Stanford's 4-3 loss in 10 innings to Rice in the first game of the inaugural CWS Championship Series forces Stanford to win the final two games of the series to capture its third national championship. The Cardinal won CWS titles in 1987 and 1988, while finishing as runners-up in 2000 and 2001. Saturday's loss to Rice was Stanford's third in a CWS championship round contest. The final two games of the series are scheduled for Sunday (1:30 pm, CT/11:30 am, PT) and Monday (6 pm, CT/4 pm, PT). Both are scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN.
Stanford's loss to Rice on Saturday was its first to the Owls in four all-time meetings between the clubs. Stanford and Rice had played just three previous games in school history with the Cardinal sweeping a three-game non-conference series (6-5, 10-4, 3-2) at Stanford from February 16-18, 1991. Saturday's game was the first time the teams had met in postseason action.
Stanford lost early in the CWS in both of its national championship seasons in 1987 and 1988. In the final year of the one-bracket eight-team double elimination format in 1987, Stanford lost its third game of the CWS to Oklahoma State (6-2) before rolling off three consecutive wins versus Louisiana State (6-5, 10 inn.), Texas (9-3) and Oklahoma State (9-5) to capture the first baseball national title in school history. In the first year of the new format with two brackets of four teams each in 1988, the Cardinal lost its second CWS game to Cal State Fullerton (5-3) before coming back to win four games in a row. Stanford earned a spot in the one-game championship by defeating Miami (2-1) and avenging its loss to Cal State Fullerton with a pair of victories (4-1, 9-5) over the Titans. Stanford then defeated Pac-10 rival Arizona State (9-4) in the championship game.
Despite Saturday's loss to Rice, Stanford has won 22 of its last 25 games overall and nine of its last 11 games versus ranked teams.
Stanford has announced that either RHP John Hudgins (13-3, 2.96) or LHP Mark Romanczuk (12-1, 3.72) will start on the mound Sunday in the second game of the CWS Championship Series versus Rice
Stanford fell to 112-53 (.679) all-time in NCAA postseason play and 37-26 (.587) in CWS action.
Stanford has tied a school record with nine postseason wins, recording a 9-2 postseason record. Stanford has outscored its opponents 91-41 in postseason action this year. The Cardinal is outhitting opponents .319 to .235 and has a 3.34 ERA, while opponents have put up a 7.52 ERA.
Stanford has assured itself to play at least 12 postseason games in 2003 with a minimum of one remaining in the CWS championship series to tie the school record of 12 postseason games played in 2001.
Stanford has guaranteed itself to play at least seven games at the 2003 College World Series. Stanford has never played more than six games in any of its previous 14 CWS appearances. The Cardinal played six in both the 1987 and 1988 championship seasons.
Stanford has committed just three errors in six 2003 College World Series games for a .987 CWS fielding percentage and just eight errors in 11 postseason games for a .981 mark.
Stanford scored first but fell to 42-6 in the 48 games in which it has scored first.
Saturday's June 21st game marked the latest day on the calendar the Cardinal has ever played and the first time the team has officially played a game in summer. Last year's season finale on June 20 versus Texas had been the latest date the Cardinal had played previously.
Several Stanford team totals rank on the school's all-time top five list - saves (19, #2T), fielding percentage (.972, #2T), hits (772, #3), at bats (2424, #3), batting average (.318, #3T), triples (29, #3T), doubles (150, #4), total bases (1199, #4), putouts (1846, #4) and innings pitched (615.1, #4).
Jonny Ash (2-5, HR, RBI) ... hit his second career homer, a solo shot in the first inning, just two at bats after hitting his first career homer in his 315th collegiate at bat Thursday ... extended his career-high hit streak to 10 games ... has an updated career CWS batting average of .439 (18-41) and an updated 2003 CWS batting average of .464 (13-28) ... has an updated career postseason batting average of .411 (37-90) and an updated 2003 postseason batting average of .477 (21-44)
Ryan McCally (9.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO) ... pitched a career-high 9.1 innings ... suffered his first career postseason loss ... has updated career CWS numbers of 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA ... has updated 2003 CWS numbers of 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA ... has updated career postseason numbers of 2-1 with a 1.54 ERA ... has updated 2003 postseason numbers of 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA
Ryan Garko (2-3, 2B, RBI) ... tied Stanford's single-season record for RBI with his 92nd of the season on his 23rd double of the year in the first inning ... has 23 doubles on the season to rank tied for third on Stanford's all-time list ... has an updated season batting average of .410 in his attempt to become just the sixth player in Stanford history to hit .400 or better in a season and the first since David McCarty batted .420 in 1991 ... has an updated CWS career average of .435 (20-46) and an updated 2003 CWS average of .400 (8-20) ... has an updated career postseason average of .397 (46-116) and an updated 2003 postseason average of .436 (17-39)
Ryan Garko and Carlos Quentin (1-5) ... are currently tied for the team's hit lead with 103 each, ranking tied for sixth on Stanford's all-time list and seven behind school record holder Sam Fuld's 110 hits in 2002