal. Thanks for a great year roomie. Just go ahead and throw it all away.
Chris, Carlsbad: All: How are you dealing with the CWS hype (media, etc.)?
Brian Hall: What is going on Chris? All the media hype is mainly around the field after the games. During batting practice, and pregame, we just do our own thing that we have always done. It is a lot of fun playing in front of the big crowds, etc here in Omaha.
jess & erin (the farm): Carlos, you always look so intense. Are you always so serious, or just on the baseball field?
Carlos Quentin: Just on the field. Intensity is a part of the game. Off the field I am a little kid
Carol Carvalho, Brentwood, California: For any of the players. What do you think will be your strengths against Miami, and what are their strengths against your team?
Jonny Ash: Our strengths will definitely be our ability to pitch and play defense. Miami will be tough because they will use their bats and baserunning speed to combat us.
Dorth (Palo Alto): Do you feel any pressure playing in front of a national audience with the game being on CBS? And if so, how do you deal with it?
Sam Fuld: There were some jitters during the first couple of innings in the first game, but after you get into the flow of the game you don't even realize you are playing in front of a national audience.
Los (Miami FL): Hey you 4 guys have really stepped it up this year. I want to ask you guys first of all, how tough is Stanford academically? And second, do you guys feel any pressure playing in such a big event as freshmen? Even though I'm from Miami, good luck to you guys.
Sam Fuld: Thanks for the compliment. Stanford is certainly a challenging institution, but if you learn to manage your time well, then it is manageable. The pressure is unavoidable, but it's too much fun to let it bother you.
sarah (the farm): do you guys miss drich?
Carlos Quentin: Greatly
Chris (Albuquerque, NM): How do you guys feel going into Saturday's game against Miami? Is there anything different you guys will do to prepare for the big game?
Brian Hall: We feel we have a good chance to win the national championship. This year has been a lot of fun and we have surpassed many people's expectations. We will do the same things before the game, taking the same approach and trying to stay relaxed.
claire palo alto: Carlos, what do you do outside of the CWS?
Carlos Quentin: I like to hang out with teammates and go social events.
Keith (Bellingham): Jonny Ash: What were the thoughts after the Tulane game? Was that test good enough to propel you and your teammates through to this round of the playoffs?
Jonny Ash: The Tulane game definitely showed the character of this team. Throughout the post season, we have been battling back quite a bit and winning a lot of close games. For us to comeback in that game in the CWS, it gives us the confidence to believe we can win it all.
Homer (Springfield): Lose to San Fran and make the CWS final, how did you do it?
Sam Fuld: Baseball's a funny game, anyone can win on any given day. USF is a quality team, they played well that night. Say hi to Bart and Lisa. Thanks, guy.
jason: sam and carlos how do you feel on making the usa team
Carlos Quentin: We haven't made the team yet.
Keith, Bellingham: How is the feeling of getting to the CWS without seniors on the team? Does Stanford have a legit shot of doing it all again next year?
Brian Hall: This years team has shown a lot of heart. We are a young team that wasn't expected to go very far. It is a great accomplishment to make it to the CWS any year. I do believe we will have a good chance to repeat here next year, we have a great recruiting class coming in and a great squad returning. We will just have to wait and see.
Bill palo alto ca: Thanks guys for signing my 8 year old son's baseball in Omaha this weekend - it means a lot to him - and you might have a future stanford ball player!
Carlos Quentin: Don't mention it. The team is happy to give back to the fans. All of our fans have been so supportive this year. I would just like to thank them for a great year.
MARC (HONOLULU): CONRGATS GUYS!! HOPE YOU GO ALL THER WAY!! HONESTLY, WAS THERE EVER ANY DOUBT THAT THIS TEAM COULD GO FAR INTO THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES?
Jonny Ash: Honestly, there was never a doubt in our mind that we could get to this stage. We didn't listen to everyone's predictions throughout the season. It's been a goal since day one to get to Omaha and win a national championship. We believed in ourselves from the start.
Chris Room 419: What's going to be the deciding factor in the championship: hitting, defense, or pitching?
Brian Hall: Hi Chris (my brother)
I think the key to the championship game will be pitching and defense. If we are able to keep Miami in a low scoring game, then I feel we have a great shot at winning the CWS
Jesse (Charlotte): As Freshman, do you guys take the the leadership role and pep talk in the locker room or do you leave that to the seniors?
Brian Hall: Jesse-
Actually, we do not have any seniors on the team. The leadership role is held mainly by Chris O'Riordan, Arik VanZandt, and Scotty Drago.
The Bootleg (San Francisco): Can you guys talk about your freshman pitcher counterparts (Hudgins & friends)? What should we expect from them next year, as we have to replace Guthrie and Gosling?
Brian Hall: Hudgins, Ehrlich, and company have been very impressive this year. It will be difficult to replace Guthrie and Gosling, two great pitchers, but we will do our best. Hudgins is a quality pitcher who has seen quite a bit of mound time this year. It will be another good year on The Farm. Go Card!!!!
Brian Hall: Thanks for all of your questions. Sorry we were not able to get to all of them. I hope you are rooting for us on Saturday. Go Card!!