No. 3 Stanford Hosts San Jose State Saturday To Begin Home-And-Home Weekend
May 2, 2008
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (May 2, 2008)
NO. 3 STANFORD CARDINAL (25-15-2, 10-5 Pac-10) SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (25-18, 12-11 WAC)
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (25-18, 12-11 WAC)
THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Sat. - RHP Austin Yount (2-2, 1.88 ERA, 24.0 IP, 9 SO) vs. LHP David Berner (2-5, 4.80 ERA, 65.2 IP, 52 SO)
Sun. - RHP Erik Davis (7-1, 3.75 ERA, 62.1 IP, 65 SO) vs. RHP Scott Sobczak (4-1, 3.86 ERA, 58.1 IP, 37 SO)
LIVE GAME COVERAGE:
STANFORD-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES HISTORY
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 80-31
2008 Results: First Meeting
2007 Results: (at San Jose State, March 27) Stanford 8-3 (10); (at Stanford, April 24) San Jose State 11-8
Stanford and San Jose State split the two meetings last season, with the Cardinal capturing an 8-3, 10-inning victory in the opener. Adam Sorgi drove in the eventual game-winner and the first of five 10th-inning runs for the Cardinal in that contest. On April 24, the Spartans reboudned with an 11-8 win, scoring 10 straight runs after falling behind 5-1 after the game's first two innings.
Current Game Win Streak: San Jose State - 1 (April 24, 2008)
Current Series Win Streak: Stanford - 2 (February 11-14, 1983 - February 22-23, 1985)
Current Season Series Win Streak: None
Series Notes: Stanford has won eight of the last nine meetings with San Jose State, with the Spartans' 11-8 victory last April 24 snapping an eight-game Cardinal winning streak in the series.
NOTES Marquess 10th On All-Time NCAA Division I Win List -
Stanford is currently tied with Arizona State atop the Pac-10 standings after the weekend of April 25-27. The Cardinal captured two of three from USC, but the Sun Devils' sweep of California enabled them to pull even as the teams sport identical 10-5 Pac-10 records. The Cardinal started league play with two-of-three series victories at home over Washington State and Arizona State before going on the road with the same results at Oregon State and UCLA. Oregon State moved into third place at 8-7 after taking two of three against Arizona. UCLA sits fourth at 6-6, while there is a three-team logjam in the No. 5 spot, with Arizona, California, and USC all at 7-8. Washington (5-7) and Washington State (3-9) round out the standings.
Cardinal Suffer Tough Comeback Losses - This week hasn't gotten off to the ideal start for Stanford, as the Cardinal dropped a pair of heart-breaking midweek road decisions. Monday night, Stanford led 8-4 about halfway through its battle at Santa Clara, but surrendered five runs in the fifth inning to fall behind 9-8, then after tying it at 9-9, SCU's Ryan Conan hit the tiebreaking home run in the eighth and the Broncos held on for the 10-8 win. Wednesday afternoon at UC Davis, the Cardinal led 8-4 heading into the eight inning, but the big inning struck Stanford once more, as the Aggies got four across and held for the 10-8 win.
Stanford Stays In Top 10 - Stanford moved up two spots to No. 3 in the latest Baseball America poll and stayed at No. 5 in the Rivals.com poll released on Monday, April 28. In the other most recent polls released on April 21, Stanford moved up two spots to No. 11 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings, hopped four spots to No. 12 on the USA Today/ESPN list and four spots to No. 18 in the NCBWA poll.
Castro's Bat Staying Hot - Junior 1B Jason Castro continues to wield a big stick this week, going a combined 5-for-10 in Monday and Wednesday's contests to stretch his season-best hitting streak to 11 games. During this current streak, Castro is batting .533 (16-for-30) with a triple, two home runs, and 13 RBI. Monday at Santa Clara, Castro went 3-for-5 at the plate with his 10th home run of the season and scored a pair of runs.
Taking Advantage Of PT - Freshman 3B Colin Walsh made just his third and fourth starts of the season in Stanford's past two games, and he did not disappoint, batting a combined .625 (5-for-8) with four RBI. Walsh, who has seen action in 17 games this season, also had a pinch-hit single Sunday against USC, giving him a three-game hitting streak, and raising his season average from .167 to .333.
Consistency In Relief - Another freshman who seems to be hitting his stride as of late is RHP Alex Pracher, who over his last four appearances has allowed just one earned run and struck out 10 batters in 10.2 innings of work. Pracher, who had a 10.19 ERA before this four-game stint, has lowered his ERA to 6.83 with his solid performances, and also collected his first collegiate win after tossing five scoreless innings of relief and striking out five in April 23's 7-4 win over Saint Mary's.
Home Field 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 325-108 (.751) 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 a 16-8 start in its first 24 home games of 2008.
Lighting Up The Scoreboard - The Cardinal offense has had no problem lately producing runs, as it has scored 76 runs over its past seven games, highlighted by an incredible output of 26 runs in April 26's 26-5 win against USC. The 76 runs over seven games averages out to 10.86 runs per game. April 26's total of 26 runs was the second-most that the Cardinal had scored over the last 50 seasons, behind only a 28-3 victory over San Francisco on Jan. 31, 1983.
Series Win Streak Extended To 12 In A Row - Stanford extended its string of regular season three-game series victories to 12 dating back to the final three series of 2007 by winning the first two games of its most recent series at home against USC (April 25-27). 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 has also won seven straight Pac-10 series to tie its longest conference series win streak, when it took seven league series in a row during the same run of 15 straight overall.
Starting Rotation Pitching Well - Stanford's three primary starters have pitched well in 2008. Erik Davis (7-1, 3.75, 62.1 IP, 65 SO) struggled early but has been unbelievable of late with four consecutive complete games from March 29-April 19, and victories in each of his last six starts, combining for a 6-0 record and a 2.57 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 49.0 innings. Jeffrey Inman (5-2, 3.40, 39.2 IP, 22 SO) had won four straight starts and given up just two earned runs over 24.2 frames during the period before suffering losses in his past two starts against UCLA and USC. Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.38, 26.0 IP, 18 SO) equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich has suffered two 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.
Stop The Skid - Stanford's current three-game losing streak marks the only time this season that it has lost more than two consecutive contests.
Busy Schedule - Stanford is 29 games into a stretch of 32 contests over a 42-day period from March 21 - May 5.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2542-1593-34 (.614) in 4169 games over 115-plus seasons. Stanford has won two College World Series titles in its 15 trips to Omaha and finished second on three other occasions, while winning at least one game in every CWS appearance. The Cardinal has added five NCAA Super Regional titles, 14 NCAA Regional crowns and 20 conference championships.
Stringer Nearing All-Time Save List - David Stringer has 10 career saves and is now just one shy of tying Aaron Dorlarque (1989-92) for 10th place.
Significantly Better Pitching And Fielding In 2008 - Stanford has had much better pitching and fielding numbers in 2008. Stanford has recorded a 4.34 ERA that is 1.67 points better than the 6.01 the team recorded as the highest mark in school history in 2007. The Cardinal's .972 fielding percentage is nine points ahead of last year's .963 and only .005 points shy of the school record .977.
Day And Night - Stanford has been significantly better this season during the day (16-5-2) than at night (9-10).
Better Against The Best - Stanford is 8-3-1 against ranked squads (according to Baseball America at the time of the game) and 17-12-1 versus teams not in the Baseball America poll at the time of the game.
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 are yet to play a position or hit.
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.
2008 Honors - Stanford's Jason Castro, Erik Davis, Cord Phelps and Sean Ratliff have already received 2008 honors. Ratliff is on the 2008 Wallace Award Watch List and was also named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on April 7. Castro was selected as the Stanford Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week on April 29, and Phelps earned the same honor April 15. Davis, meanwhile, was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on April 22.
Honors Candidates - Stanford has many players worthy of honors consideration in 2008. Jason Castro, Erik Davis, Jeffrey Inman Randy Molina, Cord Phelps and Sean Ratliff have all been nominated for NCBWA All-American recognition.
Rookies Making Case For Freshmen All-American Honors - Stanford has had a total of 14 freshmen play over the first 42 games with three making legitimate noise for Freshman All-American consideration. Reliever Drew Storen (1-3, 3.78, 4 SV, 33.1 IP, 34 SO) arguably has the best case to be considered among the nation's top freshmen. Storen paces the team in both saves and appearances (19). Zach Jones (.279, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 8 SB) and Jake Schlander (.233, 19 RBI, 2 SB) have made the biggest impact among position players and are not far behind Storen in worthiness of a spot on Freshmen All-American squads. The duo has spent nearly the entire season as the team's left side of the infield with Schlander starting all 42 of the team's games at shortstop and Jones making 37 starts (36 at third base). Although Schlander has struggled offensively, he has made just six errors in the field in 165 defensive chances for a .965 fielding percentage as the team's shortstop. Ben Clowe (.318, 2 HR, 6 RBI) has also started to make an impact offensively and had a recent career-high five-game hit streak that included a double, two homers, five RBI and a .400 (6-15) batting average from April 12-18.
Two Unfinished Games Officially Ruled Ties - Non-conference games against Saint Mary's on March 5 in Moraga and California on April 7 in Berkeley have both officially been ruled as ties. Neither game was able to be completed due to darkness. The Stanford-Saint Mary's contest was tied 7-7 after nine innings, while the Stanford-California game was knotted up at 5-5 after 13 frames.
Next Up - Following this weekend's home-and-home series against San Jose State, Stanford hosts Pacific at Klein Field for a 6 p.m. Monday night contest. The Cardinal then hit the road the following day for a 3 p.m. contest at San Francisco, then host the California Golden Bears for a three-game weekend series beginning with Friday's 6 p.m. opener, and continuing with 1 p.m. starts Saturday and Sunday.
Catch The Cardinal On The Tube - Stanford will have one more upcoming regular season game televised this regular season. The Stanford-California series finale on Sunday, May 11 (1 pm, PT) will be televised live locally by Comcast SportsNet.
Marquess 10th On All-Time NCAA Division I Win List -Mark Marquess ranks 10th on the all-time win list for NCAA Division I coaches with an all-time record of 1310-660-7 (.664) over 1977 games. Marquess' current win total (all at Stanford) also ranks him sixth among active coaches.