No. 6 Stanford Opens Final Regular-Season Home Series Against California Friday Night

May 9, 2008

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STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (May 9-11, 2008)

NO. 6 STANFORD CARDINAL (28-16-2, 10-5 Pac-10)


vs.

CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (30-15-2, 9-9 Pac-10)

THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

Fri. - RHP Austin Yount (3-2, 1.74 ERA) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (7-2, 4.47 ERA)
Sat. - RHP Erik Davis (7-1, 3.48 ERA) vs. LHP Craig Bennigson (3-3, 6.71 ERA)
Sun. - RHP Jeffrey Inman (6-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Miller (6-0, 2.34 ERA)


LIVE GAME COVERAGE:

TV: CBS College Sports Network (SUNDAY, 1 p.m.) - (PxP - Carter Blackburn, Color - Kevin Stocker) | Audio (PxP - John Watson, Color - Erik Adams) | Gametracker | Stanford Webcast

STANFORD-CALIFORNIA SERIES HISTORY

All-Time Series: Stanford leads 239-216-1

2008 Results: (at California) March 4, California 8-3; (at California) April 7, Tied 5-5

California captured the first non-conference meeting of the two teams, 8-3, on March 4 in Berkeley. Stanford's Zach Jones tied things up at three with a three-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Golden Bears answered right away, scoring five runs over the seventh and eighth innings for the win. On April 7, the teams battled to a 5-5 tie over 13 innings in Berkeley, as Cord Phelps went 3-for-5 with his fourth home run of the year and four RBI.

2007 Results: (at Stanford, March 2-4) Stanford 1-0, Stanford 5-4, Stanford 9-7; (at California, April 20-22) California 3-0, Stanford 4-3, California 13-5

Stanford took four of the six meetings last season, sweeping a non-conference weekend slate from march 2-4, but then dropping two of three in a Pac-10 series at Berkeley from April 20-22.

Current Game Win Streak: California - 1 (April 22, 2007)

Current Series Win Streak: California - 1 (April 20-22, 2007)

Current Season Series Win Streak: Stanford - 1 (2007)

Series Notes: Stanford will be looking for its first win of the year against California this weekend, as the Golden Bears currently lead the season series 1-0-1. The Cardinal will also look to win its 11th weekend series out of 11 when it hosts the Golden Bears.

PAC-10 UPDATE


Stanford 0.5 Games Back Pac-10 With Nine Contests Remaining - While idle in the Pac-10 schedule last weekend, Stanford fell behind a half-game to Arizona State in the Pac-10 standings. The Sun Devils took two of three from UCLA to go up by a half-game over the Cardinal. Washington moved into third place at 8-7, followed by California at 9-9, and Oregon State at 8-9. UCLA's 7-8 mark is followed by Arizona's 8-10 record, and USC (7-11) and Washington State (5-9) round out the Pac-10 standings.

NOTES


Cardinal Bounce Back From Skid - Stanford got back into the win column in a big way beginning last weekend against San Jose State, sweeping the Spartans in a two-game, home-and-home weekend series. The weekend got started with a 9-1 home victory over the Spartans, and continued the next day as an 11-run ninth inning carried the Cardinal to a 17-6 win in San Jose. Stanford's streak got to three games following Monday night's 7-2 victory over visiting Pacific, but the streak came to an abrupt end Tuesday in The City, as the Cardinal dropped a tough 13-9 decision to the San Francisco Dons.


Stanford Stays In Top 10 - Stanford fell three spots to No. 6 in the latest Baseball America poll and six to No. 11 in the Rivals.com poll released on Monday, May 5. In the other most recent polls released Monday, Stanford stayed at No. 11 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings and No. 12 on the USA Today/ESPN list, as well as at No. 18 in the NCBWA poll.


Ratliff Ropes 'Em - Senior CF Sean Ratliff has been the man carrying the big stick lately for the Cardinal, batting .353 (6-for-17) with four home runs and 11 RBI over Stanford's past four games. The lefty slugger began his tear with a two-homer, five-RBI performance Sunday at San Jose State, and through Tuesday he has increased his team-leading home run total to 15 and has matched Jason Castro for the team lead in RBI with 48.


Farewell Seniors - This weekend marks the final home regular-season weekend for five Stanford seniors: OF Brendan Domaracki, RHP Erik Davis, 1B/DH Randy Molina, RHP Rex Petrill, and RHP David Stringer. Together, this quintet boasts 123 wins under its collective belt, as well as two NCAA Tournament appearances, an NCAA Regional title (2006), and a Super Regional appearance. The five seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale.


'Idol' Rewind - While it may not have been a good week for 'American Idol's' Jason Castro, who was voted off the popular show Wednesday night, Stanford Baseball's junior C Jason Castro has not let one off night hamper his fine season. Despite having his career-best 13-game hitting streak snapped Monday against Pacific, Castro rebounded Tuesday at San Francisco with a hit in two at-bats. Since the start of that streak 15 games ago, Castro has batted .460 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, 21 RBI, and 21 runs scored.


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 now had 44 consecutive winning seasons at home and recorded at least 17 home wins in each of its last 13 campaigns with an amazing 327-108 (.752) 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 18-8 start in its first 26 home games of 2008.


'Jones'-in' For A Good Time - The Cardinal has received a good amount of production from the freshmen on its roster, and 3B Zach Jones is one of those producers. Having started 41 of the 45 games in which he's appeared, Jones is batting .281 and leads all Stanford freshmen with three home runs, 43 hits, 11 doubles, and 24 RBI.


Series Win Streak Extended To 12 In A Row - Stanford extended its string of regular season three-game series victories to 12 dating back to the final three series of 2007 by winning the first two games of its most recent series at home against USC (April 25-27). 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 seven straight Pac-10 series to tie its longest conference series win streak, when it took 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 (7-1, 3.48, 67.1 IP, 69 SO) struggled early but has been unbelievable of late with four consecutive complete games from March 29-April 19, and victories in six of his last seven starts. Jeffrey Inman (6-2, 3.43, 44.2 IP, 27 SO) had won five straight starts and given up just two earned runs over 24.2 frames during the period before suffering losses in his past two starts against UCLA and USC. 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.


Busy Schedule - Stanford's May 6 contest at San Francisco finished a stretch of 33 contests over a 43-day period from March 21 - May 6.


Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2545-1594-34 (.614) in 4173 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 4.37 ERA that is 1.64 points better than the 6.01 the team recorded as the highest mark in school history in 2007. The Cardinal's .972 fielding percentage is nine points ahead of last year's .963 and only .005 points shy of the school record .977.


Day And Night - Stanford has been significantly better this season during the day (18-6-2) than at night (10-10).


Better Against The Best - Stanford is 8-3-1 against ranked squads (according to Baseball America at the time of the game) and 20-13-1 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 are 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 Jason Castro, 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. Castro was selected as the Stanford Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week on April 29, and Phelps earned the same honor April 15. Davis, meanwhile, 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 42 games with three making legitimate noise for Freshman All-American consideration. Reliever Drew Storen (1-3, 3.57, 4 SV, 35.1 IP, 35 SO) arguably has the best case to be considered among the nation's top freshmen. Storen paces the team in both saves and appearances (20). Zach Jones (.281, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 9 SB) and Jake Schlander (.234, 19 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 46 of the team's games at shortstop and Jones making 41 starts (40 at third base). Although Schlander has struggled offensively, he has made just seven errors in the field in 189 defensive chances for a .963 fielding percentage as the team's shortstop. Ben Clowe (.311, 2 HR, 6 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 - Following this weekend's series against California, Stanford hosts Santa Clara at Klein Field for a 6 p.m. Monday night contest which also serves as the Cardinal's final regular-season home game. The Cardinal then hit the road for the final two weekends of the regular season, traveling to Tucons to battle Arizona from May 17-19, then spending Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25) in Seattle, visiting Washington.


Catch The Cardinal On The Tube - Stanford will have one more upcoming regular season game televised this regular season. The Stanford-California series finale on Sunday, May 11 (1 pm, PT) will be televised live locally by Comcast SportsNet.

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