No. 7 Baseball Hosts Santa Clara And Visits Sacramento State This Week
May 1, 2001
Tuesday, May 1, 6 pm - LHP A.J. Ampi (0-2, 8.22) vs. RHP Mike Wodnicki (4-1, 3.66)
Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 pm - TBA vs. RHP Jeffery Groeger (4-7, 4.67)
A live audio broadcast of both Stanford Baseball games this week will be available on KZSU (90.1 FM) as well as at www.gostanford.com and realaudio.stanford.edu ... Chad Goldberg and Joey Elger will call the action.
ESSENTIAL STANFORD BASEBALL NOTES
Stanford is currently in second-place in the Pac-10 (1.0 games behind first-place USC) for the first time this season after losing the first two games of the California series, 7-4 and 4-0 ... Stanford has dropped two straight series for the first time since 1997 when the club dropped two-of-three to Washington in the Pac-10 championship series and two-of-three to UCLA in the final regular season series ... Stanford has dropped four of its last five games to open the second half of the Pac-10 schedule after posting a 10-2 mark in the first half of league play ... Stanford has dropped to No. 7 in the Baseball America poll this week, while being ranked No. 4 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN and No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball ... The Cardinal sat at the top of the poll for six consecutive weeks (3/12 - 4/16) and had been the nation's unanimous No. 1 team for two weeks (4/9 - 4/16) ... Stanford had won 17 consecutive regular season series dating back to over a year ago before losing two-of-three games in series the last two weekends at USC (4/20 - 4/22) and California (4/27 - 4/29) ... Stanford has had four winning streaks of five or more games this season, including a season-best 10-game winning streak from March 7-31, and did not lose consecutive games all season until dropping three in a row from April 17-21 ... The Cardinal is attempting to win its fifth straight Pac-10 baseball title (includes Southern Division and co-titles) ... Stanford is 20-3 at Sunken Diamond this year, while posting a 14-9 road mark ... The team's current 34-12 overall record is one game under the 35-11 record that the 2000 CWS runner-up squad had posted through 46 games ... Eight of Stanford's 12 losses this season have been by one run ... Stanford is 11-4 against ranked teams this year (according to Baseball America) but has no more regular season games scheduled against teams currently ranked in the national polls... Stanford leads the Pac-10 in both ERA (3.17) and fielding percentage (.975) ... The last time the Stanford staff had a lower ERA for the season was the 2.64 mark posted by the 1973 club ... The starting trio of Jeremy Guthrie (8-3, 2.05), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.91) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 2.76) has combined for a 21-5 record and a 2.54 ERA ... Gosling (5-0 Pac-10) has won five consecutive Pac-10 games, including four consecutive Pac-10 starts ... Gosling has recorded a pair of career firsts in his last two outings with his first shutout at California (4/29) and his first complete game at USC (4/22) ... Guthrie leads the team in strikeouts (93) and Bruksch in innings pitched (96.0) ... The Cardinal has been errorless in 22 of 46 games ... Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .303 ... Ryan Garko leads the team in batting average (.348) ... Chris O'Riordan is the club's leader in homers (8), RBI (51), stolen bases (15), hits (65) and total bases (100) ... Jason VanMeetren leads the club in doubles (13) and triples (3), while Arik VanZandt has scored a team-high 40 runs ... Sam Fuld paces the club in on base percentage (.439) and bases on balls (24).
NO. 7 STANFORD HOSTS SANTA CLARA AND VISITS SACRAMENTO STATE AT RALEY FIELD BEFORE TAKING THE WEEKEND OFF IN PAC-10 ACTION
Stanford will play a pair of mid-week non-conference games versus Santa Clara and Sacramento State before taking the weekend off in Pac-10 action. The Cardinal hosts Santa Clara on Tuesday, May 1 (6 pm, PDT) in an attempt to extend its winning streak over the Broncos to 19 games dating back to 1997. Santa Clara last defeated Stanford, 6-5 in 10 innings, on February 16, 1997, at Sunken Diamond. Stanford leads the all-time series, 74-24-1 (since 1997). Stanford swept a three-game series against Santa Clara earlier this season. Jeremy Guthrie struck out eight batters in 7.0 innings and Arik VanZandt (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) led the Cardinal offense in a 7-3 win in the series opener at Buck Shaw Stadium. Jeff Bruksch tossed his first career shut out in the second game of the series (played on Sunday after Saturday's game was postponed due to wet playing conditions), an 8-0 Cardinal win at Sunken Diamond. Bruksch struck out nine, allowing just three hits and not walking a batter. Jason Cooper homered for the Cardinal. Stanford completed the sweep by erupting for 15 hits in a 6-1 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium. Three Cardinal players homered (Cooper, Chris O'Riordan, Jason VanMeetren) and Cooper (3-5, HR, RBI) led the club with three hits. Stanford will play Sacramento State for the only time this season in a game at Raley Field on Wednesday, May 3 (6:30 pm, PDT). The Cardinal defeated the Hornets twice last season. Stanford was a 4-2 winner in the first meeting at Sacramento State (2/21). Jason Luker earned his first collegiate victory, while Mike Gosling earned his first collegiate save. Stanford erupted for an 18-2 victory in the second meeting between the clubs last year at Sunken Diamond (4/4). John Gall (4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI) led the Cardinal's 19-hit attack.
STANFORD DROPS TWO-OF-THREE AT CALIFORNIA AFTER OPENING WEEK WITH WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE
Stanford dropped two-of-three games at California last weekend, marking the first since 1993 that the Golden Bears had defeated the Cardinal in a series and snapping Stanford's 12-series winning streak against California. The Golden Bears used sixth-inning homers by Brad Smith and Ben Conley to key Friday's 7-4 comeback win. Stanford was shutout for the second time in a week on Saturday as Jason Dennis and Matt Brown scattered nine Cardinal hits, three of the by Chris O'Riordan (3-4). The Cardinal avoided its first sweep to California since 1992 with an 8-0 win in Sunday's series finale. Mike Gosling picked up his first career shutout and won his fifth consecutive Pac-10 game, including four consecutive starts. Stanford scored six times in the seventh inning to expand a slim 1-0 lead. Carlos Quentin (3-5, 2 2B) and Scott Dragicevich (2-3, 2 2B) each had a pair of Stanford's season-high six doubles. Stanford completed a two-game season series sweep of San Jose State with a 4-3 victory over the Spartans on Tuesday. Ryan Garko (2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) keyed the victory with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning. Mike Wodnicki picked up the victory and J.D. Willcox earned his third save of the season.
STANFORD HEAD COACH MARK MARQUESS
One of the nation's premier collegiate coaches, Mark Marquess is now in his 25th season as the Stanford head coach. Marquess has a career record of 1029-510-5 (.668) at Stanford, including an impressive 423-279 (.603) 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. 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). Last season, Marquess coached the Cardinal to its first trip to the College World Series title game since winning the 1988 CWS championship. His teams have 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.
COMMENTS FROM MARK MARQUESS
(On the last six games of Pac-10 play) 'I think it's really hard to predict what's going to happen in the entire Pac-10. There are a lot of capable teams. I am more concerned with how we're playing than how the other teams are doing. I think we need to really pick it up offensively. We haven't swung the bats very well in the last two or three weeks with the exception of one or two games.'
(On the team's approach for the last three weeks of the regular season) 'We don't need to do that much different except swing the bats better. We'll work on that during our off-time this weekend and make an effort for the final push.'
(On the Pac-10 race and the post-season) 'Your goal is to win the league title. But, it does you no good to win the league title and not be playing well for post-season. It's great to win a league title, but the thing you remember is how a team did in the post-season. Hopefully, you can win the league and do well in post-season.'
STANFORD COACHING STAFF
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 DROPS TO NO. 7 IN BASEBALL AMERICA POLL
Stanford fell to No. 7 in this week's Baseball America poll, the team's lowest ranking since moving from No. 10 to No. 1 after a three-game sweep of USC March 9-11. Stanford is still ranked No. 4 this week by Baseball Weekly/ESPN and No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball. The Cardinal spent two weeks (4/9 - 4/16) as as the nation's unanimous No. 1 team but has managed only a 3-5 record in the last two weeks. The Cardinal spent six weeks as Baseball America's top team (3/12 - 4/16). Stanford has been ranked No. 1 at one point during each of the past five years. Stanford opened the 2001 season ranked No. 9 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, No. 11 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 14 by Baseball America. USC (No. 5 Baseball America, No. 5 Collegiate Baseball, No. 5 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) and Arizona State (No. 20 Baseball America, No. 16 Collegiate Baseball, No. 15 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) are the Pac-10's other ranked clubs. The Cardinal finished the 2000 campaign ranked No. 2 in all three polls after opening the season at No. 1 before dropping out of the top spot on February 14, 2000. Stanford's poll history includes a run as 'king of the polls' in 1998 when the team held the top spot in the Baseball America poll for the entire regular season (a record 14 consecutive weeks).
STANFORD BASEBALL HISTORY
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 2262-1442-32 (.610). 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 (also 52 of last 54), 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, 55 major league players (including seven that are currently playing 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.
CARDINAL DROPS TWO STRAIGHT REGULAR SEASON SERIES AFTER WINNING 17 IN A ROW
Stanford has lost two consecutive regular season series at USC (4/20/01 - 4/22/01) and at California (4/27/01 - 4/29/01), dropping two games in each three-game set. The Cardinal had not lost two straight series since 1998 when the Cardinal lost two-of-three to USC in the final regular season series of the year (5/9/98 - 5/11/98) and two in a row to Washington in the Pac-10 Championship series (5/14/98 - 5/15/98). Stanford hadn't lost two straight regular season series since 1997 when Stanford was swept by Arizona State (4/11/97 - 4/13/97) and dropped two-of-three against UCLA (4/19/97 - 4/20/97).
RECORD BOOK UPDATE
Stanford has a few players looking to enter the Cardinal record books or move up from their current spots. The team is making its biggest run for a school record in team fielding percentage (.975), currently .003 than the record set three times in the last 11 years (1990, 1995, 2000). The club is also nearing the record book's top five in double plays (46), shutouts (7) and saves (14). Individually, Mike Wodnicki (.917, 11-1) currently ranks second on the school's all-time won-loss percentage list. Mike Gosling (10.44) is second on the strikeouts per nine innings list, Chris O'Riordan (.357, 139-389) ranks fourth on the career batting average list, and Jeff Bruksch (13) is tied for the fifth on the all-time save list. No Stanford player is making a serious run at entering the record book for single-season records.
Stanford has had seven different players (Jason Cooper, Scott Dragicevich, Sam Fuld, Ryan Garko, Chris O'Riordan, Carlos Quentin, Jason VanMeetren) lead the team in batting average at one time or another this season. Garko (.3478) currently leads O'Riordan (.3475) by only .0003 percent. All seven players still have averages better than .300.
Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .303 and has been at .300 or better for the last 10 games (since 4/13). However, the team's batting average has dropped from a season-high of .309 as the Cardinal has managed double-digit hits just twice in its last seven games. Stanford picked up a season-high 22 runs versus Oregon State (4/14) and a season-high 23 hits at Nevada (4/10) during a six-game stretch (4/8 - 4/17) that raised the team's batting average from .289 to .309. The team has had double-digit hits in exactly half (23 of 46) of its games. The Cardinal currently ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in hitting. Stanford is hitting .316 in 18 Pac-10 games. Ryan Garko currently leads the team in batting average (.3478) with Chris O'Riordan (.3475) a mere .0003 percentage points behind. O'Riordan also paces the squad with career-highs in homers (8), RBI (51) and stolen bases (16), as well as in hits (60) and total bases (100). Jason VanMeetren is the team leader in doubles (13) and triples (3), while Arik VanZandt has a team-high 40 runs scored. Jason Cooper leads the club with a .600 slugging percentage and Carlos Quentin has been hit by a team-high nine pitches. Sam Fuld leads the club in on-base percentage (.439) and bases on balls (24). Fuld (.336), Scott Dragicevich (.335), Quentin (.333), VanMeetren (.317) and Cooper (.311) join Garko and O'Riordan with batting averages at .311 or better. Quentin and Cooper both have hit seven homers to rank tied for second on the club. Stanford has totaled 44 home runs, 279 RBI and 67 stolen bases for the season, compared to 29 home runs, 142 RBI and 21 stolen bases for its opponents.
The Stanford pitching staff leads the Pac-10 with a team ERA of 3.17 and has been even better in 18 Pac-10 games with a 3.08 ERA. The last time the Cardinal finished a season with a lower ERA was when the 1973 club posted a final ERA of 2.64. Opponents are hitting only .224 off Cardinal pitching. The current starting rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (8-3, 2.05), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.91) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 2.76) has combined for a 21-5 record and a 2.54 ERA. Gosling has been the team's hottest pitcher with five consecutive Pac-10 victories, including four starts. He also has a current string of 15.0 straight scoreless innings and has tossed his first two career complete games in his last two starts. Guthrie picked up seven straight victories and Bruksch five in a row earlier in the year. Guthrie (NCBWA Pitcher of the Week, 2/13) and Bruksch (Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, 2/26) have both earned one national honor this year. In addition, both have been named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week twice (Bruksch - 2/27, 4/9, Guthrie - 3/6, 3/13). Bruksch has had separate scoreless inning streaks of 19.0 and 15.0 during the period. Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.95) had been the team's third starter for most of the season before Gosling's return to the starting rotation. Mike Wodnicki (4-1, 3.66, 4 SV) and J.D. Willcox (2-0, 0.47, 3 SV) have been the team's leaders out of the bullpen. Wodnicki has a team-high 18 appearances (two starts), while Willcox has given up just one earned run in 19.1 innings. John Hudgins (1-5, 6.39, 4 SV) has four saves as well but also has five of the team's 12 losses. Ryan McCally (1-1, 2.70, 2 SV) has also been effective out of the bullpen. Guthrie leads the club in strikeouts (93 in 92.0 IP), while Bruksch paces the club in innings pitched (96.0). The Cardinal staff has seven shutouts and seven complete games. Bruksch has three complete games, while Guthrie and Gosling have two each. All three players have one shutout.
Stanford's defense is currently fielding at a .975 clip that would rank as the best fielding percentage in school history, .003 percentage points above the school record of .972 reached three times between 1991-2000. Stanford has been errorless in two straight games and 22 of 46 overall. Stanford was also perfect defensively for four consecutive games from March 25-31. Chris O'Riordan leads the Pac-10 in assists (161). O'Riordan has recorded a team-high seven assists three times, while shortstop Scott Dragicevich has also reached the figure once. First baseman Arik VanZandt has committed just two errors in 463 chances for a .996 fielding percentage, while backup catcher Ken Tirpack (137 chances) remains flawless. The starting infield of O'Riordan, Dragicevich, VanZandt and third baseman Andy Topham has made just 21 errors between them for a fielding percentage of .980. Dragicevich had a stretch of 12 consecutive games (1/26-2/18) without an error at shortstop and only one over a 23-game period (1/26-3/23). The Cardinal has had a bit more trouble in the outfield as Carlos Quentin (6), Jason VanMeetren (5) and Sam Fuld (3) have combined for 14 errors and a .942 fielding percentage.
REGULAR STARTING PITCHING ROTATION NOW 21-5
Despite four losses in the last two weeks of Pac-10 play, Stanford's current regular starting pitching rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (8-3, 2.05), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.91) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 2.76) has a combined 21-5 record with a 2.54 ERA this season. Tim Cunningham (4-0, 3.95) was the third starter for most of the season before the return of Gosling to the starting rotation. The foursome has a 25-5 record.
MIKE GOSLING WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT PAC-10 GAMES
Mike Gosling has won five straight Pac-10 games and four consecutive Pac-10 starts after returning to the starting rotation on April 8 versus UCLA. Gosling has a 2.88 ERA during the stretch. He has allowed 20 hits and 11 earned runs in 34.1 innings pitched, while striking out 33 and walking eight.
BULLPEN SHOULD BE RESTED
Stanford used its bullpen for just 1.0 inning in last weekend's three-game series at California (4/27 - 4/29). Jeff Bruksch and Mike Gosling both tossed complete games, while Jeremy Guthrie lasted 7.0 innings in his start. Drew Ehrlich was the only reliever to appear.
SLOWING DOWN ON THE BASEPATHS
One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the base paths. Stanford has 67 stolen bases in 92 attempts through its first 46 games, already surpassing its season total of 55 a year ago. The Cardinal is still averaging 1.5 steals per contest, compared to the 0.8 steals per game the club averaged a year ago. However, Stanford has slowed down lately with only five stolen bases in its last 13 games. Stanford was averaging 2.0 steals per game through its first 28 contests but has stolen only 11 bases in 18 games since. Chris O'Riordan leads the team with a career-high 15 stolen bases, while Arik VanZandt and Andy Topham are tied for second with eight each. Sam Fuld and Jason VanMeetren have seven each, followed by Scott Dragicevich and Brian Hall with five.
CHRIS O'RIORDAN CURRENTLY FOURTH ON CAREER BATTING AVERAGE LIST
Chris O'Riordan currently ranks fourth on Stanford's career batting average list with a mark of .357 (139-389). O'Riordan had threatened to enter the list ahead of current leader Jack Shepard (.362, 1951-53) before a midseason slump. He dropped to as far as 10th at one point before moving back up to fourth by hitting safely in 14 of his last 16 games, going 28-for-66 (.424) during the stretch.
BEATING THE BEST
Stanford's 34-12 record includes an 11-4 mark against teams ranked among the nation's Top 25 in the Baseball America poll at the time the Cardinal faced them. Stanford has no more games scheduled against teams currently ranked among BA's Top 25.
TOUGH LUCK IN ONE-RUN GAMES
Stanford has a 3-8 overall in one-run games this season. Stanford did beat San Jose State, 4-3, in its most recent one-run contest (4/24). The Cardinal has fared a little better in extra inning games with a 3-2 mark in those games, including three straight victories. Stanford's record in games decided by three or more runs this year is 28-3.
CARDINAL SHUTOUT TWICE IN EIGHT DAYS AFTER 167-GAME STREAK
Stanford's 4-0 loss at California (4/28) marked the second time in eight days that the Cardinal suffered a shutout. Stanford's 7-0 loss at USC a week earlier (4/21) marked the first time the Cardinal had been shutout since February 5, 1999 (8-0 at Cal State Fullerton). Stanford had scored at least one run in 167 consecutive games.
* 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 State and Stanford picked up the other two first-place votes.
* Stanford has drawn better than 2,000 fans in eight of its last 14 home games, including a season-best 2,973 versus USC on March 11 and the season's best weeknight crowd (2249) against USF. The Cardinal has also been a big draw on the road, drawing 2,000 or more spectators for 12 of 23 road contests.