Stanford Ranked No. 9 In <i>Collegiate Baseball's</i> 2003 Preseason Poll

Dec. 23, 2002

Tucson, Ariz. - Stanford has been ranked No. 9 nationally in Collegiate Baseball's 2003 NCAA Division I Fabulous 40 preseason baseball poll released Monday. The Cardinal has qualified for the College World Series for a school record four consecutive seasons and reached a CWS bracket final in 2002 after two straight years as the event's runners-up. A year ago, Stanford finished the season with a 47-18 overall record to pick up its eighth straight 40-win season and was 16-8 in the Pac-10. The Cardinal returns six position player starters and two of its three starting pitchers from last year's club.

Ryan Garko (Sr., C) and Sam Fuld (Jr., OF) both earned spots on 2003 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American teams also released by Collegiate Baseball.

Garko, who returns for his fourth season with the Cardinal, was named to Collegiate Baseball's 2003 Preseason All-American Second Team. Last year, he led the club in home runs (14, #7 Pac-10), runs scored (68, #2 Pac-10), bases on balls (38, #3T Pac-10), on-base percentage (.430) and putouts (397) to earn All-Pac-10 honors. He was also second on the club with 55 RBI and posted a .314 batting average in 2002 while starting all 65 games.

Fuld, a three-time First Team All-American in 2002 and two-time All-Pac-10 choice, was selected to Collegiate Baseball's 2003 Preseason All-American Third Team. Fuld, who had previously been selected as a 2003 First Team Preseason All-American by the NCBWA last month. He had a banner season in 2002 by breaking Stanford's single-season school record with 110 hits (#1 Pac-10), in addition to batting .375 (#3 Pac-10) with eight homers and 47 RBI. He also led the team in doubles (20, #3 Pac-10), at bats (293, #1 Pac-10), total bases (162, #1 Pac-10), multiple-hit games (39), three-hit games (14) and four-hit games (3), while playing in all 65 games with 64 starts. Fuld earned a spot on the 2002 All-College World Series team after leading the Cardinal with a .421 batting average and a team-high two homers in four CWS games. He enters the 2003 season as Stanford's career batting average leader with a .367 all-time mark.

Stanford will open its 2003 regular season at Santa Clara on Saturday, January 25, before the Broncos return the favor for Stanford's home opener the following day on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:00 pm. Stanford's 2003 schedule includes 24 contests against teams ranked by Collegiate Baseball in its 2003 preseason poll. The Cardinal has a three-game set scheduled at No. 7 Cal State Fullerton (January 31 - February 2) before hosting No. 2 Florida State (February 7-9). Stanford will then travel to No. 1 and defending national champion Texas (February 21-23). Stanford also has six games scheduled against both No. 3 USC (February 28 - March 1, at Stanford; May 2-4, at USC) and No. 25 California (March 7-9, at Stanford; May 9-11, at California), as well as a three-game series at No. 12 Arizona State (March 22-24).

For Collegiate Baseball's complete 2003 NCAA Division I Fabulous 40 preseason poll and Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American baseball teams, go to baseballnews.com.

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