No. 7 Stanford Opens College World Series play Saturday At 11 a.m. PT Against No. 2 Florida State

June 10, 2008

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STANFORD BASEBALL COLLEGE WORLD SERIES NOTES (June 14-21, 2008)

NO. 7 STANFORD CARDINAL (39-22-2, 14-10 Pac-10)


at

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (54-12, 24-6 ACC)

SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS (11 a.m., PT)

TBA vs. TBA


LIVE GAME COVERAGE:

TV: ESPN / ESPN HD (PxP - Sean McDonough, Color - Robin Ventura, Sideline Reporter - Kyle Peterson) | Audio (PxP - Erik Adams) | Gametracker

STANFORD-FLORIDA STATE SERIES HISTORY

All-Time Series: Florida State leads 9-8

2008 Results: First Meeting

2007 Results: Did Not Meet

Current Game Win Streak: Florida State - 2 (February 8-9, 2003)

Current Series Win Streak: Florida State - 1 (February 8-10, 2003)

Current Season Series Win Streak: Florida State - 1 (2003)

Series Notes: Stanford and Florida State will renew acquaintances for the first time in five years this Saturday at the College World Series, as the last meetings between the teams took place in a three-game series at Sunken Diamond Stadium from Feb. 8-10, 2003. The Seminoles took the last two games of the series to capture the series after the Cardinal had taken the opener, 2-1, in 12 innings. The Cardinal and Seminoles have met five times in the postseason, with Florida State owning a 4-1 mark in those games. Three of those meetings came in the 1999 College World Series, with Stanford beating FSU 10-6 on June 14, but the 'Noles would come back to win consecutive games on June 17 (8-6) and June 18 (14-11, 13 innings) to eliminate the Cardinal from the postseason. Over the four consecutive years that the teams met in a three-game series (2000-03), the Cardinal and Seminoles each won a pair of series, but Stanford holds a 7-5 advantage in those last 12 meetings, powered by a three-game sweep from Feb. 9-11, 2001 at Sunken Diamond.

POSTSEASON UPDATE


Stanford Reaches 16th College World Series In Program History - The Cardinal will participate in the program's 16th College World Series beginning this weekend, traveling to Omaha, Neb. to battle the Florida State Seminoles in its opening contest. The Cardinal and Seminoles will lead off CWS action Saturday, June 14 at 11:00 a.m. PT on ESPN and ESPNHD. Stanford will be aiming for its third national title, and first since becoming just the third team (at the time) to win consecutive national championships, in 1987 and '88. Throughout its history in the College World Series, the Cardinal have won two national titles, reached the championship game (and, beginning in 2003, the championship series) on five occasions, and boast an overall mark of 38-27 in CWS play. Stanford has also won at least one game in each of the program's 15 previous trips to Omaha heading into this weekend.

NOTES


Cardinal Wastes No Time Capturing Sixth Super Regional Crown - After having to win four straight games with its backs to the wall following an regional round-opening loss two weeks ago, the Cardinal made things a little less stressful on both itself and its fans by sweeping host Cal State Fullerton in two straight games in the Fullerton Super Regional. Stanford opened things up Friday night with a hard-fought 4-3 victory that featured a stellar six-inning, three-hit, one-run effort on the mound by Jeremy Bleich. At the plate, Jason Castro and Sean Ratliff each went deep, with Ratliff's solo job, his 21st of the year, accounting for the eventual winning run. Saturday, the Cardinal and Titans slugged it out in a wild contest which saw Castro hit a two-out, bases-clearing double in the sixth inning to give Stanford an 8-5 lead that would hold the rest of the way. Freshman Drew Storen collected his second save of the weekend, going the final inning and a third to clinch the team's berth in the College World Series.


Stanford In The National Polls - Stanford rose to No. 7 in the latest poll from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this past Tuesday, June 10, marking its highest spot in the various national rankings.


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 1324-667-7 (.664) over 1998 games. Marquess' current win total (all at Stanford) also ranks him sixth among active coaches.


Game No. 2,000 For Marquess - Regardless of how Stanford fares in Saturday's opening game of the College World Series, Mark Marquess will oversee his 2,000th career game as Cardinal skipper on Monday, June 16. Marquess will reach the milestone at Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, where he has led the Cardinal to two national titles and also is one of only 10 men to participate in the CWS as both a player and head coach.


History Of Postseason Success - Stanford heads into the 2008 College World Series sporting one of the top postseason resumes among the remaining eight teams. Over its 28 postseason appearances, the Cardinal has posted a record of 126-61 (.674), been one of only four teams to capture back-to-back College World Series titles (1987 & '88), made five total appearances in the CWS championship game, and punched 16 tickets to the CWS in Omaha since its first trip in 1953. The Cardinal's Super Regional sweep of Cal State Fullerton this past weekend marked the program's sixth Super Regional crown in seven appearances. In Super Regional play since 1999, Stanford boasts a 12-4 record after its sweep of Cal State Fullerton last weekend. At the regional level, Stanford has now captured 15 Regional titles, most recently last weekend, where the Cardinal won four straight after losing its opening game at home. Stanford boasts a 72-26 overall record over its 15 regional appearances.


Just Livin' The Dream - Junior C Jason Castro had another spectacular week heading into the College World Series, and not only on the diamond. After being named on of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, Castro learned early Thursday afternoon that he had been selected in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, as the Houston Astros made him the 10th overall pick. He lived up to the hype against Cal State Fullerton that weekend, batting .625 (5-for-8) with a double, home run, and six RBI in the two Stanford wins. His hits included a key two-run homer in Game 1 that opened up a 3-0 Stanford lead, and he punctuated his weekend with a three-run double with two outs in the sixth inning of Game 2 that broke a 5-5 tie and led to Stanford's 8-5 victory. On Tuesday, Castro was announced as a member of the Rivals.com All-America Second Team. On the year, he is one of three Stanford players to have started all 63 contests, and is currently leading the team with a .379 batting average, 99 hits, 17 doubles, and 69 RBI, and is tied for second on the squad with 13 home runs and 64 runs scored.


Ice Water In The Veins - Freshman Drew Storen has been a breakout star in the 2008 postseason for the Cardinal, but that should not come as a surprise to Cardinal fans. The rookie from Brownsburg, Ind. posted six saves and a 2-3 mark over 24 appearances in the regular season, earning All-Pac-10 Team recognition as well as Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Yet he has turned it up even more in the postseason, working 8.0 innings and boasting a 2-0 record and two saves to go with a 2.25 ERA over his four appearances. Friday night against Cal State Fullerton, Storen came on with one out in the ninth inning and the tying runner on second, and proceeded to retire the only two batters he faced to close out Game 1. The next night, he returned to the mound for the final inning and a third of an 8-5 Stanford lead, walking just one batter and striking out another to sew up Stanford's Super Regional victory.


Bombs Away - Junior OF Sean Ratliff continued to wield the thunder stick in Fullerton, cracking his team-leading 21st home run of the season in Friday's 4-3 Game 1 victory. Ratliff, who homered twice in Stanford's regional title-clinching win over Pepperdine two weeks ago, and was named Stanford Regional Most Outstanding Player for his efforts, saw his 2008 season total increase to 21, tied for sixth with Tim Griffin (1990) on Stanford's all-time single-season tally, and just four back of equaling Rick Lundblade's 1985 single-season record of 25 homers.


Bleich Back To Form - Junior LHP Jeremy Bleich was one of a group of Cardinal players who shone in the Super Regional after being drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft last Thursday. Bleich, a Compensation Round A pick of the New York Yankees (44th overall), took the hill for Stanford the next day in Game 1 against Cal State Fullerton, and shut down the Titan bats over six innings of work, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and striking out five batters. The strong outing lowered Bleich's ERA under the 1.00 mark, giving him a microscopic 0.92 ERA heading into the College World Series.


Seven Cardinal Players Taken In MLB First-Year Player Draft - The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was a good one for the Stanford program, as seven players were taken over the two-day event. Junior C Jason Castro became the seventh Cardinal player since 2000 to be selected in the first round of the draft, going with the 10th overall selection to the Houston Astros. LHP Jeremy Bleich was a Compansation Round A Pick, the 44th overall, by he New York Yankees, and 2B Cord Phelps (Third Round, 107th overall, Cleveland Indians) and OF Sean Ratliff (Fourth Round, 134th overall, New York Mets) rounded out the Cardinal's first-day picks. On the draft's second day, three more Stanford players had their names called, as RHP Austin Yount (12th Round, 367th overall, Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Erik Davis (13th Round, 405th overall, San Diego Padres), and DH Randy Molina (43rd Round, 1272nd overall, Seattle Mariners) joined the Day 1 quartet as Major League draft picks.


Stanford's Two-Way Threat - Sophomore OF Toby Gerhart has continued his steady rise in production over the past couple of months and been a force at the plate so far this postseason, batting .333 (5-for-15) with three doubles, a home run, three RBI, and four runs scored. Yet Gerhart's bashing isn't just limited to baseball, as he's done his fair share of linebacker-bashing on the gridiron as a member of the Stanford football team. After rushing for 375 yards as a freshman in 2006, Gerhart was poised for a big sophomore year, beginning his campaign with a 12-carry, 140-yard, 1 TD performance against San Jose State in the team's second game, but he unfortunately suffered a season-ending knee injury in that contest.


A-'Cord'-ing To Phelps - Junior 2B Cord Phelps, one of Stanford's 'Magnificent Seven' that were selected in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, has continued to be Mr. Consistent as Stanford chugs along in the postseason. He is batting .385 (10-for-26) with two doubles and a pair of home runs to his credit. Phelps, the Cardinal's season leader in runs scored, also elads the team with eight runs in the postseason, furthering the great job he does in getting on base consistently as the team's leadoff hitter. Despite missing Game 2 of the Fullerton Super Regional due to a bout of illness, Phelps is healthy and ready to return to the lineup for Saturday's College World Series opener.


Cardinal Hit Parade - The Cardinal got lots of big hits over the regional weekend, hitting .311 collectively in regional action. Stanford pounded out eight home runs over its five regional games and finished with a team slugging percentage of .533. Juniors Sean Ratliff and Cord Phelps each had two home runs and senior Randy Molina had five extra-base hits in the five games. Both of Ratliff's home runs came in the regional title game against Pepperdine, with one of those being a grand slam, giving the Cardinal its first lead in the Monday afternoon regional championship. Raliff finished with a team-high eight RBI on the weekend and was named the Stanford Regional Most Outstanding Player for his performance. Junior Jason Castro hit .400 for the weekend, doubled three times, homered, and drove in seven runs.


Sandbrink Stars - Freshman Danny Sandbrink has put together a fine freshman season out of the bullpen, but had no moment this season more significant than his complete game victory over Pepperdine in the first Stanford Regional title game. With the Cardinal already having completed a game against UC Davis just an hour earlier, Sandbrink shut down one of the best offenses on the West Coast and, more importantly, saved the bullpen for the second regional championship game that was forced due to Stanford's victory Sunday evening. Sandbrink has thrown 53.2 innings this season and has a 2.85 ERA.


Castro named Johnny Bench Award Finalist - Junior C Jason Castro picked up some more recognition last week as he was named one of three finalists for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award, given annually to college baseball's top catcher. Castro has made his case with a superb junior season, batting .379 with 99 hits, 17 doubles, 13 home runs, and 69 RBI. Defensively, he has enjoyed a fine year, with a .996 fielding percentage and only two errors in 453 chances. Castro is joined by Coastal Carolina's Dock Doyle and Florida State's Buster Posey as finalist and will find out if he is the recipient of the award at the 11th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2008.


Eight Cardinal Earn All-Pac-10 Honors - Stanford Baseball players Jason Castro, Erik Davis, Randy Molina, Cord Phelps, Sean Ratliff and Drew Storen were selected to the 2008 All-Pac-10 Team announced by Pacific-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen on May 29. This is the second time Ratliff has been honored on the All-Pac-10 Team, but for the rest of the recipients it is the first time earning the honor. Brent Milleville and Austin Yount also picked up All-Pac-10 honorable mention nods.

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