1996 Cardinal Streaks into Postseason
Record-setting 18 game win streak brings West Regional to Sunken Diamond
With less than a month to go in the regular season, the 1996
Stanford baseball team was 23-17 overall and 10-11 in the Six-Pac. Then came "The Streak."
The 1996 Cardinal left a permanent mark in the school record book
by reeling off 18 consecutive victories over a span of 38 days.
The record-breaking streak clinched second place in the Six Pac
for the Cardinal, and also earned it the right to host the NCAA
West Regional at Sunken Diamond.
The streak also included several individual and team
accomplishments that will be long remembered on The Farm:
- Brian Dallimore became the first Cardinal player on record to
- record six hits in a game when he went 6-for-6 with six RBI in a
- 22-4 win at Arizona on April 21.
- Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess picked up career win No.
- 800 with a 9-2 home victory over California on May 3.
- With the Cardinal riding a 16-game streak entering
- post-season play, 19,498 fans walked through the turnstiles as
- Sunken Diamond played host to the four-day NCAA West Regional on
- May 23-26.
But the Cardinal's success was not limited to the final month of
the season. In what Baseball America called one of the most
exciting moments of the 1996 season, the No. 2 Cardinal defeated
No. 1 Cal State Fullerton 5-0 on February 2 in the first-ever
night game at Sunken Diamond. To add to the drama, Peterson
carried a no-hitter for 7.2 innings to keep the crowd of 3,324 on
the edge of their seats.
When all was said and done, Stanford finished the regular season
with a 41-19 mark. The Cardinal also placed third at the NCAA
West Regional with a 2-2 mark.
The Cardinal opened up regional play with a 10-5 win over Cal
State Northridge. Stanford led 9-2 after six innings behind the
hitting of three-time All-American A.J. Hinch and the pitching of
Peterson, who reached the 10-win mark for the second consecutive
Stanford's 18th consecutive win came the next night, when it held
on for an 8-6 win over Mississippi State. Closer Tom Reimers came
out of the pen to record his fifth save of the year, while
All-West Regional selection Jon Schaeffer belted three doubles.
But the winning streak would come to an end 20 hours later as
Florida State's Geoff Sprague hit a solo homer with one out in
the bottom of the ninth to give the Seminoles a 5-4 victory. The
Cardinal was eliminated later in the day with a 4-3 loss to Cal
Stanford qualified for its 14th post-season appearance in the
last 16 years behind a host of outstanding individual
performances. Leading the way was catcher A.J. Hinch, who became
the first three-time All-American in Cardinal history and was
also named the Pac-10 Player of the Year for the second straight
time. Hinch, who went on to compete in the 1996 Summer Olympics
in Atlanta after the Cardinal's season, hit .381 with 11 homers
and 59 RBI.
Stanford also once again had one of the top pitching staffs in
the nation. Sophomore Kyle Peterson went 10-5 to improve his
career record to 24-6, while earning All-Pac-10 and All-American
honors. Freshman All-Americans Jeff Austin and Chad Hutchinson
combined to go 13-6, while junior Tom Reimers won the Pac-10 ERA
title (2.92 ERA) and senior Mario Iglesias won a career-high 10
Hinch was also surrounded by a strong supporting offensive cast.
Six members of Stanford's starting lineup hit .300 or better,
including all-Pac-10 selections Joe Kilburg (.358) and Dallimore
1996 Quick Review
Overall Record 41-19
Pac-10 Record 19-11 (.633) - 2nd place
Post-Season 2-2, NCAA West Regional at Stanford
All-America Honors C A.J. Hinch, RHP Kyle Peterson
All-Six-Pac Honors 2B Brian Dallimore,
C A.J. Hinch (Player of the Year), RHP Kyle Peterson, OF Joe Kilburg