Stanford Begins Four-Game Home Stand on Wednesday

April 6, 2010

STANFORD, Calif.-- No. 22-ranked Stanford (13-10, 3-3 Pac-10) will begin a key four-game homestand on Wednesday as the team tries to get back on track after losing four of its previous five games over the previous two weeks.

The Cardinal will host Saint Mary's (8-15-1) on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, before hosting Oregon (19-10, 2-4 Pac-10) in a three-game Pac-10 series on Friday at 5:30 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m and Sunday at an earlier than usual noon start.

Bay Area rival, Saint Mary's, comes in having lost six of its last seven. Junior outfielder Justin Fazio leads the Gaels with a .342 average, while freshman third baseman Patrick Wisdom is batting .333. Sophomore first baseman Troy Channing, one of the top players in the West Coast Conference, has a team-best nine homers and is batting .315. Last year Channing led all freshmen with 20 homers and 75 RBIs. The Gaels are hitting .286 with a 5.00 ERA for head coach Jedd Soto.

Since 1962, the Cardinal own a 60-12-1 reocrd against the Gaels, dropping a 6-5 decision last year at home and splitting two games during the CWS year of 2008. This will be the only meeting between the two this year.

Oregon, in its second year since reinstating its program, has opened up Pac-10 play by losing two out of three to Arizona and Arizona State. The Ducks will be off until the weekend. Oregon pitchers are posting a 2.95 ERA, paced by a starting staff of Tyler Andreson (2.23 ERA), Justin LaTempa (2.70) and Alex Keudell (3.45). That trio has struck out 126 and walked just 36 on the season. Seventeen of the team's wins this season have come when it is leading after six innings, paced by bullpen aces Drew Gagnier (0.82 ERA) and Joey Housey (0.93), who both have appeared in 10 games.

In the first year back, Stanford took two out of three in Eugene in 2009 against George Horton's club.

The freshmen class continues to lead the Cardinal in offense paced by first baseman / outfielder Stephen Piscotty's .341 average and Tyler Gaffney, a two-sport athlete, and his .339 average. Junior second baseman, who along with Piscotty has started all 23 games, is batting .315 with a team-high 17 RBIs. The balance offense has seven players with at least 12 RBIs and five walk-off wins by four different players.

The Cardinal bullpen has been solid with Alex Pracher (4-1, 1.74 ERA) and Brian Busick (2-0, 2.41). Jordan Pries, the reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week is coming off his second complete game in three weeks, and is the top starter with a 3-1 record and 3.35 ERA. Stanford, which lost at No. 30-ranked Cal, 2-0, on Monday, is batting .286 as a team with a 5.18 ERA.

Five of the team's 10 losses this season have been to top-five programs in Texas and UCLA. The team's two losses at UCLA this past weekend, then ranked No. 2, were by a combined three runs.

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