Stanford To Begin Fall Practice Saturday In Preparation For 2004 Season

Oct. 11, 2003

Stanford, Calif. - The 2004 Stanford Baseball squad begins official fall team practice at Sunken Diamond on Saturday, October 11. Fall practice sessions are open to the public at no charge and scheduled to run through Sunday, November 2. Saturday's opening day of fall practice is scheduled to start at 12:30 pm with an intrasquad game beginning at approximately 2:30 pm. Tentative plans call for the Cardinal to begin practice at 12:30 pm for weekend sessions and 1:30 pm on weekdays.

'We're excited to have our first regular team practice and be able to play some intrasquad games,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'We're excited to get going and see where we are.'

The annual Alumni Game on Sunday, October 19 (12 pm, PT) will highlight the fall practice session. Many former Stanford greats, including Jeremy Guthrie, A.J. Hinch, Jack McDowell, Kyle Peterson and Carlos Quentin, are expected to be present for the festivities. The Old-Timers Game will begin at 12 pm, followed by a matchup of the 2004 Stanford Cardinal and recent Alumni.

'The Alumni Game makes for a real fun day,' smiled Marquess. 'Our current players really enjoy meeting the Alumni and getting the chance to compete against them.'

Stanford has reached the College World Series for a school-record five consecutive seasons and has been the CWS runner-up in three of the last four years. Last year, Stanford finished the campaign with a 51-18 record after extending eventual CWS champion Rice to the final game of the inaugural best-of-three CWS Championship Series and playing in a NCAA record eight CWS contests. The Cardinal also won the outright Pac-10 title for the first time since 1999.

The 2004 Stanford Baseball team will feature seven regular returning position player starters and eight pitchers from a year ago. All-Pac-10 selections Danny Putnam (Jr., OF), Sam Fuld (Sr., OF) and Mark Romanczuk (So., LHP) lead the group of returning starters. Putnam hit .348 with 16 homers and 66 RBI last year. Fuld, an All-American in 2001 and 2002, has a chance to break several of the school's career offensive records as enters his senior season with a .350 career batting average and 288 hits. Last year, Fuld hit .321 with four homers, 35 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Romanczuk was 12-2 with a 4.01 ERA in his rookie season, winning his first 12 decisions. He also picked up two complete games and a pair of saves, while striking out 80 batters in 112.1 innings.

Other returning starters include Jonny Ash (Sr., INF, .314, 2 HR, 33 RBI, 1 SB), Brian Hall (Sr., INF, .293, 6 HR, 44 RBI, 18 SB), Jed Lowrie (So., INF, .292, 0 HR, 28 RBI, 5 SB), Donny Lucy (Jr., C, .291, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 6 SB) and John Mayberry, Jr., (So., INF, .299, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 5 SB).

Among the other returning pitchers is 2003 team save leader and honorable mention All-Pac-10 choice Matt Manship (So., RHP, 2-4, 3.98, 3 SV, 63.1 IP, 50 SO).

Stanford will be looking to replace a total of seven players lost to graduation or the draft, including All-Americans Ryan Garko (C, .402, 18 HR, 92 RBI, 2 SB), John Hudgins (RHP, 14-3, 2.99 ERA, 165.1 IP, 143 SO) and Carlos Quentin (OF, .396, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 10 SB).

The 2004 roster currently includes 36 players with 16 returning letterwinners and a total of 23 players from a year ago. Stanford will also feature 13 newcomers and a freshman class that was recently ranked eighth in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.

Stanford will open its 2004 campaign by hosting a three-game series versus 2003 CWS participant Cal State Fullerton (Friday-Sunday, January 30-February 1). Stanford's 2004 schedule includes a nearly equal balance of 29 home games and 27 road contests.

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