Baseball to Host Pepperdine This Weekend
March 16, 2010
• No. 23-ranked Stanford (7-4) after taking a week off for finals, return home for seven of its next eight, hosting West Coast Conference foe, Pepperdine (6-9) in a three-game series starting on Friday at a later than usual 6:30 p.m. start. Saturday is at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Friday | 6:30 p.m. | Watch | Gametracker | LHP Matt Bywater (1-2, 1.59) v. RHP Jordan Pries (1-1, 5.00)
Saturday | 2 p.m. | Watch | Gametracker | RHP Cole Cook (1-2, 2.70) v. LHP Scott Snodgress (0-1, 5.11)
Sunday | 1 p.m. | Watch | Gametracker | LHP Robert Dickmann (3-1, 4.78) v. LHP Brett Mooneyham (0-2, 11.81)
Stanford will play at the University of the Pacific next Tuesday, prior to opening up Pac-10 play with USC at the end of March. Stanford will play its next 17 games in the state of California, traveling to UCLA to begin April as its only out-of-area road trip until Oregon State and Corvallis in mid-April. Freshman third baseman Kenny Diekroeger leads the club with a .382 average, while junior second baseman Colin Walsh is hitting at a .325 clip.
• Coached by sixth-year head coach Steve Rodriguez, the Waves, who are off until this weekend, are 6-9 on the young season. Starting pitching has been impressive, as LHP Matt Bywater has a 1.59 ERA over four starts, while RHP Cole Cook has a 2.70 ERA. Neither Cook nor Bywater (both 1-2) have winning records, despite their sub-2.00 ERAs. LHP Robert Dickmann is the win leader at 3-1. At the plate infielder Joe Sever has a .333 average with a team-best 13 runs, while infielder Torrey Jacoby is also batting .333. Sever also has a team-best seven steals. The team has made just 16 errors over 15 games this season for a .973 fielding percentage. Pepperdine enters the series after taking two of three with No. 13 East Carolina last weekend. The Waves are 5-2 against top-15 opponents this year.
Series with the Waves
• It will be the first time that the two teams have met in a three-game series since 1992. Stanford leads the all-time series since 1959 by a count of 19-5. Stanford swept the Waves at Sunken Diamond prior to Pepperdine’s run towards a national title that season. The two teams last met in the NCAA Regional at Sunken Diamond in 2008, when Danny Sandrink pitched a complete game in a 13-1 win, before the Cardinal eliminated the Waves the next day with a 9-7 win.
Out of Left Field
• Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez was a starter on the Waves’ only national championship team in 1992.
In the Rankings
• The Cardinal are as high as No. 23 this week in the national polls, in Baseball America. Stanford is No. 29 in Collegiate Baseball and No. 30 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The team’s early RPI, according to boydsworld.com, is 6. Fourteen opponents have early season RPIs under 100. The team’s highest ranking was No. 18 during week two. The Cardinal began the season ranked as high as No. 25 nationally in USA Today in the preseason.
• Stanford, after taking a week off for finals, return to action averaging 6.9 runs per game, scoring over 10 runs four times this season.
• Cardinal freshman Kenny Diekroeger, a prep shortstop playing third this season, leads the club with a .382 average. He is one of three freshmen in the regular starting lineup.
• Reliever Brian Busick has an 0.90 ERA over five relief appearances, while fellow bullpen mates, Chris Jenkins (1.80), Alex Pracher (2.45) and Mark Appel (2.70) all have ERAs under 3.00 despite a team ERA of 5.69.
• The Cardinal have won three games in its last at-bat, with three different players, Kenny Diekroeger (GW hit versus Rice), Jonathan Kaskow (GW hit versus UCSB), and Jake Schlander (walk-off solo homer in the 11th vs. UCSB).
Cardinal to Play at Safeco Field in Seattle
In the first time since the early 1990s, the Stanford Cardinal will play in a Major League Ballpark, when the team travels to Seattle to play one if its three games with the University of Washington at Safeco Field. Stanford previously played at the Metrodome in Minneapolis during the 1990 and 1991 seasons. The Saturday game will be a part of a day-night doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners, who host the Texas Rangers at 12:10 p.m. The collegiate game with the Huskies will be at 6:30 p.m. The Friday and Sunday’s games of the series will be played on the University of Washington campus. Tickets are currently on sale at the Husky Ticket Office, online at gohuskies.com, or by phone at (206) 543-2200. Tickets are $8.
2000s Heroes Amongst Nominees for All-CWS Team
• Former Stanford stars John Hudgins and Ryan Garko are amongst the nominees for the College World Series All-Legends team, selected in part, by fan voting at ncaasports.com/cws. Hudgins, the former CWS Most Outstanding Player from the early 2000s, is one of 14 pitchers on the ballot. He went 3-0 as he stuck out 15 and only gave up five earned runs in 24 innings of work during the 2003 classic earning All-America and Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year honors as a junior. Garko, the Johnny Bench Award winner, is one of nine catchers on the ballot. The current Major Leaguer helped guide Stanford to the national championship game in 2001 and 2003, garnering All-Tournament honors both years. His CWS career of 15 runs and 21 hits rank fourth and fifth respectively in the CWS anals.
Cardinal Win Exciting UCSB Series
• In an exciting series, the Cardinal took two of three from UC Santa Barbara (W 6-5, W 5-4 (11), L 11-15), paced by two wins in its last at-bat and another eight-run inning in the Sunday finale. On Friday, in a back-and-forth game, Jonathan Kaskow delivered the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth after Stanford trailed 2-0, 4-3 and 5-4. On Saturday, it took extra innings, but Jake Schlander launched the first pitch of the 11th into left field for the second come-from-behind victory in as many days. Saturday also saw reliever Brian Busick come on after UCSB took a 4-1 lead and retire 12 in a row and pitch to the minimum over 18 batters and 6.0 innings. Busick’s previous career-best was 2.0 innings as the team won it, two innings later. On Sunday, Brett Mooneyham could not get out of the first inning, giving up six runs to the Gauchos, as the team’s comeback came up short. Stanford scored eight runs in the sixth to close to within 14-11, after a 14-3 deficit.
• Tickets for 32 of the team’s home games are available at www.gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD. The schedule also includes non-conference weekday series with area teams, Cal, San Francisco, UC Davis, Saint Mary’s, San Jose State and Santa Clara. The Pac-10 breakdown for home games is as follows: (USC, Mar. 26-28, Oregon, Apr. 9-11, Cal, Apr. 23-25, Washington State, May 14-16, Arizona State, May 28-30).
Firsts for Them
• Prior to the break, the Cardinal hit two grand slams, both on that player’s first career homer. Junior second baseman Colin Walsh hit his against Pacific in career game No. 91. Freshman Kenny Diekroeger hit his at UC Davis in game No. 8.
Gaffney Earns Playing Time
• Freshman outfielder Tyler Gaffney, a backup running back on the football team, is continuing a long line of two sport stars for the Cardinal. Gaffney backed up Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart during the team’s Sun Bowl run in 2009, and is looking to play the outfield, like Gerhart, who has left school to focus on the NFL draft. Gaffney is practicing with both teams during the spring. Gaffney is hitting .455 over his first nine games.
Double Play Combo
• Shortstop Jake Schlander and second baseman Colin Walsh, both juniors, are in their second seasons together as full-time starters up the middle. Walsh is batting .325 to enter the weekend, Schlander at a .278 clip after a hot start. The duo, along with freshmen Stephen Piscotty and Jake Stewart have started all 11 games entering the Pepperdine series.
Big Innings So Far
• Over the first 11 games the Cardinal have had three ‘big’ innings, after trailing early. Against Rice during the opening weekend, trailing 4-2, Stanford scored 11 runs in the seventh. At UC Davis, after trailing 4-2, Stanford exploded for six runs in the sixth to lead 8-4. Eight runs closed a 14-3 deficit in the Sunday finale against UC Santa Barbara.
Glad to See Ya
• The Texas series continued a series dating back to 1998, while the Cardinal will host Rice (1991), UC Santa Barbara (1997) and Pepperdine (1992) for the first time in three-game series since the 1990’s. The three-game series at Long Beach State, long-time playoff rivals, will be the first three-game series between the two California programs.
Cardinal Picked Fourth by Pac-10 Coaches
• Stanford Baseball was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Pacific 10 Conference coaches poll. The Cardinal received 59 points, behind three-time defending champion, Arizona State (78 points and 7 first place votes), Oregon State (67, 2) and UCLA. The rest of the Pac-10 preseason picks are: Arizona (fifth), Washington State, Cal, USC, Washington and Oregon.
Don’t Run on Them
• According to a survey by Baseball America, shortstop Jake Schlander, the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year, is again the best defensive shortstop in the conference. Combo mate, second baseman Colin Walsh is noted as the best defensive second baseman. Schlander is also noted as the infielder with the best arm. Kellen Kiilsgaard is noted as the outfielder with the best arm and the best defensive outfielder. Zach Jones, who was not listed, threw out 40 percent of would-be base stealers last year.
Youngsters Gain Notice
• Baseball America rated Stanford’s incoming baseball class second nationally for recruiting coordinator Dean Stotz and head coach Mark Marquess, both in their 34th years at Stanford. The publication noted that “Stanford’s class is rich with players who have the potential to be major league stars if everything breaks right; the key for the Cardinal will be developing those talents on an accelerated timetable.”
Young Trio Garner Best in the Conference
• Freshmen Kenny Diekroeger (1st), Jake Stewart (5th) and Mark Appel (7th) are rated by Baseball America as three of the top newcomers in the Pac-10 Conference according to their preseason publication. Stewart is listed as the conference’s best athlete. The trio are also rated as the fourth, sixth and 17th-best freshmen in the country.
Nice Summer Away from the Farm
• Three Stanford baseball players, outfielder Kellen Kiilsgaard and pitchers Alex Pracher and Scott Snodgress, were named to Baseball America’s annual list of top prospects across various summer leagues. Snodgress and Kiilsgaard were rated as the No. 4 and No. 7 best prospects in the Alaska Summer League, while Pracher was the No. 7-best prospect in the Atlantic Collegiate League. Snodgress (Yucaipa, Calif.), pitching for the Peninsula Oilers, went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA over 10 games and eight starts, striking out 55 over 43.0 innings. For Kiilsgaard (Auburn, Wash.), he batted .295 over 39 starts, with 24 runs and 26 RBIs. He also stole nine bases. Pracher (Marlton, N.J.) produced an 0.82 ERA over five games and three starts, going 3-1 with 25 strikeouts over 22.0 innings.
• Including Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart (running back and outfielder), current head coach Mark Marquess (who was a quarterback, defensive back and punt returner) and NFL Hall of Famer John Elway (and outfielder and quarterback), the Cardinal have had a number of great two-sport stars. One of the first was Ernie Nevers, who starred for the Cardinal in the early part of the 20th Centruy. That list has included: Major League pitcher Joe Borchard (also a QB), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and QB), Brian Johnson (QB) and John Lynch (QB and RHP). Backup running back Tyler Gaffney, a freshman outfielder on the team, is the latest two-sport athlete.
Quentin One of Decade’s Best
• Stanford Major Leaguer Carlos Quentin was named one of Baseball America’s players of the decade for the first 10 years of the new century, joining four other Pac-10 players on the national publication’s look back at the decade. A four-year Major Leaguer with the Diamondbacks and White Sox, Quentin starred for the Cardinal from 2001 to 2003 hitting .350 with 170 RBIs and 35 homers. Quentin hit .396 as a junior in 2003 with 24 doubles, 12 homers and 64 RBIs leading Stanford to the CWS Championship Game against Rice. Other Pac-10 players included: UCLA second baseman Chase Utley, Oregon State outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, USC pitcher Mark Prior and Washington pitcher Tim Lincecum.