No. 7 Baseball Takes On Arizona In Last Regular Season Home Series; Fireworks After Game

May 11, 2001

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ARIZONA WILDCATS (29-21, 8-10 PAC-10)
NO. 7 STANFORD CARDINAL (37-13, 12-6 PAC-10)

Friday, May 11, 6 pm - RHP Marc Kaiser (7-5, 5.32) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (8-4, 2.44)
Saturday, May 12, 1 pm - RHP Sean Rierson (5-4, 5.06) vs. RHP Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.87)
Sunday, May 13, 1 pm - RHP Chris Goodman (3-1, 5.73) vs. LHP Mike Gosling (5-0, 3.33)

A live audio broadcast of all three Stanford-Arizona Baseball games will be available on KZSU (90.1 FM) as well as at and ... Chad Goldberg, Joey Elger and Will Flemming call the action.

Stanford enters its final regular season home series of 2001 one game behind USC in the Pac-10 standings with six games remaining for both teams (USC will host Washington State in a three-game series this Saturday-Monday) ... The Cardinal is attempting to win its fifth straight Pac-10 baseball title (includes Southern Division and co-titles) ... Stanford is 22-3 at Sunken Diamond this year, while posting a 14-10 road mark ... Stanford has won four of its last five games overall after suffering through a mini-skid that saw the Cardinal go 2-5 from April 17-28 ... Stanford avenged two non-conference losses from earlier this season with wins versus Cal Poly (11-10) and at USF (8-6) to begin the week ... Stanford picked up its first ninth inning comeback win of the season in the victory over Cal Poly, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth inning ... A one-out bases loaded walk to Jonny Ash proved to be the game-winner, one batter after Carlos Quentin singled to tie the game ... Quentin also hit two homers in the game, the first Cardinal to accomplish that feat this season ... Stanford's pitching staff has struggled with a 4.81 ERA over its last 12 games after the club posted a 2.99 ERA through its first 38 contests ... The Arizona series will be highlighted by the 3rd Annual Stanford Baseball Fireworks Show presented by the Palo Alto Town & Country Village on Friday ... Stanford's Annual Little League Day and Fan Appreciation Day are slated for Sunday ... Stanford has lost two-of-three games in each of its last two regular season series (at USC, at California) for the first time since 1997 ... Stanford has retained its No. 7 ranking in the Baseball America poll this week ... The Cardinal is also ranked No. 7 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN and No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball ... The Cardinal sat at the top of the Baseball America 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 has had four winning streaks of five or more games this season, including a season-best 10-game winning streak from March 7-31 ... The team's current 37-13 overall record is one game under the 38-12 record that the 2000 CWS runner-up squad posted through 50 games ... Stanford is 11-4 against ranked teams this year (according to Baseball America) ... Ryan Garko leads the team in batting average (.366) and on-base percentage (.446), while Chris O'Riordan paces the club with career-highs in homers (9, co-leader), RBI (55), stolen bases (15) and total bases (112) ... Carlos Quentin has also put up big numbers with a .354 batting average, nine homers, 39 RBI and five stolen bases ... Stanford's top four starting pitchers have combined for a 26-6 record and a 3.00 ERA this season -- Jeremy Guthrie (8-4, 2.44), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.87) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 3.33) make up the current starting rotation for Pac-10 games, while Tim Cunningham (5-0, 3.80) was in the rotation earlier in the year ... Gosling has won five straight Pac-10 games, including four straight Pac-10 starts ... Stanford's team fielding percentage of .975 is currently .003 percentage points ahead of the school record of .972 set three times in the from 1990-2000 ... Seven different players have led Stanford in batting average at one time or another this season.

Stanford will conclude its regular season home schedule by hosting Arizona in a three-game Pac-10 series this Friday-Sunday, May 11-13 (6 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm). The series marks the end of a busy five-game week and the return of the Cardinal to Pac-10 action after four consecutive non-conference games in which Stanford posted a 3-1 record. Stanford last played a Pac-10 series on April 27-29 when the Cardinal dropped two-of-three at California. Stanford also lost two-of-three games at USC the previous weekend (April 20-22). Stanford leads the all-time series over Arizona, 86-48. Last year, the Cardinal won two-of-three games against the Wildcats at Sunken Diamond in Stanford's Pac-10 opening series. The Wildcats handed Justin Wayne his first loss of the season in the series-opener, 8-5, before the Cardinal came back to win the final two games of the series, 6-4 and 7-1. Jason Young pitched a complete-game nine-hitter in Saturday's win before Mike Gosling limited the Wildcats to two hits over the first 8.1 innings in the series finale.

Stanford has opened its busy five-week with a pair of non-conference victories over USF and Cal Poly to avenge losses earlier in the season to both teams. Stanford held on for an 8-6 victory at USF in its most recent game on Wednesday. Ryan Garko keyed Stanford's four-run third inning with a two-RBI triple, the first three-bagger of his career. Garko (2-5, 3B, 2 RBI) was one of five Stanford players with two hits each. Stanford jumped out to a 7-1 lead before the Dons scored five straight runs to cut Stanford's lead to 7-6, the final three-coming on Jason Howard's three-RBI homer on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tim Cunningham (5-0) earned the victory, scattering six hits and three runs over the first 5.0 innings. John Hudgins held the Dons without an earned run in 3.1 innings of middle relief, while Ryan McCally forced pinch-hitter Nick Tarbat into a game-ending double play to earn his third save of the campaign. Stanford opened its week with an 11-10 comeback victory over Cal Poly on Tuesday. Jonny Ash drew a bases loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete the comeback as Stanford won for the first time in 2001 when the club trailed after eight innings. Carlos Quentin had a pair of homers, the first Cardinal player to accomplish that feat this year, and also singled home the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Chris O'Riordan (3-4, 2B, HR, RBI) and Garko (3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) added three hits each. J.D. Willcox (3-0) picked up the victory, holding the Mustangs scoreless in the final three innings after giving up a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. USF and Cal Poly had both scored upset victories over the Cardinal earlier in the year. The Dons defeated the Cardinal, 5-4, at Sunken Diamond on April 17. Cal Poly shocked Stanford, 6-5 in 12 innings, in the season-opener for both teams on January 21 in San Luis Obispo.

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 1032-511-5 (.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.

(On the team's return from a six-day break) 'We have a busy week with five games. I think the break was good for us, but we'll see where we are. The break gave us a little time off after we were pretty hectic for about a month.'
(On the team's recent 4-6 stretch prior to victories over Cal Poly and USF this week) 'I don't think we pitched as well during that stretch. That's really been our strength for most of the year. Combined with not swinging the bat as well as we have been, if you don't do either of those things that well with the people we play, your chances of being beat are enhanced. I do think we have continued to play fairly good defense.'
(On the upcoming Arizona series) 'I think Arizona is one of the better offensive teams in the conference. They have some experienced players and good power at the plate. They have a young pitching staff. They're a solid team and will present problems for us.'
(On the Pac-10 race and the post-season) 'Our 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, we can win the league and do well in post-season.'

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 remained No. 7 in this week's Baseball America poll for the second consecutive week. Stanford also remained No. 6 for the second consecutive week in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The Cardinal dropped two spots to No. 6 in this week's Baseball Weekly/ESPN poll. Stanford spent two weeks (4/9 - 4/16) as the nation's unanimous No. 1 team before losing five-of-seven games from April 17-28. Stanford has returned to its winning form with four wins in its last five contests. The Cardinal also 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. 3 Collegiate Baseball, No. 3 Baseball Weekly/ESPN), Arizona State (No. 19 Baseball America, No. 15 Collegiate Baseball, No. 19 Baseball Weekly/ESPN) and California (No. 29 Collegiate Baseball) 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's storied baseball program has had many highlights as the program is currently in its 108th season and has an all-time record of 2265-1443-32 (.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 secured its 36th winning seasons over the last 37 campaigns (also 53 of last 55) this season and is only three wins from posting 40 or more wins for the seventh consecutive campaign. 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 eight that have played Major League Baseball in 2001) 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 has lost its last two 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).

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 better 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 (51), shutouts (7) and saves (15). Individually, Mike Wodnicki (.917, 11-1) currently ranks second on the school's all-time won-loss percentage list. Mike Gosling (10.41) is second on the strikeouts per nine innings list, Chris O'Riordan (.357, 146-409) ranks fourth on the career batting average list and Jeff Bruksch (13) is tied for the fifth on the all-time save list.

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 (.366) currently leads the club in batting average. Eight regulars currently have averages sitting at .302 or better.

Stanford's team batting average currently sits at .308, just .001 percentage point lower than its season-high of .309, and fourth in the Pac-10. Stanford's team batting average has been at .300 or better for the last 14 games (since 4/13) and the club has posted double-digit hits in four of its last five games. Stanford's 20-hit performance against Santa Clara (5/1) during the recent streak was the team's second-highest hit total all season. The Cardinal has double-digit hits in over half of its games (26-of-50). 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. Stanford is hitting .316 in 18 Pac-10 games. Seven different players have led the Cardinal in batting average at one point this season. Ryan Garko is the current leader with a .366 batting average and also leads the team in on-base percentage (.446). Chris O'Riordan paces the squad with career-highs in homers (9, co-leader), RBI (55), stolen bases (15) and total bases (112). He also leads the team with 72 hits, 44 runs scored and seven sacrifice flies. Carlos Quentin paces the club in slugging percentage (.571) and hit-by-pitches (10), while co-leading the team in homers (9) in addition to ranking second in RBI (39) and batting average (.354). Jason VanMeetren is the team leader in doubles (14) and triples (3). Sam Fuld leads the club in bases on balls (25). O'Riordan (.348), Scott Dragicevich (.333), Fuld (.333), VanMeetren (.316), Brian Hall (.307) and Cooper (.302) join Garko and Quentin with batting averages at .302 or better. Stanford has totaled 47 home runs, 315 RBI and 71 stolen bases for the season. Stanford's opponents have managed just 31 home runs, 173 RBI and 22 stolen bases.

The Stanford pitching staff continues to lead the Pac-10 with a team ERA of 3.41 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 .233 off Cardinal pitching. Stanford has struggled in its last 12 games with a 4.81 ERA after posting a 2.99 ERA through its first 38 contests. The current starting rotation of Jeremy Guthrie (8-4, 2.44), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.87) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 3.33) has combined for a 21-6 record and a 2.79 ERA. Gosling has been the team's hottest pitcher with five consecutive Pac-10 victories, including four starts. He has tossed his first two career complete games in his last two Pac-10 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 (5-0, 3.80) had been the team's third starter for most of the season before Gosling's return to the starting rotation. Mike Wodnicki (4-1, 4.97, 4 SV), J.D. Willcox (3-0, 2.28, 3 SV) and Ryan McCally (2-1, 3.00, 3 SV) have been the team's leaders out of the bullpen. Wodnicki has a team-high 20 appearances (three starts). John Hudgins (1-5, 5.46, 4 SV) has four saves as well but also has five of the team's 13 losses. Guthrie leads the club in strikeouts (96 in 96.0 IP), while Bruksch paces the club in innings pitched (97.1). The Cardinal staff has seven shutouts and seven complete games. Bruksch has three complete games, while Guthrie and Gosling have two each. All three pitchers 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 1990-2000. Stanford has been errorless in 23 of its 50 games. Stanford was perfect defensively for four consecutive games from March 25-31 and then for three straight twice (4/12 - 4/14, 4/28 - 5/1). Chris O'Riordan ranks second in the Pac-10 in assists (168). 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 475 chances for a .996 fielding percentage, while backup catcher Ken Tirpack (139 chances) remains flawless. The starting infield of O'Riordan, Dragicevich, VanZandt, third baseman Andy Topham and recent starting first baseman Jason Cooper has made just 26 errors between them for a fielding percentage of .977. 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).

Despite five losses in the last month, Stanford's top four starting pitchers have still combined for a 26-6 record and a 3.00 ERA this season. Jeremy Guthrie (8-4, 2.44), Jeff Bruksch (8-2, 2.87) and Mike Gosling (5-0, 3.33) make up the current starting rotation for Pac-10 games, while Tim Cunningham (5-0, 3.80) was in the rotation earlier in the year before Gosling's return to the starting rotation.

Mike Gosling has won five straight Pac-10 games (includes one no-decision in relief) 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 five Pac-10 victories. He has allowed 20 hits and 11 earned runs in 34.1 innings pitched during the stretch (33 SO, 8 BB).

Stanford had not homered five consecutive games, its longest stretch without a long ball this season, before homering three times versus Cal Poly (5/8). Carlos Quentin hit two of the three homers, solo shots in the second and eighth innings, to become the first Stanford player to homer twice in a game this season.

One of the most notable changes in this year's Cardinal team is its success on the base paths. Stanford has 71 stolen bases in 98 attempts through its first 50 games, already surpassing its season total of 55 a year ago. The Cardinal is still averaging 1.4 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 nine stolen bases in its last 17 games. Stanford was averaging 2.0 steals per game through its first 28 contests but has stolen only 15 bases in 22 games since. Chris O'Riordan leads the team with a career-high 15 stolen bases, while Andy Topham is second with nine thefts. Arik VanZandt and Sam Fuld are tied for third with eight each. Jason VanMeetren has seven steals, followed by Scott Dragicevich with six and Brian Hall with five.

Chris O'Riordan currently ranks fourth on Stanford's career batting average list with a mark of .357 (146-409). 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 17 of his last 20 games, going 35-for-86 (.407) during the stretch.

Stanford's 37-13 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.

Despite a 4-8 overall record in one-run games this season, Stanford's luck in one-run games is beginning to change. Stanford has won its last two one-run contests, beating Cal Poly, 11-10, on May 8 and San Jose State, 4-3, on April 24. The Cardinal is 3-2 in extra-inning games, including three straight victories. Stanford's record in games decided by three or more runs this year is 27-4.

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.
* Stanford has drawn better than 2,000 fans in 10 of its last 16 home games, including a season-best 2,973 versus USC on March 11 and the season's best weeknight crowd (2,249) against USF on April 17. The Cardinal has also been a big draw on the road, drawing 2,000 or more spectators for 13 of 25 road contests.

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