#9 Stanford Hosts Cal In Three-Game Non-Conference Series At Sunken Diamond

March 1, 2001

Stanford, Calif. -

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Friday, March 2, 6 pm - RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-0, 1.45) vs. RHP Trevor Hutchinson (2-1, 2.48)
Saturday, March 3, 1 pm - RHP Jeff Bruksch (3-0, 3.72) vs. RHP Ryan Atkinson (0-1, 4.02)
Sunday, March 5, 1 pm LHP Tim Cunningham (4-0, 1.53) vs. LHP Jason Dennis (1-0, 0.00)
Live audio broadcasts of all games available on KZSU 90.1 FM, www.gostanford.com, and realaudio.stanford.edu (Chad Goldberg - Play-by-Play) ... Saturday's game will be an internet only broadcast until the conclusion of the Stanford-UCLA men's basketball game (1 pm)

Stanford has now won 11 of its last 12 games after picking up its fourth straight victory in an 8-6 win over Nevada on Tuesday ... Stanford is currently ranked #9 in all three major national baseball polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN) ... Stanford has won 11 consecutive regular season series dating back to last year ... Stanford has a current seven-game home win streak, is 5-0 at Sunken Diamond in 2001 and in the midst of a current 11-game homestand ... Chris O'Riordan leads Stanford with a .391 batting average, 21 RBI and seven stolen bases ... Jason Cooper has a team-high six home runs ... The pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.15 ... The last time the Cardinal finished the season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final 2.64 ERA ... Stanford's starting pitching trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham are a combined 10-0 with a 2.31 ERA this season ... Bruksch was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after recording his first career shutout versus Santa Clara on February 25 ... Stanford has dominated the base paths this year with 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts, an average of 2.1 steals per game.

Stanford and California will battle in a non-conference three-game series at Sunken Diamond this Friday-Sunday, March 2-4 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). Stanford has won 11 of its last 12 games entering the series, while California has won five of its last seven outings. The Cardinal has won 11 consecutive series over California dating back to 1995 and is 13-0-1 in its past 14 series with the Golden Bears. The last time California has beaten Stanford in a series was when the Golden Bears won two-of-three from May 7-9, 1993. Stanford owns a slim 209-203 all-time advantage in the 502 games the two schools have played and won five of the six meetings between the clubs last season. Last year's six games were filled with memorable moments, particularly in the three-game Pac-10 series played at Sunken Diamond from March 28-30. The Golden Bears knocked off the fourth-ranked Cardinal in Friday night's opener, 7-5 in 11 innings, scoring two runs in the top of the 11th on a misplayed pop-up. Stanford came back with a 10-6 victory before a then regular-season record crowd of 3722 on Saturday. Sunday's series finale ended in dramatic fashion when Damien Alvarado led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off home run to give Stanford a 12-11 victory. Joe Borchard also hit a pair of homers in the game for the Cardinal. Stanford swept the non-conference series at Berkeley from February 25-27 (6-2, 4-1, 8-2).

Stanford welcomes #5 USC to Sunken Diamond for a three-game non-conference series from March 9-11 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). The two teams have constantly been at the top of the Pac-10 standings in recent years with seven consecutive Pac-10 crowns (includes Southern Division titles) between them. The two teams combined for eight of 10 conference titles (also includes Southern Division) in the 1990's. USC is one of the few teams to lead Stanford in the all-time series as the Trojans boast a 194-134-3 lead. Stanford did win four of the six games played between the schools last season, winning two-of-three non-conference games at Sunken Diamond (March 17-19) and two-of-three conference contests at Dedeaux Field (April 20-22). Pitching efforts by Justin Wayne and Mike Gosling, as well as an offensive explosion from Edmund Muth and Joe Borchard highlighted the two victories. Wayne tossed a complete-game four hitter in the 4-3 series-opening victory, while Gosling pitched 6.2 innings of two-hit scoreless relief in Sunday's 11-4 win. Muth (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Borchard (2-5, HR, 5 RBI) combined for nine RBI in the victory. The Cardinal won the final two games of the conference series after dropping the opener, 7-3. Jason Young (7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO) outdueled Mark Prior in a 4-1 victory on Saturday before the Cardinal exploded for an 18-4 win in Sunday's finale. Stanford scored 12 runs in the final three innings to break open what had been a tight 6-4 Cardinal lead. Stanford pounded out 23 hits as five players had three or more hits each, led by four-hit performances by Damien Alvarado (4-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and Muth (4-6, 2B, HR, 3 RBI).

Stanford topped off a perfect 4-0 week by hanging on for an 8-6 win over Nevada last Tuesday. Jason Cooper (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI) was one of four players with two hits each as he recorded his fifth consecutive multiple-hit contest. John Hudgins (1-3) earned his first collegiate victory, while J.D. Willcox recorded the save in his first appearance of the season. Stanford closed out a three-game sweep of Santa Clara with a 6-1 victory over the Broncos on Monday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. Cooper led the offensive attack by going 3-for-5 with a homer, RBI and stolen base. Stanford tied a season-high with 15 hits. Tim Cunningham (4-0) won for the fourth time in five starts, scattering four hits and one run over the first 6.0 innings. Ryan McCally picked up his first save of the season by holding the Broncos scoreless over the final 3.0 innings. Jeff Bruksch (3-0) tossed his first career shutout in Sunday's 8-0 win over the Broncos at Sunken Diamond. Cooper once again led the offensive attack, going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Jeremy Guthrie (3-0) picked up the win in Friday night's series opener at Santa Clara, scattering five hits and three runs over the first 7.0 innings of a 7-3 Cardinal win. Arik VanZandt (3-5, 2B, HR, RBI) led the Cardinal offense.

One of the nation's premier collegiate coaches, Mark Marquess is now in his 25th season as the Stanford head coach. Marquess became the 23rd head coach in the history of NCAA Division I baseball to reach the 1000-career win mark when the Cardinal defeated Florida State earlier this season on February 9, 2001. 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 1008-502-5 (.667) at Stanford, including an impressive 411-273 (.601) mark in Pacific-10 Conference action, arguably the toughest league in the nation. 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 (1983, `84, `85, `87, `90, `94, `97, `98, `99, `00) and 18 NCAA Tournament showings. Last season, Marquess coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the CWS title game since winning the 1988 CWS championship. 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 (includes Southern Division championships) 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 this weekend's series versus California) 'We're looking forward to continuing a good rivalry. We always have good games against Cal. They're playing very well right now. They are similar to us in that they have young team and have gotten good pitching. It will be a good test for our hitters both this weekend and next weekend against USC. It will be a good measuring stick for us going into league.' (On the team's outstanding defensive play) 'The only thing that I felt fairly confident about this year's team prior to the season was that we would good play good defense in the infield. I thought we would be better in the outfield. Defensively, this team has lived up to that high expectation. We've played outstanding not just because we haven't made a lot of errors but because we've made great plays.' (On Jason Cooper) 'Jason has matured as a person and a player, that's showing. It was rough year for him last season. There were real high expectations and he struggled, but in fairness to him it was tough playing on a veteran team with a lot of pressure on him. He really worked hard at making some minor corrections and has been very effective for us.'

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 is currently ranked #9 in the nation by all three major collegiate baseball polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Baseball Weekly/ESPN). Stanford retained its #9 spot in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball poll but dropped two spots in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll despite winning all four of its games. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked #9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #11 by Collegiate Baseball and #14 by Baseball America. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked #2 in all three polls. Georgia Tech began the 2001 campaign ranked #1 in all three polls and still sits atop all three polls despite a temporary exit from the Collegiate Baseball poll. Pac-10 foes Arizona State and USC are currently ranked ahead of the Cardinal with the Sun Devils #3 in Baseball America and Baseball Weekly/ESPN, as well as #6 in Collegiate Baseball. USC is #5 in Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, as well as #4 in Baseball Weekly/ESPN. The other ranked Pac-10 team is UCLA, ranked #17 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, #22 by Baseball America and #24 by Collegiate Baseball. Stanford began the 2000 season #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.

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 2241-1434-32 (.609). 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 campaigns, including six consecutive years 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 seven 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 regular season series winning streak to 11 by sweeping Santa Clara (2/23/01 - 2/26/01). The Cardinal began the streak with sweeps at Washington State (4/7/00 - 4/9/00) and against Washington (4/14/00 - 4/16/00) before continuing with six consecutive series of winning two-of-three 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). The team ran its streak to nine straight with a sweep over Florida State (2/9/01 - 2/11/01) to open the 2001 home season and extended it to 10 by winning two-of-three at Texas (2/16/01 - 2/18/01). For good measure, the Cardinal also won two-of-three games over both Alabama (5/27/00 - 5/28/00) 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 regular season series was Arizona State when the SunDevils won two-of-three in Tempe (3/31/00 - 4/2/00).

The Cardinal has had a standout effort this season from its starting pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (3-0, 1.45 ERA), Jeff Bruksch (3-0, 3.72 ERA) and Tim Cunningham (4-0, 1.53 ERA). The group has accounted for 15 of the team's 17 starts, posting a combined 10-0 record and a 2.31 ERA. The group has also logged a hefty 105.0 of the pitching staff's 154.1 innings (68.0%).

Stanford's team batting average has jumped back to .279, increasing by .010 over the last four games, which included a team-high-tying 15 hits at Santa Clara (2/26). Stanford had nine hits or more in each of its four games last week, compiling a .312 batting average and blasting six home runs. Chris O'Riordan's hot start has slowed a bit (Last week: 4-15, .267) but he continues to lead the team with a .391 batting average, 27 hits, six doubles, 21 RBI and six stolen bases. Jason Cooper has been the team's hottest hitter of late with five consecutive multiple-hit games as he has seen his average jump from .256 to .344 while going 11-for-21 (.524) over the five-game stretch. Cooper also leads the club with six home runs, while Jason VanMeetren has four. VanMeetren (.347), Scott Dragicevich (.333), Ryan Garko (.302) and Arik VanZandt (.300) are all hitting .300 or better. Stanford has totaled 19 home runs and 36 stolen bases on the season, compared to a mere five home runs and eight stolen bases for its opponents. VanZandt paces the club with 16 runs scored.

The Cardinal pitching staff has continued its amazing start and currently has an ERA of 3.15 through 15 games. The last time the Cardinal finished a season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final ERA of 2.64. The Cardinal's ERA actually dipped to 2.97 following a 6-1 victory over Santa Clara last Monday but rose to its current 3.15 after giving up six earned runs against Nevada on Tuesday. Over the last 11 games, Stanford's pitching staff has given up only 61 hits and 21 earned runs in 98.0 innings of work for a 1.93 ERA as the Cardinal has won 10 of the 11 games. Opponents are hitting only .187 off Cardinal pitching during the stretch. For the entire season, the starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch and Tim Cunningham has combined for a 10-0 record and a 2.31 ERA. Guthrie (3-0, 1.45) earned NCBWA Pitcher of the Week honors on February 13 after shutting out Florida State on just one hit over the first 7.0 innings in the Cardinal's 6-2 win on February 9. Bruksch (3-0, 3.72) has rebounded from two ineffective starts to win three consecutive starts and was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week earlier this week following his three-hit shutout of Santa Clara (2/26). Cunningham (4-0, 1.53) leads the team with four victories. John Hudgins has been the team's leader out of the bullpen with four saves and picked up his first collegiate win after starting last Tuesday's game versus Nevada. Mike Wodnicki has a pair of saves, while Jason Luker, Ryan McCally and J.D. Willcox have one each. Wodnicki and Ryan McCally both have a win out of the bullpen as well. Bruksch leads the club in innings pitched (38.2 IP) and strikeouts (37). The Cardinal staff has accounted for three shutouts in the team's first 17 games. Opponents are hitting just .223 overall against Cardinal pitching.

Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .975 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage, a full .003 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford has committed more than one error only three times this season and has been errorless in seven of 17 games, including three of the last five. Second baseman Chris O'Riordan has recorded seven assists three times. O'Riordan leads the team with 65 assists, while shortstop Scott Dragicevich has 59 assists. 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 had been perfect in his first 16 games until finally committing an error against Nevada last Tuesday, while back-up catcher Ken Tirpack (58 chances) remains flawless. Dragicevich had gone 12 consecutive games without an error at shortstop before finally committing one at Santa Clara (2/23) and has still only committed one error in his last 16 games.

Jeff Bruksch won a pair of honors earlier this week after tossing his first career shutout in an 8-0 win over Santa Clara (2/26). Bruksch allowed only three hits and no walks, while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts. He was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and also earned the Pac-10's first Pitcher of the Week honor for 2001. The national honor was his first while the Pac-10 honors marked the second time he had been honored with the conference's weekly award.

One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the basepaths. Stanford has totaled 36 stolen bases in 44 attempts through its first 17 games of the season for an average of 2.1 steals per contest, more than double the 0.8 steals per game the club averaged a year ago. Chris O'Riordan lead the club with seven stolen bases, while Jason VanMeetren, Arik VanZandt and Brian Hall have five each. Sam Fuld is close behind with four. Stanford opponents have had little success running on the Cardinal with just eight steals in 15 attempts.

Although it is still early in the season, several Cardinal players have begun legitimate runs at making a spot for themselves within Stanford's single-season record book. Among the most notable are Chris O'Riordan and John Hudgins. O'Riordan is currently hitting .391 and is attempting to become the sixth Cardinal in school history to hit .400 or better in a single season. Hudgins has already posted four saves and is within nine of reaching the record of 13 tied by current teammate Jeff Bruksch last season and also held by Steve Chitren in 1987. Another area that may be even more of a long shot is a run at the single-season ERA mark by both Jeremy Guthrie (1.45) and Tim Cunningham (1.53). The best single-season ERA ever put up by a Cardinal pitcher was the 1.10 ERA by Harvey Shank in 1968.

Chris O'Riordan's current career batting average of .373 (101-271) would put him on top of Stanford's all-time batting average list if he had enough at bats to qualify. However, O'Riordan will shortly be able to officially enter the list as he is only 29 official at bats away from 300 for his career, which is the minimum number of at bats to qualify.

Stanford has lost six of the last seven one-run games it has been involved in dating back to a 10-9 loss to UCLA (5/19/00) last season. All four of the Cardinal's losses in 2001 have come by a single run with the first three coming in the opponents' final at bat. The team's only one-run victory during the recent stretch was a 9-8 win at Cal State Fullerton (2/3/01).

* 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.
* Jason Cooper and Mike Gosling were named Second Team Preseason All-Americans by Baseball America.
* Jeremy Guthrie was named the NCBWA Pitcher of the Week on February 13 following his masterful performance against Florida State (2/9/01). Guthrie held the Seminoles scoreless on one hit over the first 7.0 innings in a 6-2 Cardinal win, striking out eight. Guthrie was the first Cardinal pitcher to receive a national Pitcher of the Week honors since Justin Wayne was named one of Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week on March 7, 2000.

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