Stanford Coach Surprised to Be Back At College World Series

June 7, 2001

AP Sports Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Of the eight coaches in the College World Series,Stanford's Mark Marquess has been to Omaha the most often.

And he's by far the most surprised to be back again this year.

The Cardinal, who were beaten by Louisiana State in last year's title game,lost eight position players and all three starting pitchers to eithergraduation or the draft.

Only second baseman Chris O'Riordan is back this year for Stanford (48-16),which is in the College World Series for the third straight year and 13th timeoverall.

'This is probably the biggest surprise - that we ended up in Omaha,' saidMarquess, who is coaching in his 12th College World Series. 'It's the youngestteam we've had in my 25 years at Stanford.

'To be honest with you, I think my biggest concern was that we were goingto finish .500 overall.'

O'Riordan is a pretty good player to have back if the Cardinal could onlyhave one. The career .370 hitter is batting .379 this seasons with 10 home runsand 63 RBIs. He either leads the team or shares the lead in 13 offensivecategories.

But it's the Cardinal pitching that has done it. Five Stanford pitchers havean ERA under 3.00 and two more are under 4.00. The team's ERA is 3.36.

Jeremy Guthrie, who will pitch Stanford's opener Friday against Tulane,leads the Cardinal starters with a 10-4 record and 2.72 ERA.

'We've pitched well and we've played good defense,' Marquess said. 'If wedon't pitch well or if we get a team that's hot with the bat, we're probablynot going to win.'

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