No. 13 Stanford Hosts No. 10 Long Beach State Monday
March 31, 2008
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (March 31, 2008)
No. 10 LONG BEACH STATE 49ERS (17-7, 0-0 Big West)
NO. 13 STANFORD CARDINAL (12-7, 2-1 Pac-10)
STANFORD-LONG BEACH STATE SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 7-4 (since 1959)
Last Meeting: (NCAA Super Regional at Stanford, June 4, 6, 2004) Long Beach State 7-4, Long Beach State 8-4
Long Beach State took both games played between the teams to advance in a 2004 NCAA Super Regional at Stanford. Troy Tulowitzki hit two homers and Jared Weaver held the Cardinal to five hits over 8.0 innings in the opener. Sean Boatright, John Bowker and Tulowitzki homered in the second contest in support of winning pitcher Cesar Ramos to send The Beach to its first College World Series since 1998. Chris Minaker had three hits in the opener for the Cardinal, while Chris Carter and John Mayberry, Jr. homered in the second contest.
Last Regular Season Meeting: (at Long Beach State, March 29, 1990) Stanford 12-8
Current Game Win Streak: Long Beach State - 2 (June 4, 6, 2004)
Current Series Win Streak: None
Current Season Series Win Streak: Long Beach State - 1 (2004)
Series Notes: A pair of teams that have been fierce postseason rivals in recent years will meet in the regular season for the first time since 1990 today. The team's recent meetings in the postseason most recently included Long Beach State's two-game NCAA Super Regional sweep of the Cardinal at Stanford in 2004. The 49ers were returning the favor after Stanford had ended Long Beach State's 2003 campaign by also winning both games of an NCAA Super Regional at Stanford. The Cardinal also swept the 49ers in a pair of games during the 2002 NCAA Regional at Stanford. Back in 1998, Long Beach State sent a Stanford team that had been ranked No. 1 for most of the season home in another NCAA Regional at Stanford. The teams have played just one regular season game at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in recorded history when Stanford was an 8-5 winner on April 12, 1960.
Stanford Moves Up To No. 13 In Baseball America's Poll - Stanford shot up four spots to No. 13 in the latest Baseball America poll released on Monday, March 31. Stanford has now been ranked by at least one poll for each of the past five weeks after starting the campaign unranked. Other current polls have the Cardinal checking in as high as No. 14 by Rivals.com. USA Today/ESPN has Stanford at No. 21, while Stanford comes in at No. 28 in Collegiate Baseball's poll and No. 29 in the current NCBWA rankings.
Stanford Extends Series Win Streak To Eight - Stanford won the final two games of its most recent series versus Washington State to extend its current string of regular season three-game series victories to eight. The current streak is Stanford's longest regular season three-game series win streak since the Cardinal won 15 straight regular season three-game series from May 3, 2003 - May 4, 2004.
Stanford Snaps Pac-10 Series-Opener And Washington State Series Skids - Stanford's two-of-three series victory over Washington State snapped two-game series skids both in Pac-10 opening series and to Washington State. Stanford had won nine consecutive Pac-10 series-openers before losing two-of-three at home to Washington State in 2006 and being swept in its first Pac-10 series of 2007 at UCLA. Stanford had also won all seven series against Washington State since the teams began playing on a regular basis again in 1999 when the Pac-10 North and South merged into one league before the Cougars took two-of-three in both 2006 and 2007.
Marquess Three Wins From Top 10 And 1300 - Mark Marquess now has 1297 career wins and is just four 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. His accomplishments were featured in an Associated Press article that ran on March 26.
Stanford Perfect On Several Accounts - Stanford has yet to suffer a loss on the weekend with a perfect 8-0 mark as the Cardinal is 5-0 on Saturdays and 3-0 on Sundays. Stanford has also not lost in a rubber game (4-0), a three-game series finale (5-0), when leading after five innings (10-0), when ahead after eight frames (11-0) or a one-run game (3-0).
Home Advantage - Stanford has had 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 with an amazing 317-104 (.753) home mark over the last 12-plus seasons. Stanford has never had a losing season at Klein Field At Sunken Diamond in the school's recorded history. The Cardinal is off to an 8-4 start in its first 12 home games of 2008.
Road Win Streak Snapped - Stanford had won four in a row away from Klein Field at Sunken Diamond before falling at Sacramento State, 5-3, in its most recent game on March 25.
Busy Schedule - Stanford is seven games into a stretch where the Cardinal will play 29 games over a 37-day period from March 21 - April 30 that includes five consecutive five-game weeks.
The .400 Club - Cord Phelps (.419, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 5 SB) and Randy Molina (.404, 1 HR, 16 RBI) are both at or above the .400 mark, as is part-time starter Austin Yount (.417, 0 HR, 5 RBI) although Yount does not have enough at bats to officially qualify for team, Pac-10 and NCAA leaders.
Starting Rotation Pitching Well - Stanford's three starters have pitched well in 2008. Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.38) equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich has suffered losses and a no decision in his last three starts, his ERA has actually gone down 81 points in those three starts as only one of the 12 runs scored against him was earned. Erik Davis (3-1, 5.22) struggled early but has arguably been the team's best pitcher in his last two starts, combining for a 2-0 record and a 2.81 ERA with a complete game and 18 strikeouts in 16.0 innings. Jeffrey Inman (3-0, 1.44, 25.0 IP, 18 SO) has been excellent in his last two starts as well with 13.1 scoreless frames, scattering 11 hits and walking just one with 13 strikeouts over the stretch.
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.
Starting Strong - Stanford has outscored its opponents in the first inning this season, 29-4.
Freshmen Making Their Mark - Stanford has had a total of 12 freshmen play over the first 19 games. Zach Jones (.227, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 SB) and Jake Schlander (.186, 7 RBI, 1 SB) have made the biggest impact among position players regulars with Jones starting the team's last 17 games (16 at third base) and Schlander starting all 19 at shortstop. Although he has struggled offensively, Schlander has made just two errors in the field in 77 defensive chances for a .974 fielding percentage. Drew Storen (1-1, 3.52, 1 SV) has arguably been the team's top reliever and co-leads the team with his seven appearances along with fellow freshman Alex Pracher (0-0, 8.64, 1 SV). Ben Clowe (.375) has had success in limited action with six hits in 16 at bats.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2530-1585-32 (.614) in 4147 games over 115 seasons. Stanford has 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.
Better Pitching And Fielding - Stanford has better pitching and fielding numbers in 2008. The biggest improvement has come on the mound, where Stanford has recorded a 4.31 ERA after posting the worst mark in school history in 2007 with a 6.01 final mark. The Cardinal's .970 fielding mark is .007 points ahead of last year's .963, while the team's .302 batting average is just .003 behind last year's .305.
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 on 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.
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 on pace to produce similar numbers this season as he is hitting .324 with five homers, 17 RBI and three stolen bases in his first 19 contests of 2008.