No. 5 Stanford Begins Second Half Of Pac-10 Play With Home Weekend Series Against USC
April 25, 2008
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (April 25-27, 2008)
NO. 5 STANFORD CARDINAL (23-12-2, 8-4 Pac-10)
USC TROJANS (19-20, 6-6 Pac-10)
THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Fri. (6 pm) - RHP Austin Yount (1-2, 2.70) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (5-2, 2.67)
Sat. (1 pm) - RHP Erik Davis (6-1, 3.83) vs. RHP Brad Boxberger (2-2, 4.67)
Sun. (1 pm) - RHP Jeffrey Inman (5-1, 2.79) vs. RHP Ryan Cook (4-3, 4.90)
STANFORD-USC SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: USC leads 209-163-3
2008 Results: First Meeting
2007 Results: USC 11-8 (March 9), USC 2-1 (March 10), Stanford 14-9 (March 11), Stanford 10-7 (11) (May 25), Stanford 20-13 (May 26), Stanford 10-5 (May 27)The Cardinal and Trojans each found success on enemy soil in a pair of weekend series last season. USC started things off by capturing two of three meetings at Sunken Diamond Stadium in a non-conference series in March, but the Cardinal avenged itself by sweeping the Trojans in Los Angeles over the final weekend of the regular season.
Current Game Win Streak: Stanford - 4 (March 11, 2007 - Present)
Current Series Win Streak: Stanford - 4 (March 22-23, 1980 - January 26-27, 1997)
Current Season Series Win Streak: Stanford - 1 (May 25-27, 2007)
Series Notes: Stanford looks to consolidate its hold on first place in the Pac-10 standings this weekend as it hosts the USC Trojans for the first time this year. The Cardinal have won four straight against the Trojans dating back to last season.
Stanford On Top Of Pac-10 At Halfway Mark Of League Schedule - Stanford currently holds a one game lead over both Arizona State and California at the halfway mark of the Pac-10 schedule. The Cardinal went through the first half of action by going 8-4 and taking two-of-three in each of its four series. The Cardinal started league play with two-of-three series victories at home over Washington State and Arizona State before going on the road with the same results at Oregon State and UCLA. The Sun Devils and Golden Bears are both 7-5 in Pac-10 action at the midway mark. Arizona, Oregon State and USC are all hovering just two games back at 6-6, while Washington and UCLA are only 2.5 behind the Cardinal with 4-5 marks and one first half series still to play. Washington State is in last place at 3-9.
Milleville's The Man - Junior Brent Milleville continued his big week Wednesday night, going 2-for-5 at the plate and driving in the winning runs with an eighth-inning, bases-loaded double in Stanford's 7-4 non-conference victory over Saint Mary's. It marked the second straight game this week in which Milleville has driven in four runs. Alex Pracher earned his first win of the season by tossing five shutout innings of relief while striking out five SMC batters.
Stanford Stays In Top 10 - Stanford moved up five spots to No. 5 in the latest Baseball America and Rivals.com polls released on Monday, April 21. In the other most recent polls released on April 21, Stanford moved up one spot to No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings, remained at No. 16 on the USA Today/ESPN list and improved three spots to No. 22 in the current NCBWA poll.
Marquess 10th On All-Time NCAA Division I Win List - Mark Marquess ranks 10th on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I coaches with an all-time record of 1307-657-7 (.665) over 1970 games. Marquess' current win total (all at Stanford) also ranks him sixth among active coaches.
Davis Earns Weekly Honor - Senior right-hander Erik Davis was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Tuesday following his fourth consecutive complete game win Saturday at UCLA. Davis dominated the Bruin lineup, striking out 13 batters while scattering seven hits and allowing only one run in Stanford's series-clinching 6-1 victory.
Stanford Offense Lighting It Up - This week has been a productive one thus far for the Stanford offense, as it has scored 20 runs over a pair of victories on Monday and Wednesday nights. Monday, the Cardinal swatted a pair of homers, including a grand slam from Brent Milleville, to highlight a 13-6 victory over Santa Clara in front of a national TV audience. Wednesday, the Cardinal used a three-run burst in the eighth inning to pull away to a 7-4 win against visiting Saint Mary's.
Milleville Will Bring You Home - Junior 1B Brent Milleville has had a productive week only two games into a five-game stretch, batting .444 (4-for-9) with a home run, a double, and eight RBI in Cardinal victories over Santa Clara and Saint Mary's. Monday night at Santa Clara, Milleville went 2-for-4 with a fifth-inning grand slam that keyed Stanford's 13-6 comeback win, then on Wednesday, he provided the eventual game-winning hit once more, lacing a bases-loaded double to right-center that provided the Cardinal with a 7-4 lead that would hold up in the win over the Gaels.
Solid Relief Efforts - Reliable and effective relief pitching has also played a major role in Stanford's two victories this week. Monday night, David Stringer tossed four shutout innings while allowing only two hits against a Santa Clara offense that had scored five runs prior to his taking the hill, and on Wednesday, Alex Pracher collected his first win of the season by shutting out Saint Mary's over five innings of work, striking out five and scattering three hits. Pracher's effectiveness shut down a Gael offense that had scored four runs in the game's first four innings.
Comeback Kids - Both Stanford wins this week have been of the come-from-behind fashion. At Santa Clara on Monday, the Cardinal fell behind 5-2 early, before scoring 11 straight runs to take a commanding 13-5 lead, then on Wednesday, Stanford spotted Saint Mary's three runs, then bounced back to capture the 7-4 victory.
Home Field Advantage - Stanford has had 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 with an amazing 323-107 (.751) home mark over the last 12-plus seasons. 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 14-7 start in its first 20 home games of 2008.
Series Win Streak Extended To 11 In A Row - Stanford extended its string of regular season three-game series victories to 11 dating back to the final three series of 2007 by winning the first two games of its most recent series at UCLA (April 18-20). 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. Stanford has also won six straight Pac-10 series to mark its longest conference series win streak since taking seven league series in a row during the same run of 15 straight overall.
Starting Rotation Pitching Well - Stanford's three primary starters have pitched well in 2008. Erik Davis (6-1, 3.82, 56.1 IP, 56 SO) struggled early but has been unbelievable of late with four consecutive complete games to start Pac-10 action and victories in each of his last five starts, combining for a 5-0 record and a 2.51 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 43.0 innings. Jeffrey Inman (5-1, 2.79, 38.2 IP, 21 SO) had won four straight starts and given up just two earned runs over 24.2 frames during the period before being touched for six runs (all earned) in his shortest start of the year (2.1 IP) in his last outing at UCLA on April 20. Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.38, 26.0 IP, 18 SO) equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich has suffered two losses and a no decision in his last three starts, his ERA has actually gone down 81 points in those three starts as only one of the 12 runs scored against him was earned.
Avoiding Big Losing Streaks - Stanford has not lost more than two consecutive games all season.
Busy Schedule - Stanford is 24 games into a stretch of 29 contests over a 37-day period from March 21 - April 30.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2541-1590-34 (.614) in 4165 games over 115-plus seasons. Stanford has won two College World Series titles in its 15 trips to Omaha and finished second on three other occasions, while winning at least one game in every CWS appearance. The Cardinal has added five NCAA Super Regional titles, 14 NCAA Regional crowns and 20 conference championships.
Stringer Nearing All-Time Save List - David Stringer has 10 career saves and is now just one shy of tying Aaron Dorlarque (1989-92) for 10th place.
Significantly Better Pitching And Fielding In 2008 - Stanford has had much better pitching and fielding numbers in 2008. Stanford has recorded a 4.26 ERA that is 1.75 points better than the 6.01 the team recorded as the worst mark in school history in 2007. The Cardinal's .975 fielding percentage is 12 points ahead of last year's .963 and only .002 points shy of the school record .977.
Day And Night - Stanford has been significantly better this season during the day (15-4-2) than at night (8-8).
Better Against The Best - Stanford is 8-3-1 against ranked squads (according to Baseball America at the time of the game) and 15-9-1 versus teams not in the Baseball America poll at the time of the game.
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.
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.
2008 Honors - Stanford's Erik Davis, Cord Phelps and Sean Ratliff have already received 2008 honors. Ratliff is on the 2008 Wallace Award Watch List and was also named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on April 7. Phelps was selected as the Stanford Muscle-Milk Student-Athlete of the Week on April 15, while Davis was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on April 22.
Honors Candidates - Stanford has many players worthy of honors consideration in 2008. Jason Castro, Erik Davis, Jeffrey Inman Randy Molina, Cord Phelps and Sean Ratliff have all been nominated for NCBWA All-American recognition.
Rookies Making Case For Freshmen All-American Honors - Stanford has had a total of 14 freshmen play over the first 35 games with three making legitimate noise for Freshman All-American consideration. Reliever Drew Storen (1-2, 2.67, 4 SV, 30.1 IP, 29 SO) arguably has the best case to be considered among the nation's top freshmen. Storen paces the team in both saves and appearances (16) with saves in two of his last three outings. Zach Jones (.280, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 7 SB) and Jake Schlander (.212, 15 RBI, 2 SB) have made the biggest impact among position players and are not far behind Storen in worthiness of a spot on Freshmen All-American squads. The duo has spent nearly the entire season as the team's left side of the infield with Schlander starting all 37 of the team's games at shortstop and Jones making 34 starts (33 at third base). Although Schlander has struggled offensively, he has made just five errors in the field in 151 defensive chances for a .967 fielding percentage as the team's shortstop. Ben Clowe (.310, 2 HR, 5 RBI) has also started to make an impact offensively and had a recent career-high five-game hit streak that included a double, two homers, five RBI and a .400 (6-15) batting average from April 12-18.
Two Unfinished Games Officially Ruled Ties - Non-conference games against Saint Mary's on March 5 in Moraga and California on April 7 in Berkeley have both officially been ruled as ties. Neither game was able to be completed due to darkness. The Stanford-Saint Mary's contest was tied 7-7 after nine innings, while the Stanford-California game was knotted up at 5-5 after 13 frames.
Next Up - The Cardinal will head back to Santa Clara Monday night, April 28, to battle the Broncos in a nationally-televised contest following this weekend's series against USC. The game will be televised on CBS College Sports Network. The Cardinal will then travel to UC Davis for a Wednesday afternoon contest, then stay local for a two-game, home-and-home series against San Jose State beginning with a 1 p.m. contest Saturday, May 3 at Klein Field.
Catch The Cardinal On The Tube - Stanford will have two more upcoming regular season games televised following Monday's televised contest at Santa Clara. CBS College Sports will air next Monday's game between the Broncos and Cardinal at Santa Clara on April 28 (5 pm, PT), while the Stanford-California series finale on Sunday, May 11 (1 pm, PT) will be televised live locally by Comcast SportsNet.