Stanford And Texas To Square Off In Series Rubber Game Sunday
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (March 9, 2008)
STANFORD CARDINAL (7-4, 0-0)
TEXAS LONGHORNS (9-3, 0-0)
SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS (1:00 pm, CT/11:00 am, PT)
RHP Jeffrey Inman (1-0, 3.52) vs. RHP Cole Green (0-0, 4.22)
LIVE GAME COVERAGE: Stanford Audio (Topher Anderson, Kyle McRae) | Gametracker
STANFORD-TEXAS SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 22-20-1
2008 Results: (at Texas, March 7) Texas 5-2 | (at Texas, March 8) Stanford 6-5
Jason Castro's two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning helped Stanford avoid a shutout but Austin Wood and Chance Ruffin held the Cardinal to just those two runs and six hits to win the first game of the current series between the teams, 5-2. In the second game, another two-run homer in the seventh inning by Castro gave the Cardinal the lead for good in a 6-5 victory as Drew Storen tossed 3.2 innings of scoreless relief to record his first collegiate win.
2007 Results: (at Texas -- The Dell Diamond, February 16-18) Texas 5-3, Texas 5-2, Stanford 10-8
Texas' pitching dominated the first two games of the series, limiting the Cardinal to a combined five runs and striking out 26 Stanford batters. The Cardinal offense finally broke loose in the series finale in a 10-8 Stanford win that featured a series of late inning heroics, including four Cardinal runs in the top of the ninth to snap a 6-6 tie and an outstanding defensive play by Brent Millevile that thwarted a Texas ninth inning rally.
Current Game Win Streak: Stanford - 1 (March 8, 2008)
Current Series Win Streak: Texas - 1 (February 16-18, 2007)
Current Season Series Win Streak: Texas - 1 (2007)
Series Notes: Stanford can win its first regular season three-game series over Texas in Austin with a victory on Sunday. Although, Stanford has lost seven of its last nine regular season games to Texas in Austin, the Cardinal has still had its share of success both at Texas and against the Longhorns in general. The 2006 NCAA Austin Regional was the site of one of the brightest moments in recent Stanford history when a third-seeded Cardinal club swept the Regional with three straight dominating victories and knocked out top-seeded and defending national champions Texas in the process. Since the teams began meeting on a regular basis again in 1998 Stanford holds a slim 19-17-1 advantage. Stanford also swept a doubleheader against the Longhorns to win a 2001 NCAA Regional at Stanford on one of the most memorable days in the history of Stanford Baseball.
National Polls Taking Notice Of Stanford - After winning four of five games last week to improve its record to 6-2 (now 7-4 after losing two of three games since), Stanford moved onto the radar screens of the national polls. The latest polls released on Monday, March 3, had Stanford ranked No. 25 in both the USA Today/ESPN and Rivals.com polls, while the NCBWA had the Cardinal ranked No. 30. The last time the Cardinal had been ranked in any poll was when Stanford checked in at No. 28 in the NCBWA poll on February 12, 2007.
Series Win Streak On The Line Sunday - Stanford can extend its current streak of consecutive regular season three-game series victories to six with a win at Texas on Sunday, March 9. The team's current five-series streak is the club's longest regular season three-game series win streak since the Cardinal won an amazing 15 straight regular season three-game series from May 3, 2003 - May 4, 2004.
11-Day Break After March 9 Game At Texas - Following the finale of its current series at Texas, Stanford will be out of action for 11 days to take winter quarter finals. The Cardinal returns home for one game to host Pacific on Friday, February 21, and then will be back in the road for three games at Pacific (Saturday, March 22; Monday, March 24) and Sacramento State (Tuesday, March 25) before hosting Washington State to open Pac-10 action Friday-Sunday, March 28-30.
Stanford Perfect On Several Accounts - Stanford has yet to suffer a loss in a one-run game (3-0), on the weekend (3-0 Saturday, 1-0 Sunday), in a rubber game (1-0), when leading after five innings (5-0) or when leading after eight frames (6-0)
Marquess Eight Wins From Top 10 And 1300 - Stanford head coach Mark Marquess now has 1292 career wins and is just eight victories from cracking into the Top 10 on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I coaches. Marquess' current total (all at Stanford) ranks him 11th on the all-time list and sixth among active coaches.
Saint Mary's Stats Don't Count ... Yet - Statistics from a game at Saint Mary's on March 5 that was halted due to darkness with the score tied 7-7 after nine complete innings won't show up on Stanford's stat sheet until the game is completed before another regularly scheduled contest between the teams on April 23 at Stanford. When the stats finally do get added to the stat sheet, Jason Castro, Zach Jones and Cord Phelps will all have another homer with Castro increasing his total number of hits by four.
Hot Starts At The Plate - Jason Castro leads all regulars with a .385 batting average and also has team-highs of five homers and 15 RBI. Cord Phelps (.372, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 SB), Randy Molina (.370, 1 HR, 10 RBI) and Joey August (.333, 3 RBI) are other regulars (2.5 AB per game) hitting .333 or better.
Jeremy Bleich Equals Win Total Of 2007 - Jeremy Bleich equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich suffered his first loss of the season at Texas in his most recent outing on March 7, his ERA actually went down 23 points as only one of the five runs scored against him was earned. Bleich is now 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his fist three starts, striking out 12 in 18.1 innings of work.
Stringer Nearing All-Time Save List - David Stringer recorded saves in his first two appearances this season to run his career total to 10. He is now just one shy of tying Aaron Dorlarque (1989-92) for 10th place.
Freshmen Making Their Mark - Stanford has had a total of 12 freshmen play over the first eight games. The list includes Ben Clowe, Dave Giuliani, Zach Jones, Jonathan Kaskow, Kellen Kiilsgaard, Michael Marshall, Alex Pracher, Danny Sandbrink, Jake Schlander, Drew Storen, Billy Vernon and Colin Walsh. Jones (.282, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB) and Schlander (.171, 4 RBI) have been regulars with Jones starting the team's last nine games (eight at third base) and Schlander starting all 11 at shortstop. Jones has had two huge hits in back-to-back contests with the game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth against Cal State Fullerton on March 2 and a three-run seventh inning homer that tied a game the Cardinal eventually lost at California on March 4. Although he has struggled offensively, Schlander has been perfect in the field in 41 chances. Pracher (0-0, 4.05) and Storen (1-1, 4.35, 1 SV) co-lead the team with four appearances. Clowe (.444) has had success in limited action with four hits in his nine at bats.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2525-1582-32 (.614) in 4139 games over 115 seasons. Stanford has also won two College World Series titles in its 15 trips to Omaha and finished second on three other occasions. The Cardinal has added five NCAA Super Regional titles, 14 NCAA Regional crowns and 20 conference championships.
Major Improvement On The Mound - Stanford has made a major improvement on the mound in its first 10 games of 2008 compared to last season. This year, Stanford has recorded a 4.55 ERA to this point after posting the worst mark in school history in 2007 with a 6.01 final mark.
Home Advantage - Stanford has a nice home field advantage at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond throughout the years. The facility has served as a host site for 13 NCAA Regionals, as well as NCAA Super Regionals on five occasions. Stanford has clinched 10 of its 15 trips to the CWS at Sunken Diamond. Stanford has had 43 consecutive winning seasons at home and recorded at least 17 home wins in each of its last 12 campaigns. Stanford has never had a losing season at Klein Field At Sunken Diamond in the school's recorded history. The Cardinal is off to a 6-2 start in its first eight home games of 2008.
Huge Roster And Pitching Staff - Stanford has 45 players on its 2008 roster with 23 of those listed as either a pitcher or a two-way player. Stanford may need a lot of depth, especially on the mound, in the first year of college baseball's condensed season as the Cardinal is still scheduled to play 56 regular season games in approximately three weeks less time than the club has in the past.
Five Two-Way Players On The Roster - Stanford has five two-way players listed on the roster in Brendan Domaracki (OF/RHP), Michael Marshall (1B/RHP), Sean Ratliff (OF/LHP), Drew Storen (RHP/3B) and Austin Yount (3B/RHP). Ratliff and Yount have both already contributed onlate the mound and at the plate. Domaracki has played but yet to pitch, while Storen and Marshall have both pitched but yet to play a position or hit.
Familiar Face Back As Pitching Coach - Former Stanford and MLB pitcher Jeff Austin is back on The Farm in his first season as the team's pitching coach 10 years after he completed his Stanford playing career in 1998. Austin was the NCAA Player of the Year in that season and went on to play in the big leagues with the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds.
Sean Ratliff On Wallace Award Watch List - Sean Ratliff is currently on the Wallace Award Watch List for the honor given annually by the College Baseball Foundation to the top college player in the nation. Ratliff was a First Team All-Pac-10 choice in 2007 when he hit .339 with 12 HR and 45 RBI. He is hitting .270 with a homer, five RBI and three stolen bases in his first 11 contests of 2008.