No. 16 Stanford Heads To Seattle For Final Series Of Regular Season
May 21, 2008
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (May 23-25, 2008)
NO. 16 STANFORD CARDINAL (31-20-2, 12-9 Pac-10) WASHINGTON HUSKIES (32-20, 10-11 Pac-10)
WASHINGTON HUSKIES (32-20, 10-11 Pac-10)
THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
LIVE GAME COVERAGE:
STANFORD-WASHINGTON SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 40-15
2008 Results: First Meeting
2007 Results: (at Stanford, May 11-13) Washington 7-5, Stanford 8-6, Stanford 10-7
Stanford captured the weekend series last season, bouncing back from a Friday night loss to win Saturday afternoon's contest, then take the rubber game, 10-7, on Sunday.
Current Game Win Streak: Stanford - 2 (May 12-13, 2007)
Current Series Win Streak: Stanford - 3 (April 22-24, 2005 - May 11-13, 2007)
Current Season Series Win Streak: Stanford - 3 (2005-07)
Series Notes: Stanford concludes the 2008 regular season with this weekend's trip to Seattle, looking for a fourth straight series victory over the Washington Huskies. The Cardinal, currently second in the Pac-10 with a 13-8 mark, will look to at least maintain its place and make a final impression on the NCAA Selection Committee, which will announce regional sites Sunday night.
Stanford 3.0 Games Back Pac-10 With Three Contests Remaining - After dropping two of three at Arizona last weekend for its second straight Pac-10 series defeat, Stanford fell to three games back of leader Arizona State with just three games remaining. The Cardinal, should it sweep Washington paired with Arizona State being swept at Arizona, would clinch the Pac-10's automatic NCAA berth by virtue of a series win over the Sun Devils from April 4-6. Yet should the Cardinal lose once, or the Sun Devils capture one game in Tucson, Arizona State will capture the Pac-10 title and the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Cardinal Drop Two Of Three In Tucson Heat - Stanford dropped its second consecutive Pac-10 series this past weekend, falling twice in the three-game series in Tucson against the Arizona Wildcats. The weekend started with a 9-6 loss Saturday night, as the Wildcats used a seven-run second inning to take a quick 9-1 lead from which the Cardinal could not recover. The Cardinal would even the series the next day, as Drew Storen picked up the win with five scoreless innings of relief after Stanford broke a 5-5 deadlock with three runs in the 11th inning for the 8-5 win. In Monday's rubber game, Stanford held an early 8-0 lead, but saw Arizona score nine in the third to take a lead, then score six in the seventh to clinch a 15-11 win.
Stanford In The National Polls - Stanford fell two spots to No. 16 in the latest polls from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released on Monday, May 19. In the other most recent polls released Monday, Stanford fell two spots to No. 17 in the rivals.com rankings, one spot to No. 17 in the USA Today/ESPN list, and rose a spot to No. 20 in the 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 1316-665-7 (.664) over 1988 games. Marquess' current win total (all at Stanford) also ranks him sixth among active coaches.
Castro Making His Case - Junior C Jason Castro continued to make his case for numerous national and Pac-10 awards and honors last week, batting .429 (9-for-21) with a pair of doubles, his 11th home run, and eight RBI over Stanford's past four contests. Castro, a nominee for Pac-10 Player of the Year and for multiple All-America Teams, is enjoying a career season in 2008 (.373, 82 hits, 57 runs, 13 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBI) and is currently on a five-game hitting streak heading into this weekend's series.
Finish Strong - With this weekend marking the end of the regular season, the Cardinal want to finish things off on a successful note, especially with the NCAA Selection Committee watching. The 16 host sites for the NCAA Regionals, set to take place from May 30-June 2, will be announced Sunday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2. Collecting a big series win on the road could be just the thing Stanford needs to convince the committee to bring a 14th Regional to Stanford.
Strong Relief - Freshman Drew Storen delivered one of the best relief appearances of his successful freshman season in Sunday night's 8-5, 11-inning win at Arizona. The rookie from Brownsburg, Ind. entered the game at the bottom of the seventh inning of a 5-5 game, and held the Wildcats in check the rest of the way. Over his five scoreless innings of work, Storen allowed just two hits while striking out a pair, and picked up his second win of the season as the Cardinal scored three times in the 11th to grab the win.
Punishing Linebackers And Pitchers - Junior OF Toby Gerhart, also a running back for the Stanford football team, wielded a big stick over the weekend in Tucson, batting .500 (5-for-10) with a triple, home run, five RBI, and a pair of walks against the Wildcats. Since April 25, the two-sport athlete has broken out of an early-season slump, batting a solid .323 (10-for-31) with 10 runs, a pair of doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBI.
Taking Advantage Of PT - Since joining the starting lineup full-time at the beginning of April, junior 1B Brent Milleville has practically cemented his spot in the middle of the Stanford lineup. Since April 9, Milleville is on a hot .366 clip at the plate (34-for-93) with eight doubles, six home runs, 35 RBI, and 20 runs scored.
Winning Weekend Record In 2008 - Stanford has captured nine of its 11 three-game weekend series of 2008, and had won 12 straight dating back to the 2007 season before dropping two of three at home to California from May 9-11. Stanford's longest regular season three-game series win streak was a run of 15 straight regular season three-game series from May 3, 2003 - May 4, 2004. Up until the weekend against California, Stanford had 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 (7-2, 4.00, 81.0 IP, 81 SO) struggled early but has been unbelievable of late with four consecutive complete games from March 29-April 19, and a 6-1 record in his last nine starts. Jeffrey Inman (7-2, 4.53, 53.2 IP, 32 SO) had won five straight starts and given up just two earned runs over 24.2 frames during the period before suffering losses in 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 had suffered two losses and a no decision in his three starts from March 7-28, his ERA actually went down 81 points in those three starts as only one of the 12 runs scored against him was earned.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2548-1598-34 (.614) in 4180 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 4.60 ERA that is 1.41 points better than the 6.01 the team recorded as the highest mark in school history in 2007. The Cardinal's .974 fielding percentage is 11 points ahead of last year's .963 and only .003 points shy of the school record .977.
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 329-110 (.749) 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.
Day And Night - Stanford has been significantly better this season during the day (19-8-2) than at night (12-12).
Better Against The Best - Stanford is 9-5-1 against ranked squads (according to Baseball America at the time of the game) and 22-15-1 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 is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher, and Phelps earned the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week 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, Sean Ratliff, Drew Storen, and Brent Milleville have all been nominated for All-American recognition from the various publications that announce teams (NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, ABCA).
Rookies Making Case For Freshmen All-American Honors - Stanford has had a total of 14 freshmen play over the first 53 games with three making legitimate noise for Freshman All-American consideration. Reliever Drew Storen (2-3, 2.91, 5 SV, 43.1 IP, 40 SO) arguably has the best case to be considered among the nation's top freshmen. Storen paces the team in both saves and appearances (23). Zach Jones (.268, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 9 SB) and Jake Schlander (.238, 22 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 53 of the team's games at shortstop and Jones making 47 starts (46 at third base). Although Schlander has struggled offensively, he has made just seven errors in the field in 224 defensive chances for a .969 fielding percentage as the team's shortstop. Ben Clowe (.304, 2 HR, 6 RBI) has also started to make an impact offensively and had a 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 Washington, Stanford will await word on its postseason plans. While the Cardinal are expected to be included in the NCAA Tournament's 64-team field, the burning issue is whether or not Stanford will serve as a host site for one of the 16 NCAA Regionals set to take place from May 30-June 2. The NCAA will announce the 16 regional sites Sunday, May 25, at approzimately 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2, and the 64-team tournament field will be unveiled on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, at 9:30 a.m. PT on ESPN.