Stanford Baseball To Begin 2006 Team Practice Friday

Jan. 11, 2006

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford Baseball will begin official team practice for the 2006 season at Sunken Diamond this Friday, January 13. The Cardinal will conduct three weeks of team practice sessions before opening its 2006 campaign by hosting perennial national power and No. 5 ranked Cal State Fullerton in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond from Friday-Sunday, February 3-5 (5 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm).

'We are excited to get started again,' said Mark Marquess, who begins his 30th season as the team's head coach in 2006. 'Everybody begins the year with a clean slate.'

Stanford will be starting the 2006 campaign in unfamiliar territory, as the Cardinal is unranked in the annual Baseball America preseason poll for the first time ever. The poll has been in existence since 1981. The Cardinal is ranked No. 25 in Collegiate Baseball's annual preseason list of the country's Fabulous 40.

Stanford is coming off a 2005 season in which the Cardinal extended its school-record string of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championship to 12 in a row, reaching the championship game at the NCAA Waco Regional before falling to host and eventual College World Series participant Baylor. Stanford finished the 2005 campaign with a 34-25 overall record and a 12-12 mark in the Pac-10 to tie for sixth in the conference. The Cardinal was not ranked by Baseball America at the end of the 2005 campaign.

Stanford's 34-player roster in 2006 includes 19 players from last year's team and 15 newcomers. The returnees include six position player starters and seven of the nine pitchers who saw action on the hill for the Cardinal in 2005 among a total of 15 letterwinners.

Stanford has been involved in NCAA postseason play 26 times. The Cardinal has won a pair of College World Series titles (1987, '88) in its 15 CWS appearances and been runners-up on three other occasions (2000, '01, '03), the latter during a recent school record run of five straight trips to Omaha (1999-2003). Stanford has also won five NCAA Super Regional crowns (1999, 2000, '01, '02, '03) and 20 conference championships (1924, '25, '27, '31, '50, '53, '66, '67, '83, '84, '85, '87, '90, '94, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '03, '04), which includes shared and Pac-10 Southern Division titles.

Following the season-opening series versus Cal State Fullerton, Stanford continues a 10-game homestand to begin the season by hosting Kansas (February 10-12), defending national champion Texas (February 17-19) and Nevada (February 20).

The team will then hit the road for 10 straight contests at Fresno State (February 24-26), California (March 3-5), San Jose State (March 7) and USC (March 10-12) before taking its annual March break for finals.

After 12 days off, the Cardinal will return to action with its first Pac-10 series of the campaign against Washington State (March 25-27) to open a seven-game homestand that also includes a conference set against USC (March 31 - April 2) and a non-league game versus Sacramento State (April 4).

Stanford will play away from home for nine of its next 10 contests, beginning with non-conference battles at Pacific (April 5) and Santa Clara (April 10) before its lone home game of the stretch versus San Francisco (April 11). The Cardinal returns to the road with two consecutive league series at Oregon State (April 13-15) and Arizona (April 21-23) sandwiching a non-conference contest at Sacramento State (April 18).

Stanford then comes back to Sunken Diamond for an eight-game homestand as Santa Clara (April 25), Arizona State (April 28-30), San Jose State (May 2) and California (May 5-7) come to The Farm.

Another heavy stretch of road contests follows with eight of the team's final 11 regular season games away from home. The Cardinal plays at Santa Clara (May 9), followed by the club's last two Pac-10 series at Washington (May 12-14) and UCLA (May 19-21) that wrap around a home game against Santa Clara (May 16). Stanford will be out of league action in the final week of the regular season with Pacific (May 23) visiting Sunken Diamond, before a two-game home-and-home series versus UC Davis (May 26 at Stanford, May 27 at UC Davis).

Stanford has nine games on its 2006 schedule against three teams (Arizona State, Oregon State, Texas) that participated in the 2005 College World Series. The 2006 Cardinal slate includes 29 home games and 27 road contests.

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