#14 Stanford Baseball To Host #7 Florida State In 2001 Home Opener At Newly Remodeled Sunken Diamond

Feb. 7, 2001


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Fri., February 9 - Blair Varnes (1-0, 0.00) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (0-0, 0.90) -- 6:00 pm
Sat., February 10 - Matt Lynch (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jeff Bruksch (0-0, 9.00) -- 1:00 pm
Sun., February 11 - Bobby Read (1-0, 0.00) vs. Tim Cunningham (2-0, 1.72) -- 1:00 pm
Live audio broadcasts of all games available on KZSU 90.1 FM, www.gostanford.com, and realaudio@stanford.edu (Chad Goldberg - Play-by-Play, Joey Elger, Color)

Stanford head coach Mark Marquess will be attempting to win his 1000th career collegiate game (all at Stanford) when the Cardinal hosts Florida State ... Victory #999 came for '9' last Sunday at Cal State Fullerton ... Marquess would be the 23rd coach in the history of Division I baseball to reach 1,000 career wins ... Stanford has won two-of-three games in each of its series this season and has won eight consecutive regular season series ... Friday's game will be the first to be played in the newly remodeled Sunken Diamond, which features 2,113 new theater style seats to replace bleacher seating while retaining the grassy hills down the first and third base lines that have made Sunken Diamond a classic baseball setting ... Stanford and Florida State will long be remembered for playing one of the most memorable games in CWS history when the Seminoles outlasted the Cardinal, 14-11 in 13 innings (6/18/99) to advance to the 1999 CWS finals.

#14 Stanford (4-3) will host #7 Florida State (2-0) in the Cardinal's 2001 home opener at the newly remodeled Sunken Diamond with a three-game series from Friday-Sunday, February 9-11. Stanford has won two-of-three games from Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton the last two weekends. Florida State swept a pair of games against Western Kentucky in Tallahassee last Saturday and Sunday. Stanford and Florida State have built quite a rivalry over the past few seasons in a series that the Seminoles hold an all-time 6-2 lead. The two teams played arguably one of the best games in College World Series history in 1999 when the Seminoles defeated the Cardinal, 14-11 in 13 innings, to advance to the CWS final that year. All told, the teams met three times in the 1999 CWS with the Seminoles winning the final two games (8-6, 14-11 in 13 innings) while on the brink of elimination to knock the Cardinal out of the CWS after Stanford had won the first meeting (10-6). The teams began a regular season series last season in Tallahassee with Florida State winning two-of-three games. The teams split the first two games with an 11-4 Florida State win on Friday and an 8-6, 10-inning Cardinal win on Saturday. The Seminoles dominated Sunday's rubber game with a 13-1 victory. John-Ford Griffin had a big series for Florida State, going 10-for-15 (.667) with four RBI. Stanford won the middle game of the series when Billy Jacobson and Chris O'Riordan hit back-to-back homers with one out in the top of the 10th. Jeff Bruksch picked up his second victory of the season in relief by holding the Seminoles scoreless with one hit over the final 3.1 innings. O'Riordan was 3-for-5 (2B, HR, RBI) in final two days of the series.

Stanford will return to the road for a three-game series at Texas Friday-Sunday February 16-18 (Friday, 2:30 pm, Saturday, 1 pm, Sunday, 1 pm, All Central Time). Stanford holds an all-time advantage of 7-6-1 in the series. Last year, the teams split the first two games of a three-game set at Sunken Diamond (2/18/00 - 2/20/00) before Sunday's contest was washed out due to rain. Stanford picked up an 8-2 win in Friday night's opener as Justin Wayne tossed a three-hit complete game and Craig Thompson led a 13-hit Cardinal attack with a four-hit performance and a home run. Texas captured the second game of the series, 3-2, after scoring single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to erase a 2-1 Cardinal advantage. The teams last played in Austin in 1999 with the Longhorns winning two-of-three in a trio of tightly contested games. Texas captured the series opener, 9-8, before the Cardinal evened the series with an 11-8 win in the second game. Texas captured the rubber game, 4-3.

Stanford won two-of-three games at Cal State Fullerton last weekend to conclude its season-opening seven-game road trip and push its record (4-3) above the .500 mark for the first time this season. The Cardinal dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker to the Tians to open the series Friday night. Behind an excellent pitching performance by starter Jeremy Guthrie (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K), Stanford led 4-1 through six innings. However, the Titans scored a run off reliever Mike Wodnicki in the seventh to close the gap to 4-2 and picked up three more in the ninth inning off losing pitcher John Hudgins (0-2) for the victory. David Bacani had the game-winning bases loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Ryan McCally. The victory snapped Stanford's six-game winning streak over the Titans. The Cardinal rebounded with a 9-8 victory on Saturday, coming back from a 6-3 deficit with three runs in the sixth to tie the contest and three more in the ninth for the victory. Chris O'Riordan had a game-winning three-run double in the top of the ninth and the Cardinal thwarted the Titans ninth-inning rally by turning a bases loaded 3-6-3 double play on the final play of the game. Sunday's contest featured a classic pitchers dual as Stanford's Tim Cunningham and Cal State Fullerton's Kirk Saarloos traded zeros for five innings before back-to-back homers by Jason VanMeetren and Jason Cooper with two outs in the top of the sixth gave the Cardinal a 2-0 lead. Carlos Quentin had an RBI single in the seventh to give Stanford an insurance run. Cunningham and Mike Wodnicki combined for Stanford's first shutout of the season. Cunningham picked up his second win of the season in as many starters, while Wodnicki recorded the first save of his collegiate career. Three Stanford players (Arik VanZandt, VanMeetren, O'Riordan) hit .500 in the series.

Stanford head baseball coach Mark Marquess enters the Florida State with 999 career wins (all at Stanford) and is just one win from becoming the 23rd head coach in the history of NCAA Division I baseball to record 1,000 in his career. One of the nation's premier collegiate coaches, Marquess is now in his 25th season as the Cardinal head coach. He began the 2001 season ranked 14th in victories and 19th in winning percentage among active Division I baseball coaches. He has been named NCAA Coach of the Year three times and has received Pacific-10 Coach of the Year honors on eight occasions, including three of the last four seasons. Marquess was named the Pac-10 Southern Division Coach of the Year seven times before being named the first Pac-10 Coach of Year in the newly aligned conference (1999). He has a career record of 999-501-5 (.665) at Stanford, including an impressive 411-273 (.601) mark in Pacific-10 Conference action, arguably the toughest league in the nation. He picked up his 950th career win versus Cal State Fullerton last season on February 6, 2000. The 1969 Stanford graduate has led the Cardinal to two NCAA titles (1987, `88), 10 College World Series appearances (1982, `83, `85, `87, `88, `90, `95, `97, `99, `00), 10 Pac-10 regular season titles and 18 NCAA Tournament showings. Last season, Marquess coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the CWS final game since winning the 1988 CWS title. His teams have also won NCAA Super Regionals each of the last two seasons, as well as at least a share of a Pac-10 baseball championship in 10 of the last 18 years (includes Southern Division Championships) and for a school-record four straight seasons. Nearly as eye-opening as the number of titles won by the Cardinal is the consistent level of success Marquess has brought to the program. The Cardinal has suffered just one losing season during his tenure and has finished either first or second in the prestigious Pacific-10 (formerly Six-Pac) 18 times in the last 20 seasons. Stanford has had 95 professional baseball draft picks in the past 16 seasons, including 12 first-round selections in the last 14 years. A member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Marquess was the head coach of the 1988 United States Olympic baseball team that captured the Gold Medal. Marquess was an accomplished football and baseball standout on The Farm, and is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. He is one of only six collegiate head baseball coaches to have both played and coached in the College World Series. Marquess was the starting first baseman on Stanford's 1967 College World Series squad and played five years of minor league baseball with the Chicago White Sox organization.

(On the Florida State series) 'We've played Florida State a number of times in the CWS and had some outstanding games. The regular season series we started last year has created a lot of interest. It's exciting to have them come out here, and we hope to continue this for a number of years.'
(On the opening of the remodeled Sunken Diamond) 'The opening of the remodeled Sunken Diamond is obviously very special. We've always had a beautiful setting at Sunken Diamond that is second to none in college baseball. What we've done is to try to maintain that setting and that rich Sunken Diamond tradition but also make it a lot more comfortable for our fans. But, we really didn't change the look of the park. We wanted to maintain that look.'
(On nearing his 1000th career win) 'It's nice, but I don't really think about it that much. At the end of the season or sometime in the future, it will let me know that I have been fortunate enough to coach for a long time at one place and had enough good athletes to give me a pretty good level of success.'

Dean Stotz is in his 25th campaign with Stanford Baseball. Stotz was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2000 season after 23 years as an assistant. Stotz currently coaches third base while also handling various offensive and defensive aspects of the game. Mark O'Brien (3rd season) and Tom Kunis (2nd season) complete the Cardinal coaching staff. O'Brien assists with all aspects of the game and serves as the Cardinal's first base coach. Kunis is the team's pitching coach.

Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked #9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America in each publication's respective polls. The Cardinal has retained its #14 ranking in Baseball America this week, while dropping one spot to #12 in Collegiate Baseball. The first regular season Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll will be released the week of February 12. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked #2 in all three polls. Georgia Tech begins the 2001 campaign ranked #1 in all three polls. Pac-10 foes USC and Arizona State are currently ranked ahead of the Cardinal with the Trojans #2 in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, as well as #3 in Baseball Weekly. Stanford began the 2000 season at #1 in all three polls before dropping out of the top spot on February 14. Stanford's poll history includes a run as the 'king of the polls' in 1998 when the Cardinal held the top spot in the Baseball America poll for a record 14 consecutive weeks.

The Pac-10 coaches picked Stanford to finish third in their annual preseason poll. USC finished first with six first-place votes, while second-place Arizona and Stanford picked up the other two first-place votes. Arizona, California, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State ranked fourth through ninth.

Stanford's storied baseball program has had many highlights as the program is currently in its 108th season and has an all-time record of 2232-1433-32 (.608). Last year's trip to the College World Series championship game was only the latest chapter in the success story of Stanford Baseball. The program has produced 35 winning seasons over the last 36 seasons, including six consecutive campaigns with 40 or more wins. Just a few of the highlights have included back-to-back NCAA titles (1987, 1988), 12 College World Series appearances, 18 conference titles and 21 NCAA Tournament berths. Stanford has boasted a total of 40 All-Americans who have earned a total of 47 All-American honors. Stanford has also garnered three NCAA Player of the Year choices in Jeff Austin (1998), David McCarty (1991) and Steve Dunning (1970). Other numbers for the Cardinal baseball program include 93 all-conference players earning a total of 118 honors, 54 major league players (including eight scheduled to begin the 2001 season in Major League Baseball) and 12 first round draft picks in the last 14 years. Eight members of the 2000 Stanford Baseball team signed professional contracts following the 2000 collegiate season, including first-round draft picks Justin Wayne and Joe Borchard.

Stanford increased its string of winning at least two-of-three in regular season series by taking two-of-three games at Cal State Fullerton (2/2/01 - 2/4/01). The streak began with sweeps at Washington State (4/7/00 - 4/9/00) and against Washington (4/14/00 - 4/16/00), and has continued with six consecutive two-of-three winning series at USC (4/20/00 - 4/22/00), versus California (4/28/00 - 4/30/00), at Oregon State (5/5/00 - 5/7/00), versus UCLA (5/19/00 - 5/21/00), at Fresno State (1/26/01 - 1/28/01) and at Cal State Fullerton (2/2/01 - 2/4/01). For good measure, the Cardinal also won two-of-three games over both Alabama (5/27/00 - 5/28/00) in last and Nebraska (6/2/00 - 6/4/00) in last year's NCAA Regional and Super Regional. The last team to beat the Cardinal in a series was Arizona State (3/31/00 - 4/2/00) when the SunDevils won two-of-three in Tempe. Florida State (2/11/00 - 2/13/00) was the only other team to defeat the Cardinal in a series during the 2000 season, winning two-of-three in Tallahassee.

Prior to the 9-8 victory at Cal State Fullerton (2/3/01), Stanford had suffered five consecutive losses in one run games dating back to the first game of the final regular season series of the 2000 season versus UCLA (5/19/00).

Stanford's team batting average improved to .279 after the team hit .303 over the three-game series at Cal State Fullerton. The Cardinal racked up a season-high 15 hits in Saturday's 9-8 victory over the Titans. Stanford has continued to show a steady mix of speed and power. The Cardinal stole seven bases in nine attempts and hit three homers over the weekend. Stanford now has 15 stolen bases and nine homers on the season. The improvement in the stolen base area is dramatic as the team is averaging 2.1 thefts per game compared to just 0.8 last season. Ryan Garko continues to lead the team in hitting with a batting average of .421 (8-19). Jason VanMeetren (.414, 12-29), Chris O'Riordan (.393, 11-28), Scott Dragicevich (.367, 11-30) and Carlos Quentin (.350, 7-20) have also been swinging hot bats. VanMeetren, Dragicevich and Jason Cooper have two home runs each, while O'Riordan leads the club with 10 RBI, three doubles and five walks. O'Riordan and Dragicevich lead the team with three steals each.

The Cardinal has posted a 4.55 ERA through its first seven games. Tim and Cunningham and Jeremy Guthrie have developed as the club's most effective starters. Cunningham is 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA, while Guthrie has recorded an 0.90 ERA in a pair of no-decisions. Mike Wodnicki and Ryan McCally have recorded the team's other two wins after coming out of the bullpen. John Hudgins has recorded a pair of saves, while Wodnicki and Jason Luker have won each. Cunningham leads the team in innings pitched (15.2 IP), while Jeff Bruksch leads the club with 13 strikeouts in 14.0 innings. Cunningham and Wodnicki combined for the team's first shutout of the year, a 3-0 win at Cal State Fullerton (2/4/01). Opponents are hitting .261 against Cardinal pitching.

Stanford has had more difficult defensively in the early going this season than the Cardinal is accustomed to with a .961 fielding percentage. Stanford has committed one error or more in five of its seven games, including a five-error game in the season-opener at Cal Poly (5/21/01) and three more errors at Cal State Fullerton (2/2/01). The five errors were the most the Cardinal had committed since also picking up five errors last year at USC (4/22/00). The Cardinal have had a few notable defensive performances as second baseman Chris O'Riordan has twice recorded seven assists and shortstop Scott Dragicevich has accomplished the feat once. O'Riordan and Dragicevich have both seen plenty of ground balls in the early going as O'Riordan leads the team with 29 assists and Dragicevich has 23. First baseman Arik VanZandt recorded 15 putouts in a loss at Fresno State (1/27/00), more than last year's season-high of 13 recorded nine times last year. VanZandt has been perfect in 59 chances, while catchers Ryan Garko (35 chances) and Ken Tirpack (20 chances) have also been flawless.

Scott Dragicevich currently holds the team's longest hitting streak at seven games, while Carlos Quentin (six games) and Ryan Garko (five games) have also hit safely in five or more consecutive games.

Carlos Quentin's three-run homer in his first collegiate at bat at Fresno State (1/26/00) ... Tim Cunningham's first two starts of the season, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning of his first start of the season at Fresno State (1/28/00) and another one into the fourth inning of his second start of the year at Cal State Fullerton (2/4/00) ... Jason VanMeetren's career-high four hits and home run at Fresno State (1/28/00) ... Chris O'Riordan's two-out, three-RBI double in the top of the ninth inning at Cal State Fullerton (2/3/00) to snap a 6-6 tie and lead the Cardinal to a 9-8 victory ... Back-to-back homers by VanMeetren and Jason Cooper in the sixth inning to break-up a scoreless tie and lead Stanford to a 3-0 victory at Cal State Fullerton (2/4/00).

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