Stanford will look to reverse its recent struggles, as the Cardinal lost seven of its last eight games prior to the break after opening the season by winning two of three contests against visiting Vanderbilt. California won 12-2 at Pacific on Tuesday night after dropping two of three games to visiting No. 24 Cal Poly last weekend.
David Lombardi will handle play-by-play duties for Saturday and Sunday's contest, while Carlo Salcedo will provide color for the weekend games before switching to play-by-play on Monday.
This longtime Bay Area rivalry will play out five times in 2009, as Cal will visit Klein Field at Sunken Diamond for a pair of non-conference games (April 13 and April 22).
Marquess is just two victories away from matching Larry Cochell (1967-2005) for ninth on the all-time list (1,331), and is only 14 wins shy of matching USC legend Rod Dedeaux (1,342 between 1942-47 and 1949-86) for eighth.
We've Got a Winner: The Cardinal has finished at least .500 in 15 straight seasons and 31 of the last 32 campaigns...Stanford leads the Pac-10 with 434 wins since 1999.
Opening Day, Take Two
Stanford will play its second Opening Day of sorts this Saturday at Berkeley, when the Cardinal opens the Pac-10 portion of its 2009 schedule. The Cardinal has lost its first Pac-10 game in each of the last three years; however, Stanford did rebound to win the conference-opening series in 2008 (vs. Washington State).
Stanford has won its first Pac-10 series of the season eight times over the last 10 campaigns (since 1999), but are just 5-5 in the conference-opening game during that span. The Cardinal has won the series each of the last five times it has opened Pac-10 play on the road (1998, 2002-05).
Stanford has won 14 of its last 18 weekend series - a stretch which dates back to the final month of the 2006 season. The Cardinal has gone 8-2 in Pac-10 sets over the stretch, including a 6-2 mark in 2008. In fact, Stanford won each of its first five conference series last year (vs. Washington State, vs. Arizona State, at Oregon State, at UCLA and vs. USC).
Pries Ties Up the Longhorns, Named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Freshman right-hander Jordan Pries made his first collegiate start March 2 against second-ranked Texas and was sensational, earning the 7-1 win after pitching 7.1-stellar innings. In only his third career appearance, the Alameda, CA native carried a shutout into the eighth inning and departed after allowing only three hits - a double and two singles. Pries walked two and struck out four, while he handed Texas its first loss of the season after the Longhorns had opened a perfect 11-0.
Pries was rewarded for his efforts by being named the Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week for March 2-8.
The rookie right-hander has fashioned a 3.14 ERA (5er, 14.1ip), while he is tied for seventh in the Pac-10 with two wins and tied for fourth with a .160 opponents batting average (8-for-50).
Power From the Northwest
After getting only three at-bats as a true freshman in 2008, sophomore outfielder Kellen Kiilsgaard is making the most of his early playing time in `09. The left-handed hitter leads the team with three home runs and .600 slugging percentage that ranks ninth in the Pac-10. Kiilsgaard has started the last six games in right field, hitting safely in four and going 6-for-22 (.273) with a double, two homers and five RBI.
Kiilsgaard, a two-sport star at Auburn (Wash.) High School, was a redshirt freshman on Stanford's 2007 football squad, but gave up the gridiron to concentrate solely on baseball.
Kaskow Heating Up
Sophomore first baseman/designated hitter Jonathan Kaskow has hit safely in six of his last eight games, going 8-for-21 (.381) with a double, home run and three RBI. He started at first base for the first time in his career March 7 vs. Texas, and went 2-for-3 with his first collegiate home run - a towering solo shot leading off the sixth inning.
Hot at the Hot Corner
Sophomore third baseman/catcher Zach Jones is also swinging a hot bat of late, batting .333 (8-for-24) with two home runs and six RBI over his last six games. He has hit safely in four of those contests, including a trio of multi-hit efforts.
Gaylord Getting it Done
Junior infielder Adam Gaylord has hit safely in four of the five games he has had an at-bat, going 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and three RBI. He has started four contests (two at third base and two at second), and already has four more hits than he did in 2008 (one, in only 15 at-bats).
Sophomore catcher Ben Clowe ranks third in the Pac-10 by throwing out six would-be base stealers in 17 attempts (35.3%).
Bullish Out of the `Pen
Sophomore reliever Alex Pracher has been outstanding out of the Stanford bullpen thus far, tossing 3.2-scoreless innings over three appearances. The right-hander has stranded all three of his inherited runners, while allowing just one hit in 12 at-bats (.083).
Side-arming sophomore reliever Carey Schwartz has stranded all seven of his inherited runners over five appearances, while the right-hander has six strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Junior right-hander Kyle Thompson has also stranded his three inherited runners, while senior right-hander Max Fearnow left a pair on base in his lone relief outing.
Back for More
Stanford's 35-man roster includes 17 returning letterwinners from its 2008 College World Series club, a total that includes six starting position players, three starting pitchers and its closer.
The Cardinal has retained the services of the following starting position players: OF Joey August (Sr.), OF Toby Gerhart (Jr.), 3B Zach Jones (So.), 1B Brent Milleville (Sr.), SS Jake Schlander (So.) and OF Jeff Whitlow (Sr.). Please note that Gerhart and Whitlow spent a majority of last season in a platoon role.
RHP Max Fearnow (Sr.), RHP Jeffrey Inman (Jr.) and RHP Danny Sandbrink (So.) all saw significant time in the 2008 rotation, while closer Drew Storen (RHP - So). is back after a freshman All-America campaign.
A New Guard
On the flip side, 101 of Stanford's 361 at-bats prior to the finals break were taken by players who had fewer than 20 at-bats in 2008: Mike Garza (5 in 2009, high school in 2008); Adam Gaylord (13 in `09, 15 in `08); Christian Griffiths (12 in `09, HS in `08); J.J. Jelmini (3 in `09, 3 in `08); Jonathan Kaskow (24 in `09, 5 in `08); Kellen Kiilsgaard (30 in `09, 3 in `08); Kellen McColl (3 in `09, 0 in `08); Min (Brian) Moon (3 in `09, 0 in `08) and Wande Olabisi (8 in `09, 4 in `08).
Likewise, 49.2 of the Cardinal's 97.0 innings pitched have been handled by players who threw less than 20.0 frames in 2008: Brian Busick (2.0 in 2009, high school in 2008); Brett Mooneyham (8.1 in `09, HS in `08); Jordan Pries (14.1 in `09, HS in `08); Chris Reed (1.1 in `09, HS in `08); Carey Schwartz (6.0 in `09, 3.1 in `08); Scott Snodgress (7.1 in `09, HS in `08); Kyle Thompson (2.0 in `09, 0.0 in `08) and Brandt Walker (8.1 in `09, 6.0 in `08).
Debuts and Milestones
Stanford has experienced a bevy of individual firsts during its inital 11 games, from freshmen making collegiate debuts to first career hits, home runs, RBI and wins.
The following eight Cardinal freshmen have seen their first collegiate action thus far: RHP Brian Busick, IF/RHP Mike Garza, C/OF Christian Griffiths, LHP Brett Mooneyham, RHP Jordan Pries, LHP Chris Reed and LHP Scott Snodgress. In addition, sophomore OF Kellen McColl played in his first contest when he started at designated hitter on Opening Night.
Sophomore OF Kellen Kiilsgaard belted a solo home run against Vanderbilt in the opener of the Feb. 21 doubleheader for his first career hit and RBI. Sophomore 1B/DH Jonathan Kaskow connected for his first collegiate homer March 7 against Texas, after delivering his first RBI Feb. 21 vs. Vanderbilt (Game 1). McColl and junior OF Wande Olabisi have both collected their first career RBI, while Griffiths recorded his initial collegiate hit. Pries earned the relief win on Opening Night against Vanderbilt (Feb. 20) for his first collegiate victory.
Inman Named to Golden Spikes Award Watch List; Third-Team All-America
Junior right-handed pitcher Jeffrey Inman has been named by USA Baseball as one of 50 players on the preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List, while he is also a preseason third-team All-America selection by Baseball America.
Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award is in its 32nd season honoring the top player in college baseball. The list will be paired down to 30 on May 26 and again to five finalists on June 2, while the winner will be announced in a July 15 awards show as part of MLB All-Star festivities in St. Louis.
Inman played a key role in Stanford's run to the 2008 College World Series, going 7-2 with a 4.27 ERA (34er, 71.2ip) in 16 games (13 starts) as a sophomore. He showed why he is considered among the nation's top pitchers during a stellar seven-outing, six-start stretch in March and April in which he went 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA (6er, 36.1ip). His final start of the season came at the College World Series, when he allowed just two runs and struck out five over 5.1 innings against eventual finalist Georgia. For the season, Inman held right-handed batters to a .246 average (35-for-142).
Inman followed his sophomore collegiate campaign by striking out 34 batters in just 31.1 innings for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, and was tabbed by Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the 2008 Cape Cod League.
Storen Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
Stanford sophomore right-hander Drew Storen is one of 40 players selected to the initial watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. The award is in its fifth season, and honors the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Storen emerged as one of college baseball's premier closers during a stellar freshman campaign in 2008, going 5-3 with eight saves and a 3.51 ERA (22er, 56.1ip) in a club-high 31 relief outings. He was a first-team freshman All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger, while he earned second-team honors from Rivals.com and third-team accolades from Ping!Baseball. The first-team All-Pac-10 performer was fourth in the league for saves (second among freshmen), while he tied for the seventh-highest single-season save total in Stanford history.
Storen logged a 3.3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his rookie collegiate season, fanning 50 batters against only 15 walks. He also held opposing batters to a .257 average (53-for-206), including a paltry .229 mark to right-handed hitters (25-for-109). Storen tied for fifth in the Pac-10 for appearances and tied for second by finishing 20 games, while 22 of his 31 outings were at least 1.1 innings.
Following Stanford's 2008 season, Storen served as the closer for the Cotuit Kettleers in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He posted five saves, a 2.76 ERA (5er, 16.1ip) and .200 average against (12-for-60) in 13 relief appearances, with 15 strikeouts against five walks.
Sophomore Jake Schlander has started at shortstop for each of Stanford's 78 games during his collegiate career. In 2008, he became the first Stanford freshman to start every game at shortstop since games played became an officially kept statistic in 1960. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native was the first Cardinal rookie to start each contest at any position since current San Diego Padres outfielder Jody Gerut did so in 1996.
One of the nation's premier defensive shortstops, Schlander owns a career .974 fielding percentage (8 errors, 312 total chances). He has also been errorless in 70 of his 78 career games, including 33 of the last 34 contests.
From the Gridiron to the Diamond
Junior outfielder Toby Gerhart is the latest in a proud Stanford tradition of two-sport athletes. During the 2008 football season, the running back established Stanford's single-season rushing record with 1,136 yards. The bruising runner averaged 5.4 yards per carry (210 attempts), while scoring 15 rushing touchdowns - good for second in school history.
On the diamond, Gerhart will look to build upon a solid end to his 2008 season. The Norco, Calif. native collected 12 RBI over his final 11 games (including seven postseason contests), while hitting at a .356 clip (16-for-56) with four home runs.
Stanford has eight players on its 35-man roster that has had a parent or grandparent play professional sports:
Joey August (father, Bill, was a quarterback with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in 1975, but did not play in a game); Toby Gerhart (father, Todd, played in the USFL with the Denver Gold in 1985-86 and went to NFL training camp with the Minnesota Vikings in 1986 and Houston Oilers in 1987); Jonathan Kaskow (father, Chris, played men's doubles tennis at Wimbledon in 1977); Kellen Kiilsgaard (grandfather, Carl, played for the NFL's Chicago Cardinals in 1950); Michael Marshall (father, Mike, was a two-time World Series champion and played 11 MLB seasons from 1981-91 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox); Kellen McColl (father, Milt was a two-time Super Bowl champion during an eight-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Raiders from 1981-88; grandfather, Bill, played for the NFL's Chicago Bears from 1952-59; uncle, Duncan, was drafted by the NFL's Washington Redskins in 1977); Brett Mooneyham (father, Bill, pitched for the Oakland Athletics in 1986) and Jordan Pries (grandfather, Bud Daley, was a two-time World Series winner during a 10-year MLB career with the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics and New York Yankees from 1955-64).
A Look at the Schedule
Long a staple under head coach Mark Marquess, Stanford is once again playing a tough schedule in 2009. The Cardinal will play a total of 25 games against nine clubs that advanced to the 2008 NCAA Tournament: Arizona (3 games), Arizona State (3), California (5), Cal State Fullerton (3), San Diego (1), Texas (3), UC Davis (2), UCLA (3) and Vanderbilt (2).
The Cardinal is currently scheduled to have five regular season games televised on a total of three stations. Home contests against Texas on March 6, UCLA on April 11 and Arizona on April 24 are slated to be shown live on the CBS College Sports Network (CSTV). Stanford's April 4 tilt at Oregon will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Northwest, while the April 17 contest at Arizona State will be aired on Fox SportsNet Arizona.
Stanford Among the All-Time Best
Currently in its 116th season of college baseball, Stanford has posted the fifth-most wins of any NCAA Division I program with a 2,562-1,610-34 (.613) all-time record. That ledger includes 128 NCAA Tournament wins over 28 appearances, tied for the sixth-most all-time.
Leading the Pac
Since the Pac-10 disbanded the two-division system and realigned prior to the 1999 season, Stanford leads all conference teams with 434 wins, four league titles and six trips to the College World Series.
After going 41-24-2 in 2008, Stanford has finished at least .500 in 15 straight seasons, and in 31 of 32 campaigns under head coach Mark Marquess.
The Cardinal has also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 25 of the last 28 years (since 1982), while advancing to the College World Series 14 times over that span. By virtue of that success, players on 28 of the last 30 four-year graduating classes at Stanford have played in Omaha. Only a Stanford freshman in 1991 and 2004 did not advance to the College World Series; however, even in those four-year "droughts," three of the clubs played in at least a NCAA Regional.
Stanford at the Plate