No. 2 Stanford Ends Regular Season With 15-5 Loss To No. 16 Arizona State

May 30, 2004

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    Stanford, Calif. - No. 2 Stanford (44-12, 16-8 Pac-10) ended its 2004 regular season with a 15-5 loss to No. 16 Arizona State (40-16, 13-11 Pac-10) on Fan Appreciation/Senior Day at Sunken Diamond on Sunday. Jeff Larish (2-4, HR, 4 RBI) hit a back-breaking grandslam home run in the top of the sixth inning to break the game open, while Josh Asanovich (2-6, HR, 3 RBI) added a three-run blast in the seventh. Sam Fuld (2-3, HR, RBI) homered for the Cardinal and was the only Stanford player with more than one hit.

    Prior to the game, Stanford was announced as one of 16 regional sites for the 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships. The NCAA Regional at Sunken Diamond will begin with two games next Friday, June 4 (2 pm, 6 pm, PDT). Three games will be played on Saturday, June 5 (11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm, PDT) with the regional championship slated for Sunday, June 6 (1 pm, 5 pm if necessary, PDT).

    'We earned it,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess about his team's selection as a regional host. 'If you win the Pac-10 and are ranked high, then you usually get a chance to host a regional.'

    All-session passes for the event will go on sale Tuesday, June 1, at the Stanford Athletics Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-STANFORD. Stanford Athletics Ticket Office hours this Tuesday-Friday are 9 am - 4 pm. Prices for all-session passes are $50 (Reserved), $35 (Adult General Admission) and $20 (Child/Senior/Student General Admission). Single game tickets will be available on the day of the game only. Prices for single-game tickets are $15 (Reserved), $12 (General Admission Adult) and $8 (Child/Senior/Student General Admission).

    'Whomever we get, we know it will be a tough field,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess when asked about the potential field in Stanford's regional. 'If they weren't playing well, they wouldn't be in the playoffs right now. We've learned from experience that every team is tough and every game is tough.'

    'We play really well at home,' said Fuld. 'To know that is a real boost in confidence. I don't think we'd be any less confident if we were playing somewhere else, but there is a level of comfort that we enjoy here.'

    The entire 64-team field for the 2004 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships, the top-eight national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced on Monday, May 31 (9 am, PDT) during a live, half-hour program on ESPN2. The committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through both the Super Regionals and the first round of the College World Series. The committee will not reseed the field after play begins. Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced Sunday, June 6, live during an ESPN SportsCenter telecast (8 pm, PDT). Thirty Division I conferences receive an automatic berth in the field of 64, along with 34 at-large selections.

    Stanford (44-12, 17-7 Pac-10) captured its second straight outright Pac-10 title in 2004. The team's 44 regular season victories tied for the second most in school history behind the 1990 club that won a school record 59 games overall and posted a regular season record of 52-11 in 63 games.

    'We had a phenomenal regular season,' commented Marquess. 'To win as many games as we did with the schedule we played and to win the conference was quite an accomplishment.'

    Stanford is attempting to extend its school record streak of College World Series appearances to six in 2004. The Cardinal has made five appearances in the CWS championship game, winning the national title in 1987 and 1988 and finishing as runners-up in three of the last four seasons (2000, 2001, 2003).

    'It's certainly different this year than in my three previous years,' said Fuld about the final run for the CWS title that he will begin to make along with fellow seniors Jonny Ash, Drew Ehrlich, Brian Hall and David O'Hagan. 'We have plenty of motivation that this year may be the one. The hunger level is definitely at another level. We want to win it not only for this group of seniors and our coaching staff, but also for the other players who have graduated who came so close.'

    Arizona State used eight pitchers on Sunday with Quentin Andes (5-1) being credited with the victory as the first of seven Sun Devil relievers was in the game when Arizona State took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the second. Andes gave up a hit and two walks in his 1.0 inning of work but did not allow a run. Zechry Zinicola earned his seventh save of the season by blanking the Cardinal on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts over the final 4.2 frames.

    Nick Cadena (2-2, 2B, RBI), Dustin Pedroia (2-5, 2B) and Joe Persichina (2-5, 2B, RBI) added two hits each for Arizona State, while Ryan McKenna drove in a pair of runs.

    Stanford starter Matt Leva (5-2) took the loss, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits and one walk over the first 1.1 innings.

    'We didn't play very well today,' conceded Marquess. 'We couldn't stop them, and we didn't pitch very well.'

    A full story will follow.

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