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• The No. 21-ranked Cardinal (20-14, 5-7 Pac-10) travels to No. 7-ranked Arizona State (29-9, 11-4 Pac-10) this weekend for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. It will be the fifth top-15 series this season for the Cardinal. Stanford played two games earlier this week with a win over No. 20 Cal 9-5 and a 3-2 ninth inning loss at Saint Mary’s. Stanford is 8-9 against top-25 teams this year. The Cardinal have split its four Pac-10 weekend series following a series win with No. 11 UCLA last weekend. Stanford will send to the hill, RHPs Mark Appel (3-4, 2.93 ERA), Jordan Pries (4-4, 3.44 ERA) and Danny Sandbrink (2-0, 2.64 ERA) against RHPS Brady Rodgers (5-2, 2.85 ERA), Kramer Champlin (6-1, 2.78 ERA) and Jake Barrett (5-3, 4.55 ERA). Stanford’s three sophomores, Stephen Piscotty (.348), Jake Stewart (.328) and Kenny Diekroeger (.324) lead the club in hitting, while junior closer Chris Reed (2.81 ERA) is one of the nation’s top closers, while Appel is a top arm.
• All home games will be webcast on CBS College Sports’ All-Access paid service through the gostanford.com website. All games will be on KZSU, kzsu.stanford.edu and on your iPhone by downloading the Stanford App and then listening to KZSU.
Stanford-Arizona State Series
(April 29-May 1, Tempe, AZ)
• Series: ASU 92-86 (since 1961); Last: ASU 2-1 in 2010
Arizona State leads the all-time series since 1961, 92-86. Since 2000, Stanford has won six, and ASU has won five series. ASU won the series to close out the 2010 regular season.
• Last Year Against the Sun Devils: The final regular season series between No. 2 Ariziona State and No. 25 Stanford went down as a series win for ASU (L 2-4, W 5-2, L 6-8), but the Cardinal came very close to a series win or sweep of the Pac-10 Champions. In the opener, Brett Mooneyham was outdueled after striking out seven over 7.0 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits. Seth Blair (11-0) gave up two runs over 6.0 innings. In game two, Jordan Pries beat his second No. 2 ranked team in 2010 to even the series, pitching eight shutout innings before tiring and giving up two runs in the ninth. In the Saturday finale, Dean McArdle went the first 5.0 innings for the third straight weekend, leaving with a 5-4 lead, only to see ASU escape with an 8-6 win, despite the winning run, for Stanford, coming to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings.
• About the Sun Devils: Tim Esmay has his Sun Devils at 29-9 overall and 11-4 in the Pac-10 behind the conference’s second-best batting average, .311. ASU has taken series with Arizona (2-1), Oregon (3-0), Washington State (3-0) and Cal (3-0) and lost to Oregon State (0-3). ASU’s staff ERA of 3.13 is in the middle of the pack led by Alex Blackford’s 2.35 ERA out of the bullpen and weekend starters Champlin (2.78 ERA) and Rodgers (2.85). ASU has also stolen 65 of 99 bases this season led by Johnny Ruettiger’s 17 steals and Zach MacPhee’s 12. The Sun Devils enter the weekend, following a 4-3 win over Arizona on Tuesday, on a seven-game win streak.
Stanford in the Rankings
• Stanford moved back into the top-30 in all three polls, ranking No. 21 in Baseball America, No. 25 in the Coaches / USA Today Poll and No. 27 in Collegiate Baseball. Stanford began the season No. 10 and moved up to No. 8 on February 21. Stanford’s RPI according to boydsworld to begin the week is 16.
Late Rally Propels Cardinal Past SCU (April 25)
• Jake Stewart drove in four runs with two, two-run doubles as No. 20-ranked Stanford moved to 9-0 in midweek games following a 9-5 win over No. 21-ranked Cal. Brian Busick (1-0) got the win with three shutout innings as the Cardinal held the Bears scoreless over the first six frames.
Saint Mary's Nips Cardinal (April 26)
• Saint Mary’s took advantage of a throwing error by Chris Reed (2-2) to nip the Cardinal 3-2 on Tuesday. Reed had left the bases loaded in the eighth before his throwing error following a bunt, put the eventual winning run on third. A fielder’s choice by Michael Melgosa gave SMC its third lead of the game after Brenden Kalfus homered twice to give the Gaels 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
• Following games prior to Easter, Oregon State (10-2) had a 0.5 game lead over Arizona State (11-4) and are a game and a half advantage over UCLA (10-5). Cal (9-6), USC (8-7) and Stanford (5-7) are all within five games at the half way point. This weekend Oregon is at Cal, Oregon State is at UCLA, USC is at Arizona, Washington is at Washington State and Stanford is at Arizona State. The league on July 1 expands to the Pac-12, and for baseball, welcomes in Utah.
• When the end of April hits, Stanford will have opened the season with three top-20 teams in No. 17-ranked Rice, No. 3 Vanderbilt and No. 6 Texas and closed with another three top-20 teams, No. 9 Oregon State, No. 9 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona State.
Bullpen Just Got Tougher
• Stanford has been relying on lefthanders Chris Reed and Scott Snodgress for the first half of the season out of the bullpen. That back end of the staff got that much stronger with the return of RHP Brian Busick last week. Busick has pitched 5.2 shutout innings to start 2011, while Snodgress has a 3.14 ERA in 20 appearances. Despite a loss on Tuesday, Reed, a candidate for NCBWA Stopper of the Year, has a 1.65 ERA and four saves as a reliever and a 2.81 ERA overall.
Rocky High Outfield
• Stanford’s outfield against UCLA featured two Colorado underclassmen when Brian Guymon started all three games in right against No. 11 UCLA. Guymon’s first three hits resulted in a memorable day, as his hit in the ninth ignited a four-run come from behind victory over the Bruins. In 10 starts, Guymon is hitting .344 with six runs. Jake Stewart, from Ft. Collins, is a two-year starter in center. Guymon, who replaced fellow freshman Austin Wilson, is from Centenniel.
Homers Few and Far Between for Cardinal Staff
• Stanford’s pitching staff has allowed just six home runs all season and just one at Sunken Diamond. The first homer at the friendly confines came from UCLA’s Chris Valaika in game No. 16 at home. Saint Mary's
Against Your Common Foes
• Stanford is hitting .288 in Pac-10 only games, tops in the conference with Oregon State. Stanford’s .295 overall average currently ranks third overall.
• Stanford’s top three hitters, Stephen Piscotty (.348), Kenny Diekroeger (.324) and Jake Stewart (.328) were part of the No. 2-rated recruiting class by Baseball America a year ago. All three were top prospects in their respective summer leagues.
Appel Doesn’t Disappoint
• Friday night starter Mark Appel finally was on the right side of a top-15 victory. After dropping one-run decisions to No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Texas and No. 9 Oregon State, Appel went 7.0 strong innings against No. 11 UCLA, allowing three runs on nine hits. He has struck out at least six batters in each of his last four weekend starts, producing a 2-1 record and 1.42 ERA over that span (5 ER over 31.2 IP).
Sandbrink Earns Spot in the Weekend Rotation
• After struggling for two years, senior RHP Danny Sandbrink is back in the weekend rotation, tossing 5.1 innings against No. 11 UCLA this past weekend, allowing two runs to lower his season ERA to 2.64 on the season. Sandbrink in two midweek starts produced 7.0 no-hit innings and had a scoreless streak of 10.1 innings. Sandbrink was a starter on the 2008 CWS team but had a 7.09 ERA as a sophomore and 4.87 ERA as a junior.
Second Half Jones
• After watching his average dip to .128 on March 25, senior Zach Jones began to produce. One of two Cardinal to start all 34 games and a four-year starter, Jones figured it out. He’s driven in all 22 of his runs since then and his average is up to .246. He has also thrown out 11 of 22 runners entering the week. Jones’ 17 RBIs in Pac-10 games only is second. Collegebaseball360.com noticed the catcher’s prowless last week thanks to a .429 average, noting him as a prime performer of the week.
Collegiate Firsts Last Week
• Two Stanford freshmen got on the board last week with Danny Diekroger producing his first hit (April 19) and start (April 23) and Brian Guymon driving in his first run (April 21).
Getting into the Major League Lineup
• Stanford has seven Major Leaguers in 2011, with Sam Fuld (.346) earning extended time with the Rays and Jed Lowrie (.400) playing more with the Red Sox. Jeremy Guthrie has a 3.12 ERA in four starts with the Orioles, while Drew Storen’s ERA of 0.71 is in 11 games as the closer for the Nationals. John Mayberry, Jr. has a .333 as a reserve for the Phillies. Carlos Quentin has six homers and 16 RBIs and a .281 average for fellow Cardinal, Kenny Williams’ White Sox. Cord Phelps could be the Cardinal’s next Major Leaguer, he is hitting .328 for the Indians’ Triple-A team.
Top Rated Class
• For the first time in the history of Baseball America’s 11-year annual recruiting survey, Stanford Baseball had the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. Stanford had the No. 2 class in 2010. Of those two classes, seven underclassmen have been regular starters.
• Of Stanford’s 54 Major Leaguers under Mark Marquess, 46 have earned their degrees. Of the 12 Major Leaguers from Stanford in 2010, nine earned their degrees. An A1 feature in the San Jose Mercury News on February 28, featured both newly minted Major Leaguers, Jason Castro and Drew Storen, headed back to school to finish up. This season, Sam Fuld, Jed Lowrie, John Mayberry and Carlos Quentin all have their degrees among current Big Leaguers. In addition, two general managers, Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Kenny Williams, are Stanford graduates. A Wall Street Journal report said that only two dozen Major Leaguers had earned their degrees in 2010.
From the Diamond to a Degree
• Stanford academics and athletics continues to rank amongst the nation’s elite as Stanford Baseball, with an academic progress report number of 985, was ranked in the top-10 percent of all Division-I baseball programs. Some Cardinal Major Leaguers who have earned their degrees include: Gold Glove catcher Bob Boone, Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell, All Star Mike Mussina, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., former manager A.J. Hinch and long-time Major Leaguers Mike Aldrete and Jeffrey Hammonds.
Major League Style
• Since the turn of the Century, Stanford has had 86 players all-time reach the Majors. Marquess has coached 54 Major Leaguers since 1977 (55 have made the Majors with current White Sox GM Kenny Williams only playing football at Stanford).
• 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). Orange Bowl Champion and backup running back Tyler Gaffney is the latest two-sport athlete.