No. 15 Stanford Opens NCAA Regional Action At Home
May 28, 2008
Stanford, Calif. -
STANFORD BASEBALL GAME NOTES (May 30-June 2, 2008)
NO. 16 STANFORD CARDINAL (33-21-2, 14-10 Pac-10) UC DAVIS AGGIES (34-22, 13-11 Big West)
UC DAVIS AGGIES (34-22, 13-11 Big West)
THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
LIVE GAME COVERAGE:
All-Time Series: Stanford leads 41-11
2008 Results: (at Stanford, April 9) UC Davis 9-8 (12); (at UC Davis, April 30) UC Davis 10-8
UC Davis captured the two regular-season meetings with Stanford in 2008 after overcoming significant deficits for late victories on each occasion. On April 9 at Stanford, the Aggies scored three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to overcome deficits of 7-3 and 8-6 late to force extra innings. In the 12th inning, Matt Dempsey's two-out RBI single provided the go-ahead run that would hold for the win. On the final day of the month, in Davis, Stanford turned a 5-2 deficit into an 8-5 lead late, but Davis scored five unanswered runs, including four in the eighth, to steal the 10-8 win.
2007 Results:(at Stanford, May 22) Stanford 4-3 (13)
Sean Ratliff's bunt single with two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning scored pinch-runner J.J. Jelmini with the game-winning run. David Stringer earned the victory with 5.2 innings of scoreless three-hit relief and struck out a season-high six in the final home game of the 2007 season.
Current Game Win Streak: UC Davis - 2 (April 9 & 30, 2008)
Current Series Win Streak: UC Davis - 1 (May 26-27, 2006)
Current Season Series Win Streak: UC Davis - 1 (2008)
Series Notes: Stanford begins regional play looking for its first win of the season against UC Davis, which captured the only two meetings between the teams in the regular season. Although Stanford leads the overall series, 41-11, over UC Davis, the Aggies have captured four of the last five meetings dating back to a two-game series from May 26-27, 2006.
Stanford Hosts NCAA Regional For 14th Time - NCAA Regional action comes to Stanford's Klein Field At Sunken Diamond for the 14th time this weekend, as the top-seeded Cardinal host No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 3 Arkansas, and No. 4 UC Davis in the double-elimination format. The Waves and Razorbacks open up the regional Friday at 1 p.m., with the Cardinal-Aggies matchup to follow at 5 p.m. Stanford will be seeking its 15th Regional title this weekend and a berth in one of next week's eight NCAA Super Regionals as 2008 marks the school's 28th career postseason appearance.
Cardinal Finish Regular Season With Series Victory - Stanford captured its first series victory of the month of May, and snapped a two-series skid this past weekend when it took two of three games from the Washington Huskies in Seattle. The weekend opened with Austin Yount stealing the show as he struck out 10 batters over his first-career complete game in Friday's 9-4 victory. Cord Phelps, Joey August, and Brent Milleville all delivered home runs in the contest, as Stanford scored five straight to break an early 4-4 tie and take the opener. On a warm Saturday afternoon, Stanford overcame deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 by scoring three runs in each of the final two innings en route to the 8-5 win. Joey August and Cord Phelps each had three hits, with Phelps driving in three runs, August two, and Sean Ratliff bombing his 18th home run of the season. Despite Sunday's 7-4 loss to close the regular season, the Cardinal still received the welcome news Sunday afternoon that it had been selected as one of 16 NCAA Regional host sites.
Stanford In The National Polls - Stanford rose to No. 15 in the latest polls from Baseball America and rivals.com this past Monday, May 26, marking its highest spots in the various national rankings. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper had the Cardinal remaining at No. 16, the USA Today/ESPN list dropped the Cardinal a spot to No. 18, and Stanford remained at No. 20 in the NCBWA poll.
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 1318-666-7 (.664) over 1991 games. Marquess' current win total (all at Stanford) also ranks him sixth among active coaches.
History Of Postseason Success- Stanford heads into this weekend's NCAA Regional sporting one of the top postseason resumes among the field of 64. Over its previous 27 postseason appearances, the Cardinal has posted a record of 120-60, been one of only four teams to capture back-to-back College World Series titles (1987 & '88), made five total appearances in the CWS championship game, and punched 15 tickets to the CWS in Omaha since its first trip in 1953. At the regional level, Stanford has captured 14 Regional titles, most recently the 2006 Austin (Texas) Regional, where the Cardinal won three straight, culminating in a 17-7 championship game victory over North Carolina State. Stanford boasts a 68-25 overall record over its 14 previous regional appearances, and has also captured five Super Regionals in six appearances.
Finish Strong - With this weekend marking the end of the regular season, the Cardinal want to finish things off on a successful note, especially with the NCAA Selection Committee watching. The 16 host sites for the NCAA Regionals, set to take place from May 30-June 2, will be announced Sunday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2. Collecting a big series win on the road could be just the thing Stanford needs to convince the committee to bring a 14th Regional to Stanford.
Bangers And Mash - The Cardinal got the big hits and the long ball this past weekend in snapping its two-series losing streak in Seattle. Home runs by Cord Phelps, Brent Milleville, and Joey August helped set the tone for the weekend in Stanford's 9-4 series-opening win. While August's homer was his first of the season, Phelps, who hit his 11th, and Milleville, who clubbed his ninth, added to Stanford's already impressive home run total. On the year, the Cardinal have hit 66 home runs, fourth-most in the Pac-10, and are led by Sean Ratliff, whose season total of 18 dingers is just two behind conference leader Brett Wallace of Arizona State. Ratliff also paces four Cardinal players with at least nine home runs, as Jason Castro is tied with Phelps for second on the club with 11 home runs.
In For The Long Haul - Sophomore RHP/DH Austin Yount had memorable moments both on the mound and at the plate this past weekend. Friday night, Yount tossed the first complete game of his collegiate career, striking out a career-high 10 batters in Stanford's 9-4 win over Washington. The following day, Yount was called upon to pinch-hit with one on and none out in the eighth inning, with Stanford trailing 4-2. His clutch play continued, as Yount smacked a base hit up the middle to keep the embers of the rally burning, and Stanford went on to score three runs to take a 5-4 lead that led to an 8-5 victory.
Help From Phelps - Despite having his six-game hitting streak snapped over the weekend, junior 2B Cord Phelps has put together quite the regular season, leading the team with a .440 on-base percentage, 35 walks, and 62 runs scored while sitting second in batting (.344), hits (74), doubles (12), home runs (11), and at bats (215). Phelps also gets the job done with his feet and glove, being third on the team with six stolen bases, and sporting a .978 fielding percentage in the Cardinal middle infield.
Pick Your Poison - Stanford will get the opportunity to showcase its stellar pitching rotation at this weekend's regional, as RHP Erik Davis (7-2, 4.22 ERA, 85.1 IP, 83 SO), RHP Austin Yount (4-3, 3.88 ERA, 48.2 IP, 25 SO), and Jeffrey Inman (7-2, 4.26 ERA, 57.0 IP, 35 SO) are set to lead the way for the rotation. Yet RHP Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.24 ERA, 29.0 IP, 22 SO), who returned from a layoff Sunday to make his first start since March 28, is also waiting in the wings for his opportunity in the Cardinal's potent four-man postseason rotation.
Winning Weekend Record In 2008 - Stanford captured 10 of its 12 three-game weekend series of 2008, and had won 12 straight dating back to the 2007 season before dropping two of three at home to California from May 9-11. Stanford's longest regular season three-game series win streak was a run of 15 straight regular season three-game series from May 3, 2003 - May 4, 2004. Up until the weekend against California, Stanford had 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 (7-2, 4.22, 85.1 IP, 83 SO) struggled early but boucned back to post four consecutive complete games from March 29-April 19, and a 6-1 record in his last 10 starts. Jeffrey Inman (7-2, 4.26, 57.0 IP, 35 SO) had won five straight starts and given up just two earned runs over 24.2 frames during the period before suffering losses in two starts against UCLA and USC. Jeremy Bleich (2-2, 1.24, 29.0 IP, 22 SO) equaled his win total in all of 2007 with victories in each of his first two outings of 2008. Although Bleich had suffered two losses and a no decision in his three starts from March 7-28, his ERA actually went down 81 points in those three starts as only one of the 12 runs scored against him was earned.
Fifth All-Time Winningest Program - Stanford is the fifth all-time winningest program in college baseball history with a record of 2550-1599-34 (.614) in 4183 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.
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 now had 44 consecutive winning seasons at home and recorded at least 17 home wins in each of its last 13 campaigns with an amazing 329-110 (.749) 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 18-8 start in its first 26 home games of 2008.
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 4.54 ERA that is 1.47 points better than the 6.01 the team recorded as the highest mark in school history in 2007. The Cardinal's .975 fielding percentage is 12 points ahead of last year's .963 and only .002 points shy of the school record .977.
Home Field Advantage- Stanford has had a nice home field advantage at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond throughout the years. The facility has now served as a host site for 14 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. The Cardinal boast an incredible 39-9 (.813) home record in regional play, and an overall mark of 51-13 (.797) in the postseason at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. Stanford has now had 44 consecutive winning seasons at home and recorded at least 17 home wins in each of its last 13 campaigns with an amazing 331-112 (.747) 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 turned in a 20-10 record in its 30 regular-season home games of 2008.
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.
Better Against The Best- Stanford is 9-5-1 against ranked squads (according to Baseball America at the time of the game) and 24-16-1 versus teams not in the Baseball America poll at the time of the game.
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 is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher, and Phelps earned the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week 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, Sean Ratliff, Drew Storen, and Brent Milleville have all been nominated for All-American recognition from the various publications that announce teams (NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, ABCA).
Rookies Making Case For Freshmen All-American Honors - Stanford has had a total of 14 freshmen play over the first 53 games with three making legitimate noise for Freshman All-American consideration. Reliever Drew Storen (2-3, 2.89, 6 SV, 43.2 IP, 41 SO) arguably has the best case to be considered among the nation's top freshmen. Storen paces the team in both saves and appearances (24). Zach Jones (.269, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 9 SB) and Jake Schlander (.225, 22 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 56 of the team's games at shortstop and Jones making 53 starts (48 at third base). Although Schlander has struggled offensively, he has made just seven errors in the field in 229 defensive chances for a .969 fielding percentage as the team's shortstop. Ben Clowe (.286, 2 HR, 6 RBI) has also had an impact offensively and had a 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 - This weekend's NCAA Regional at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond determines if Stanford's 2008 season continues or comes to a close. Should the Cardinal capture its 15th regional title this weekend, it will advance to the NCAA Super Regional Round to face the winner of the Fullerton Regional, hosted by CS Fullerton.