Stanford Ranked No. 5 In 2003 Sports Weekly/ESPN Preseason Poll
Jan. 17, 2003
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford has been ranked No. 5 nationally in the 2003 Sports Weekly/ESPN Top 25 Preseason College Baseball Coaches Poll released Thursday. The rankings gives the Cardinal a top 10 showing in each of the four major 2003 college baseball preseason polls (No. 3 Baseball America, No. 5 NCBWA and Sports Weekly/ESPN, No. 9 Collegiate Baseball).
Stanford has qualified for the College World Series for a school record four consecutive seasons and reached a CWS bracket final in 2002 after two straight years as the event's runners-up. A year ago, Stanford finished the season with a 47-18 overall record to pick up its eighth straight 40-win season and was 16-8 in the Pac-10. The Cardinal returns six position player starters and two of its three starting pitchers from last year's club.
Texas begins the season as the NCBWA's top-ranked team, followed by No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Rice and Stanford to round out the top five.
Stanford will open its 2003 regular season at Santa Clara on Saturday, January 25, before the Broncos return the favor for Stanford's home opener the following day on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:00 pm. Stanford's 2003 schedule includes 18 contests against teams ranked among the top 10 squads by Sports Weekly/ESPN in its 2003 preseason poll. The Cardinal has a three-game set scheduled at No. 10 Cal State Fullerton (January 31 - February 2) before hosting No. 3 Florida State (February 7-9). Stanford will then travel to defending national champion and No. 1 Texas (February 21-23). Stanford also has six games scheduled against No. 6 USC (February 28 - March 1, at Stanford; May 2-4, at USC), as well as a three-game series at No. 9 Arizona State (March 22-24).
Four Stanford players have been named 2003 Preseason All-Americans in senior left-handed pitcher Tim Cunningham (NCBWA Third Team), junior outfielder Sam Fuld (NCBWA First Team, Baseball America Third Team, Collegiate Baseball Third Team), senior catcher Ryan Garko (Collegiate Baseball Second Team) and junior outfielder Carlos Quentin (Baseball America First Team, NCBWA Second Team).