Baseball Ranked No. 1 In 2002 Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll

Dec. 19, 2001

Tucson, Ariz. - Stanford has been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball in the publication's 2002 NCAA Division I Preseason Poll released Wednesday. The Cardinal has finished second at the College World Series each of the last two seasons and returns all of its position starters from last year's CWS title game. Stanford has also earned a spot in the CWS field for each of the last three years and compiled three consecutive 50-win seasons, both for the first time in school history. Last season, Stanford finished 51-17 overall and 17-7 in the Pac-10 Conference. The Cardinal returns 16 of 20 letterwinners from a year ago.

In addition, five Stanford players earned selections to the 2002 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American baseball teams, also released Wednesday by Collegiate Baseball.

Junior RHP Jeremy Guthrie and senior 2B Chris O'Riordan earned First Team honors. Junior C Ryan Garko and sophomore OF Carlos Quentin were named to the Second Team, while senior RHP J.D. Willcox garnered a Third Team selection.

Guthrie earned Third Team All-American honors last year after emerging as the Cardinal's top starter. He led Stanford with 13 victories, ranking tied for seventh on the school's all-time single-season win list, posting a 13-4 record and a 2.82 ERA. He also paced the club in strikeouts (128), innings pitched (134.0) and games started (20), while co-leading the team with three complete games. Guthrie excelled in the post-season with a 3-0 mark. He also had a hot stretch from February 9 - March 30, winning seven consecutive starts and posting a 1.38 ERA.

O'Riordan was a First Team All-American and All-Pac-10 choice in 2001 after leading the Cardinal in nearly every offensive category, including hits (101), homers (12), RBI (68) and stolen bases (16). O'Riordan also ranked second on the club with a .359 batting average and started all 68 games at second base. He enters his senior season tied for first on Stanford's all-time batting average list with a .362 career mark.

Garko led the team in hitting with a .368 batting average last year, while adding seven homers and 43 RBI. In the post-season, he emerged as one of the team's top players to earn All-CWS honors and be named the Co-Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Regional. He finished the post-season with a .409 batting average, three homers and nine RBI.

Quentin earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Freshman All-American and First Team All-Pac-10 honors in his rookie collegiate season. He ranked second on the club behind O'Riordan with 11 homers and 52 RBI, while hitting at a .345 clip.

Willcox was the club's top reliever and closer, posting a 5-0 record with six saves and a 2.06 ERA in 22 appearances. In the post-season, he was 2-0 with two saves and a 2.16 ERA.

The Cardinal will open the 2002 campaign February 1-3 with a three-game series at Sunken Diamond versus Cal State Fullerton, ranked No. 17 by Collegiate Baseball. Stanford's 2002 schedule includes 28 games against teams ranked in the poll's Top 40. In addition to the Cal State Fullerton series, the Cardinal has three-game home sets slated versus No. 4 USC (April 12-14), No. 15 Texas (March 28-30), No. 20 Arizona State (May 10-12) and No. 38 California (May 3-5). Stanford is also scheduled for three-game series on the road at USC (March 23-24) and California (March 8-10), as well as at No. 2 Florida State (February 8-10) and No. 11 Fresno State (February 15-17). The team's final scheduled game against a team ranked in the poll's Top 40 is at No. 35 Nevada (May 14).

For the complete 2002 Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I Preseason Poll and Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American baseball teams, go to www.baseballnews.com.

A schedule, roster and quick facts for 2002 Stanford Baseball, as well as much more on Stanford Athletics, is available at www.gostanford.com.

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