Stanford Returns To Baseball America Poll At No. 19

Feb. 6, 2006

Durham, N.C. - Stanford returned to the Baseball America national poll this week at No. 19 after sweeping preseason No. 5 Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series at Sunken Diamond this past Friday-Sunday. The Cardinal was unranked in the preseason poll in 2006 for the first time since the publication began the rankings in 1981. Stanford had been ranked by Baseball America for 227 consecutive polls from 1994-2005 before dropping out for the first time in 11 years on May 16, 2005.

Stanford's three-game season-opening sweep of the Titans included a pair of dramatic one-run victories. On Friday, Brendan Domaracki's pinch-hit one-out bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth plated Michael Taylor with the game-winning run in a 2-1 victory. John Hester scored on a balk with two outs in the bottom of the 10th in a thrilling 6-5 win on Saturday. Taylor and Chris Lewis homered and drove in two runs each in Sunday's 6-3 victory.

Seven Stanford freshman (Joey August, Jeremy Bleich, Jason Castro, Brent Milleville, Cord Phelps, Sean Ratliff, Austin Yount) played in the series and made some amazing contributions. All three winning pitchers (Bleich, Ratliff, Yount) were freshmen as the trio combined for a 3-0 record and a save (Bleich) without giving up a run and allowing just two hits in 9.0 innings of work. Yount and Castro each hit a home run with Yount also leading the club with four RBI, hitting a triple and going 3-for-7 (.429) in the series. August and Phelps didn't play in the first two games but got into the act on Sunday as both picked up their first collegiate hit in back-to-back fashion to start a key three-run Stanford rally in the fifth. In addition, Ratliff had an RBI on a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter Sunday.

The Cardinal also jumped 17 spots to No. 8 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, as well 10 places to No. 20 in the weekly survey conducted Rosenblatt Report. The NCBWA and USA Today rankings have yet to be released.

Stanford will return to action when the Cardinal hosts Kansas (4-1) in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond next Friday-Sunday, February 10-12 (5 pm, 1 pm, 11 am, PT).

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