No. 17 Stanford And Washington State To Play Rubber Game Sunday

March 30, 2008

STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (March 30, 2008)

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (16-8, 2-3 Pac-10)
at
NO. 17 STANFORD CARDINAL (11-7, 1-1 Pac-10)

SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS (1:00 pm, PT)
RHP Jared Prince (2-1, 4.91) vs. RHP Jeffrey Inman (2-0, 2.04)
LIVE GAME COVERAGE: Stanford Audio (Chris Fitzgerald, Jeff Gilmore) | Gametracker | Webcast

STANFORD-WASHINGTON STATE SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 32-18
2008 Results: (at Stanford, March 28-29) Washington State 10-4, Stanford 7-3
Ross Humes took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and homers by Greg Lagreid, Paul Gran and Jared Prince led the Cougars' offense in a 10-4 victory over Stanford on Friday to open the series. The Cardinal did have solo homers by Sean Ratliff and Jason Castro in the eighth and ninth innings with Ratliff's ending Humes' no-hit bid. Stanford rebounded with a 7-3 win on Saturday to even the series when Erik Davis pitched the first complete game of his career and Sean Ratliff hit a key three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
2007 Results: (at Washington State, May 5-7) Stanford 6-4, Washington State 8-6, Washington State 4-2
Washington State came back to win the final two games of the series after the Cardinal won the opener the last time the clubs met. Jeffrey Inman pitched the first complete game of his career in the first game of the series before Washington State came back from a 5-1 deficit in the second game and a 2-0 disadvantage late in the rubber game to win both.
Previous Meeting At Stanford: (March 25-27, 2006) Washington State 7-1, Washington State 8-5, Stanford 5-3
Washington State snapped a 23-game losing streak to the Cardinal that dated back to 1978 in the opener and then also took the middle game to win the series before Stanford managed to avoid being swept with a victory in the series finale as Matt Manship and Jeremy Bleich held the Cougars to three runs.
Current Game Win Streak: Stanford - 1 (March 29, 2008)
Current Series Win Streak: Washington State - 2 (May 25-26, 2006 - May 5-7, 2007)
Current Season Series Win Streak: Washington State - 2 (2006-07)
Series Notes: Washington State has taken five of the last eight games between the clubs over the last three series and can win its third straight series over the Cardinal with a victory on Sunday. Stanford had won an amazing 23 consecutive games between the clubs, including all 21 with seven straight series sweeps since the clubs began playing regularly in the Pac-10 in 1999 prior to the current run.

NOTES
Stanford In The National Polls - Stanford has been ranked by at least one poll for each of the past four weeks. The latest polls released on Monday, March 24, have the Cardinal checking in as high as No. 14 by Rivals.com. Baseball America has the Cardinal at No. 17 while Stanford is No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN and Collegiate Baseball tallies and No. 29 according to the NCBWA.
Looking To Extend Series Win Streak To Eight - Stanford can extend its current string of regular season three-game series wins to eight with a victory in Sunday's rubber game against Washington State. The current streak is Stanford's longest regular season three-game series win streak since the Cardinal won 15 straight regular season three-game series from May 3, 2003 - May 4, 2004.
Pac-10 Series Openers - Stanford can avoid dropping its first Pac-10 series of the season for the third straight year with a win on Sunday. Stanford had won nine consecutive Pac-10 series-openers before losing two-of-three at home to Washington State in 2006 and being swept in its first Pac-10 series of 2007 at UCLA.
Stanford Perfect On Several Accounts - The odds may be in Stanford's favor to pick up a victory on Sunday as Stanford has yet to suffer a loss on the weekend with a perfect 7-0 mark. The Cardinal is 5-0 on Saturdays and 2-0 on Sundays. Stanford has also not lost in a rubber game (3-0) or a three-game series finale (4-0), when leading after five innings (9-0), when ahead after eight frames (10-0) or a one-run game (3-0).
Home Advantage - Stanford has a nice home field advantage at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond throughout the years. The facility has served as a host site for 13 NCAA Regionals, as well as NCAA Super Regionals on five occasions. Stanford has clinched 10 of its 15 trips to the CWS at Sunken Diamond. Stanford has had 43 consecutive winning seasons at home and recorded at least 17 home wins in each of its last 12 campaigns. Stanford has never had a losing season at Klein Field At Sunken Diamond in the school's recorded history. The Cardinal is off to a 7-4 start in its first 11 home games of 2008.
Road Win Streak Snapped - Stanford had won four in a row away from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond before falling at Sacramento State, 5-3, in its most recent game on March 25.
Busy Schedule - Stanford is six games into a stretch where the Cardinal will play 29 games over a 37-day period from March 21 - April 30 that includes five consecutive five-game weeks.
Marquess Four Wins From Top 10 And 1300 - Mark Marquess now has 1296 career wins and is just four victories from cracking into the Top 10 on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I coaches. Marquess' current total (all at Stanford) ranks him 11th on the all-time list and sixth among active coaches. His accomplishments were featured in an Associated Press article that ran on March 26.
The .400 Club - Randy Molina (.408, 1 HR, 16 RBI) and Cord Phelps (.400, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 SB) are both at or above the .400 club, as is part-time starter Austin Yount (.435, 0 HR, 5 RBI) although Yount does not have enough at bats to officially qualify for the team, Pac-10 and NCAA leaders.
Starting Rotation Pitching Well - Stanford's three starters have pitched well in 2008 Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.38) equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich has suffered losses and a no decision in his last three starts at Texas (March 7), versus Pacific (March 21) and versus Washington State (March 28), his ERA has actually gone down 81 points in those two starts as only one of the 12 runs scored against him was earned. Erik Davis (3-1, 5.22) struggled early but has arguably been the team's best pitcher in his last two starts, combining for a 2-0 record and a 2.81 ERA with a complete game and 18 strikeouts in 16.0 innings. Jeffrey Inman (2-0, 2.04) has been solid with his best outing coming in his most recent start when he struck out eight and allowed just three hits in 6.0 scoreless frames.
Stringer Nearing All-Time Save List - David Stringer recorded saves in his first two appearances this season to run his career total to 10. He is now just one shy of tying Aaron Dorlarque (1989-92) for 10th place.
Starting Strong - Stanford has outscored its opponents in the first inning this season, 29-4.
Sneaky On The Basepaths - Stanford has stolen its 19 bases on just 21 stolen base attempts this season.
Freshmen Making Their Mark - Stanford has had a total of 12 freshmen play over the first 18 games. Zach Jones (.238, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 SB) and Jake Schlander (.193, 6 RBI, 1 SB) have made the biggest impact among position players regulars with Jones starting the team's last 16 games (15 at third base) and Schlander starting all 18 at shortstop. Although he has struggled offensively, Schlander has made just two errors in the field in 74 defensive chances for a .973 fielding percentage. Drew Storen (1-1, 3.29, 1 SV) has arguably been the team's top reliever, while Alex Pracher (0-0, 8.64, 1 SV) leads the squad with seven appearances. Ben Clowe (.357) has had success in limited action with five hits in his 14 at bats.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2529-1585-32 (.614) in 4146 games over 115 seasons. Stanford has won two College World Series titles in its 15 trips to Omaha and finished second on three other occasions. The Cardinal has added five NCAA Super Regional titles, 14 NCAA Regional crowns and 20 conference championships.
Better Pitching And Fielding - Stanford has better pitching and fielding numbers in 2008. The biggest improvement has come on the mound, where Stanford has recorded a 4.50 ERA after posting the worst mark in school history in 2007 with a 6.01 final mark. The Cardinal's .968 fielding mark is .005 points ahead of last year's .963, while the team's .304 batting average is just .001 behind last year's .305.
Stanford Turns School Record Six Double Plays In Series Finale At Texas - Stanford set a new school record by turning six double plays in its most recent game at Texas on March 9. Stanford picked up the twin killings in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth and eighth innings with the final DP getting the Cardinal out of a bases loaded jam and ending the contest.
Huge Roster And Pitching Staff - Stanford has 45 players on its 2008 roster with 23 of those listed as either a pitcher or a two-way player. Stanford may need a lot of depth, especially on the mound, in the first year of college baseball's condensed season as the Cardinal is still scheduled to play 56 regular season games in approximately three weeks less time than the club has in the past.
Five Two-Way Players On The Roster - Stanford has five two-way players listed on the roster in Brendan Domaracki (OF/RHP), Michael Marshall (1B/RHP), Sean Ratliff (OF/LHP), Drew Storen (RHP/3B) and Austin Yount (3B/RHP). Ratliff and Yount have both already contributed on the mound and at the plate. Domaracki has played but yet to pitch, while Storen and Marshall have both pitched but yet to play a position or hit.
Sean Ratliff On Wallace Award Watch List - Sean Ratliff is currently on the Wallace Award Watch List for the honor given annually by the College Baseball Foundation to the top college player in the nation. Ratliff was a First Team All-Pac-10 choice in 2007 when he hit .339 with 12 HR and 45 RBI. He is on pace to produce similar numbers this season as he is hitting .328 with five homers, 16 RBI and three stolen bases in his first 18 contests of 2008.

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