Cardinal Head to Emerald City, Play at Safeco Saturday
April 28, 2010
No. 18-ranked Stanford (21-14, 10-5 Pac-10) saw its season-long eight-game win streak snapped on Monday at Santa Clara, 9-3, and will now travel the next two weekends, at Washington (20-18, 5-7 Pac-10) this weekend and at Long Beach State next. It will be busy to start May as the Cardinal will play 14 times from April 30 until May 18, a span of 19 days. Saturday’s game will be played at Safeco Field as part of a day-night doubleheader with the Mariners, at 6:30 p.m., while Friday’s game at 6 p.m. and Sunday’s game at an earlier than scheduled 12 p.m. will be played at Husky Ballpark. Stanford returns home on Monday and Tuesday to host Santa Clara and San Jose State.
The following is the projected weekend rotation:
Friday: LHP Brett Mooneyham (1-4, 5.83) v. LHP Geoff Brown (1-3, 5.04)
Saturday: RHP Jordan Pries (3-1, 3.39) v. RHP Andrew Kittredge (5-3, 5.97)
Sunday: to be announced
• Kenny Diekroeger delivered game-winning RBIs in two of the three Cal wins, a sacrifice fly in the opener and an RBI double to cap a three-run ninth on Sunday to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
• Junior Jonathan Kaskow continues to be one of the nation’s top hitters at .469, ranking No. 4 entering the week (.462).
• Stanford hit an impressive .374 with 29 runs against No. 15 Cal
• Close games are the team’s mantra this year, as the Cardinal are 8-1 in games decided by one run, winning eight times in its last at-bat.
• Stanford had its longest win streak (eight) since the 2007 team won eight games and the 2003 team won 10 games snapped on Monday.
• Stanford has won six of nine weekend series this season and are 10-6 against top-25 teams.
Stanford enters its series in Seattle a game back of the standings behind front-runner Arizona State (11-4). UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and Cal are all within three games of first.
In the Rankings
• Stanford moved up to No. 18 in Collegiate Baseball, No. 21 in Baseball America, and No. 23 in the coaches poll after dropping out for a single week on April 12. 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.
About the Huskies
Under first year head coach Lindsay Meggs, Washington enters its two midweek games with Gonzaga on Tuesday and Wednesday at 20-18 and 5-7 in the Pac-10. Cardinal fans will see a familar face in the home dugout this weekend as former long-time assistant Dave Nakama is Washington’s top assistant. UW has lost series already to Arizona State, Cal and Arizona, with its only Pac-10 series win over state rival, Washington State. Washington, which hits just .282, is led by freshman third baseman Jacob Lamb’s .357 average and senior second baseman Doug Cherry’s .330 mark. Junior shortstop David Bentrott (.327) is the only other player to bat over .300. Pierce Rankin has a team-best 26 RBIs. The Huskies have a 5.69 ERA on the season with junior LHP Adrian Gomez as its top hurler with a 3.69 ERA in 16 appearances. Junior RHP Jacob Clem has a 4.05 ERA in 20 relief appearances with four saves. Freshman RHP Adam Cimber has six saves and a 4.81 ERA as the Huskies have a combined for13 saves (of its 20 wins).
Stanford leads the all-time series with its Northwest neighbors, 43-14 since 1965. Stanford has won the last five series, last losing a series to the Huskies in 2004. Last year Stanford outscored the Huskies 31-12 in the three games at Stanford.
Santa Clara Series
• Stanford has won two of three with the Broncos in each of the last two years. Following Tuesday, Stanford holds a 127-75-1 since 1959 against SCU. The two teams have played two of the four games this season.
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. Tickets are currently on sale at the Husky Ticket Office, online at gohuskies.com, or by phone at (206) 543-2200. Tickets are $8.
Eight-Game Win Streak Snapped at SCU
• No. 18-ranked Stanford saw its eight-game win streak snapped on Monday, 9-3 at Santa Clara. In a pitcher’s duel until the sixth, SCU score four times in the sixth and added back-to-back homers by Tommy Medica and Geoff Klein in the seventh. Danny Sandbrink had his longest career outing (five-plus innings, three runs) since the 2008 postseason, which included a complete game win over Pepperdine in the NCAA Regional.
Cardinal Sweep Cal, Move to a Game Back
• No. 22-ranked Stanford hit .374 for the weekend and scored 29 runs, winning two games in the ninth inning to sweep No. 15 California (W 3-2, W 15-12, W 11-10). The team ran its win streak to eight games, as it moved to within a game of Arizona State at 10-5 in the Pac-10 standings. Kenny Diekroeger delivered the team’s seventh and eighth GW RBIs, scoring a sac fly in the series opener in the ninth to win it 3-2, before an RBI double capped a three-run ninth for the Cardinal after it trailed 10-8. Saturday’s game featured five RBIs by Colin Walsh and 19 hits as Stanford went up 15-7, before the bullpen allowed six runs over the last four innings. Friday’s opener also saw a no-decision from Brett Mooneyham despite a season-best 10 strikeouts over 7.1 innings.
Diekroeger Earns Stanford’s Second-Straight Pac-10 Honor
• Stanford freshman third baseman Kenny Diekroeger was named the Pac-10 Conference’s Player of the Week after two game-winning hits and a .500 average last weekend in the team’s sweep of No. 15-ranked California. Diekroeger opened up the series with the game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to give the Cardinal the series opening win, 3-2, before posting three hits and two RBIs in game two in the series clincher. On Sunday the freshman capped a three-run ninth inning against the Bears with an RBI double to give the Cardinal the sweep, at 11-10.
Kaskow Amongst Nation’s Top Hitters
• After platooning to start the season at first base, junior Jonathan Kaskow has used his bat to say in the lineup. The switch hitter entered the week No. 4 nationally in batting and sixth in on-base percentage. Those numbers went up after Monday’s 13th multi-hit game as Kaskow is batting .369 with a .559 on-base percentage.
Starting Pitching Turns Corner
• Stanford’s starting pitchers, with began the year having given up 32 runs in the first innings, have allowed just one first inning run since April 5, a span of 13 games. Front-end starters Jordan Pries and Brett Mooneyham have led that charge. Pries had a 3.50 ERA over his last three weekend starts, while Mooneyham, following 10 strikeouts against Cal, has a 3.60 ERA over the last three weekends. The last three Pac-10 weekends have produced a 4.33 ERA in nine starts.
Fresh in the Outfield
• Stanford’s starting outfield is all freshmen, with Stephen Piscotty in left, Jake Stewart in center and Tyler Gaffney in right. Stewart was the opening day centerfielder and has vied time with Gaffney in center; Gaffney, a two-sport athlete, began the year as a backup but with his .345 average, earned a spot; and Piscotty, a prep infielder, has started in left and at first and remains in the lineup thanks to a .348 average.
Doubling Them Up Every 10 Years
• Stanford with 73 doubles this season, rank No. 2 nationally (behind Southern Miss) for most two-base hits in the NCAA. Stephen Piscotty (12), Tyler Gaffney (10) and Colin Walsh (10) all have reached double digits. The 1990 team hit a school-record 165, and ten years later, the 2000 team had 160 doubles. The 2010 team?. Yet to be determined.
Junior Middle Infield Drives Them In
• Juniors Jake Schlander (short) and Colin Walsh (second) have teammed up for their third season together as the team’s primary double play combination. Each has also delivered with big RBI games. Schlander drove in a career-best six at Oregon State and Walsh drove in five in a game with Cal. Walsh leads the club with 31 RBIs, while Schlander is second with 28.
• The Cardinal have won eight games in its last at-bat, with five different players, Zach Jones (GW hit versus Pepperdine, GW single versus USC), Kenny Diekroeger (GW double versus Rice, GW Sac fly versus Cal-4/23, GW RBI double versus Cal-4/25), Jonathan Kaskow (GW hit versus UCSB), Jake Schlander (walk-off solo homer in the 11th vs. UCSB) and Colin Walsh (two-run homer at OSU).
Grand Olde Game with the Cardinal
• Opening Day around Major League Baseball had nine Stanford alumni within its ranks, from general managers Kenny Williams (White Sox) and Ruben Amaro, Jr. (Phillies), to a manager, A.J. Hinch (Diamondbacks) to six Major Leaguers: starter Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles), first baseman Ryan Garko (Rangers), outfielder Carlos Quentin (White Sox), outfielder Jody Gerut (Brewers), catcher Donny Lucy (White Sox) and catcher John Hester (Diamondbacks).
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.
• Tickets for the team’s home games are available at www.gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.
On the Web
• All Stanford home games are streamed through CBS All-Access through the gostanford.com website. In additional, all audio for allgames are through kzsu.stanford.edu. Live stats are available through CBS’ Gametracker software through the website.
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.
• 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), 1940s Major Leaguer Lloyd Merriman, 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. Pac-10 players included: UCLA second baseman Chase Utley, Oregon State outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, USC pitcher Mark Prior and Washington pitcher Tim Lincecum.