Feb. 27, 2012
Cardinal Now No. 1 in Coaches Poll
The No. 1-ranked Cardinal (7-0) will host UC Davis on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., before embarking on its longest out of Pac-12 road trip, at Fresno State for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cardinal have outscored opponents 72-25 over its first seven games, which has included six wins over top-10 teams. The Cardinal enter the week with an impressive .344 team batting average bolstered by Brian Ragira’s team-best .419 average and Stephen Piscotty’s 16 RBIs.
Stanford in the Rankings
• Stanford moved up to No. 1 in the USA Today/Coaches poll and remained at No. 2 in Baseball America and No. 3 in Collegiate Baseball. It is the first time since 2004 that the Cardinal have been ranked No. 1. Since 1987, when Stanford finished the year at No. 1 after winning the first of two CWS titles, the Cardinal have been ranked No. 1 at one point during the year in 12 of the last 25 seasons, 10 during the regular season and at the end of the 1987 and 1988 championship seasons.
About the Aggies
(Bat: .277, Pitch: 3.86, Field: .970)
• The Aggies (5-2) are coming off a series loss to CS Bakersfield this past weekend, falling 7-4 in the series finale. Matt Vaughn is in his first year coach of the Aggies, entering his 20th year with the program. UC Davis returns six starters and 16 lettermen to the club including senior outfielder David Pokins, who hit .321 last year and is hitting a team-best .462. 3B Paul Politi (.364) and OF Brett Morgan (.345) are right behind him in 2012. UCD was 18-36 and sixth in the Big West in 2011.
Stanford will send to the hill preseason All-American RHP Mark Appel (2-0, 1.29) on Friday, fourth-year junior LHP Brett Mooneyham (2-0, 2.57) on Saturday and likely freshman LHP John Hochstatter (2-0, 0.71) on Sunday.
• Hitting .364, the Cardinal swept No. 7-ranked Longhorns, its second-straight top-10 opponent following 7-2, 6-2 and 15-1 wins. In the opener Mark Appel (2-0) struck out a career-best 10, gave up a single run on three hits as the offense was led by three hits a piece by Jake Stewart and Brian Ragira. Appel had a shutout into the eighth and a no-hitter into the fifth. Kenny Diekroeger’s three hits on Saturday moved Brett Mooneyham to 2-0 following eight innnings of one runn on three hits. He struck out seven. In John Hochstatter’s (2-0) first career start, the freshman Southpaw pitched 6.1 innings as Stanford exploded for 13 runs in the fourth, batting around twice, to crush a once 1-1 tie into a 15-1 blow out and No. 1 ranking in the coaches poll. It was the first ever three-game sweep of Texas by Stanford.
HOCHSTATTER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaBttWKd3Ds13-Run Rewind
• In the team’s 13-run inning on Sunday against Texas, Stanford sent 18 men to the plate, had nine hits, three walks, and three HBPs against four Texas pitchers. Stephen Piscotty
drove in four runs in the fourth with two separate two-run hits. Eight men had RBIs in the inning and eight men had runs. It was the first 10-run inning since 2009.
Marquess Now Sixth
• Mark Marquess with 1429 wins in his 36-year career is now sixth all-time among Division-I coaches passing former Texas coach Cliff Gustafson’s total (1968-96) of 1427 wins over 29 years last weekend in the team’s sweep of Texas. Virginia Tech’s former skipper Chuck Hartman has 1444 wins for fifth.
• In the first midweek game of year, and for the second-straight game, No. 2-ranked Stanford (4-0) trailed 4-0 in the second only to overcome a deficit and win. After Elliott Byers gave up four in the second to Pacific, Stanford took a 7-4 lead, before surrending the lead in the ninth. Stephen Piscotty though hit a two-run homer in the 11th securing the team’s fourth-straight win to begin the year.
Big Innings Are Rare
• The team’s 13-run outburst on Sunday was just the fifth time since 1999 that the Cardinal have pounded away at double digits in an inning. Here are the instances:
Feb. 26, 2012 v. Texas 13 runs 18 men to plate 4th inning
April 5, 2009 v. Santa Clara 10 runs 14 men to plate 6th inning
June 14, 2008 v. Florida State 11 runs 14 men to plate 9th (CWS game)
May 26, 2007 v. USC 13 runs 17 men to plate 4th inning
May 19, 2001 at WSU 10 runs 14 men to plate 2nd inning
Winning to Start the Year
• The team’s current 7-0 start is its best start since the 1998 team went 16-0-1. Only three teams since 1982 have started a year with seven-straight and under Mark Marquess, just seven teams since the 1978 team began 8-0-1. Here’s a look at the others:
Year Start Finish
1978, 8-0-1 start 35-20-1 record
1979, 9-0 start 35-23 record
1980, 12-0 start 29-24 record
1981 7-0 start 43-22, NCAA Regional
1991, 7-0 start 39-23, NCAA Regional
1998, 16-0-1 start 42-14-1, NCAA Regional
• Looking inside the Cardinal’s .344 team batting average to start the week, you will notice its consistency from top to bottom. If after eight players had RBIs or runs in the 13-run fourth on Sunday, consider: Nine players have had multi-hit games, seven have had multi-RBI games and seven of the nine hitters are hitting .346 over the first seven games. After Stephen Piscotty’s team-best 16 RBIs, the other seven hitters have between five and nine RBIs. Five players have at least seven runs leading to 72 runs in seven games. Six players also have a .500 or better slugging percentage led by DH Christian Griffiths’ .640 average.
Appel Dominates in Two Starts
• Preseason All-American Mark Appel (2-0, 1.29 ERA) is as good as advertised to start the year. He struck out a career-best 10 in his second start, against No. 7 Texas, for the second-straight week starting the game with a no-hitter into the middle innings. Against the Longhorns he pitched seven scoreless, before giving up a single run in the eighth.
Intimidating Starting Rotation
• Stanford will send to the hill this weekend, ERAs of 1.29, 2.57 and 0.71 from starters Mark Appel, Brett Mooneyham and John Hochstatter. In six combined appearances, the trio has gone at least six innings. The starting trifeca has also allowed just 18 hits in 40.2 innings.
Scoring at the Top
• The Cardinal’s top of the order features CF Jake Stewart, who carries a .400 average over the first seven games with 11 runs and batting second is Tyler Gaffney, who has a .346 average and team-best 12 runs. Both have hit lead off homers to start a game, after Stewart hit a lead off homer against Texas (Gaffney had two in the 2010 NCAA Regional). Gaffney also has a .528 on-base percentage
Rookies Step Up
• Freshman LHP John Hochstatter has a 0.71 ERA in two stints of 6.1 innings. After being put into emergency relief duty against Vanderbilt to open the year, he pitched 6.1 no-hit innings. In his first collegiate start last Sunday, he went 6.1, giving up one run on five hits. Classmate RHP David Schmidt picked up a win and a save last week and has a 1.50 ERA in three relief appearances.
U2 Said It About Sundays
• Stanford opened up its Sunday schedule with No. 10 Vanderbilt two weeks ago and after Vandy went up 4-0, proceeded to win 18-5. On Sunday against No. 7 Texas, another 15 runs, and a 15-1 thumping. Stanford is hitting .383 on Sundays alone.
25th Anniversary of Back-to-Back Champions
• The 2012 season marks the 25th Anniversary of the 1987 and 1988 national champions under Mark Marquess. During the final weekend of the year the teams will be honored. That Cal team is coached by former shortstop David Esquer, who was the starting shortstop in 1987. The pregame ceremony will occur May 26. For more information email the baseball office at email@example.com
Could No. 1 Picks Make History?
• Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the projected No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft after leading the Cardinal to back to back BCS Bowl berths. RHP Mark Appel is projected as the No. 1 pick in the June draft. No school has ever had a No. 1 pick in the NFL and MLB in the same year. The only program with two No. 1 picks from major sports in the same year was Utah with Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut in 2005.
Number of Straight Years with an Active Major Leaguer
• According to research by Washington State, Stanford has had 53-straight years with at least one Major Leaguer, dating all the way back to 1958 and Chuck Essegian (Phillies) and Dave Melton (Kansas City A’s). USC has had a Major Leaguer every year since 1939, a span of 72 years.
Get Your Degree Under Marquess and Make the Majors
• Of Stanford’s 56 Major Leaguers under Mark Marquess, 47 have earned their degrees. Four of those players-- Drew Storen, Jason Castro, Michael Taylor and Cord Phelps are current major leaguers, who take classes in the off season. A 2011 Wall Street Journal report said that only two dozen Major Leaguers had earned their degrees in 2010. Some Cardinal Major Leaguers who have earned their degrees include: Gold Glove catcher Bob Boone, Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell (communications), All Star Mike Mussina (economics), Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., (biology) former manager A.J. Hinch (psychology) and long-time Major Leaguers Mike Aldrete (communications) and Jeffrey Hammonds (history).
• 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: NFL Hall of Famer John Elway, current coach Mark Marquess (a punter, wide receiver and QB with Jim Plunkett in the late 1960s), NFL Executive Ray Anderson, Major League pitcher Joe Borchard (also a QB), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and QB), 1940s Major Leaguer and Korea War pilot Lloyd Merriman, Brian Johnson (QB), Toi Cook (NFL veteran and member of the 1987 CWS team) and John Lynch (QB and RHP).
2011 in Review
Stanford embarked on the 2011 campaign with the nation’s last two top recruiting classes. The Cardinal featured upwards of seven or eight underclassmen in its everyday lineup, surviving top-15 road trips to No. 17-ranked Rice, No. 3 Vandy and No. 6 Texas to begin the year and a road schedule that featured 28 road games. Following a 15-day layoff for finals and unexpected rain, Stanford won nine of 11 to end March and rose to No. 11 nationally. April featured an unexpected series loss at USC and then three-straight weekends against the top-15 of Oregon State (loss), UCLA (win) and at Arizona State (loss). Stanford won six-straight to begin May and after briefly dropping out of the top-25, finished the year as high as No. 13. The Cardinal fought through a tough Fullerton Regional, beating the host Titans 1-0 on day two, before dropping two-straight at North Carolina in the Super Regional to finish the year at 35-22. Following a preseason loss to weekend starter Brett Mooneyham (finger), the weekend staff was relatively stable in Mark Appel and Jordan Pries, with senior Danny Sandbrink replacing Dean McArdle at midseason. Appel has had maybe the toughest road, pitching against a half dozen starters that are likely on the fast track to the majors in the next two years. First round pick and closer Chris Reed anchored the bullpen.