May 5, 2011
• The No. 28-ranked Cardinal (22-16, 6-9 Pac-10) will have a busy 10 days ahead, hosting ninth place Washington (13-27, 4-11 Pac-10) on Friday at 6 p.m. on Fireworks Night, followed by a 2 p.m. Saturday game and 1 p.m. on Sunday, before playing at Pacific next Monday in a rescheduled game on May 9, following by a home game with UC Davis on Tuesday, May 10. Stanford travels to Oregon on May 13 through 15 for its final out-of-state road trip of the regular season. This weekend RHPs Mark Appel (3-5, 3.58 ERA) and Danny Sandbrink (3-0, 2.27 ERA) pitch the first two games of the series, while the Huskies will counter with LHP Geoff Brown (1-5, 4.33 ERA), RHP Aaron West (1-8, 5.52 ERA) and RHP Austin Voth (2-4, 5.55 ERA). The Cardinal dropped a series at No. 7 Arizona State this past weekend and enter the weekend at 6-4 over its last nine games. The second half of the Cardinal’s Pac-10 schedules features current ninth place Washington, at eighth place Oregon, fifth place Arizona and third place California. Stanford at 6-9 in the Pac-10 is currently seventh. Stanford is 10-1 in midweek affiars this year and 9-11 against top-25 opponents, having faced six top-25 opponents in weekend series. Its RPI is 15.
• 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.
Washington - Stanford Series
(May 6-8 at Sunken Diamond)
• Series: Stanford 43-17 (since 1964); Last: Washington 3-0, 2010
• Stanford leads the all-time series since 1964, 43-17, but dropped last year’s meetings in the Emerald City, 3-0 with the middle game played at Safeco Field.
About the Huskies
• Washington, in its second year under Lindsay Meggs is 13-27 overall and in ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-11 record. The Huskies are ninth in hitting (.254) and team ERA (4.76) having lost seven of 10 entering the weekend series. UW was swept by UCLA and Cal, won a series at Oregon and dropped series to USC and last weekend at Washington State. Joe Meggs leads the club with a .355 average, while Jacob Lamb has a .331 average and team-best 21 RBIs. Adam Cimber has a 2.77 ERA out of the bullpen, while Jacob Clem is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA. Dave Nakama, a longtime assistant at Stanford, joined Meggs last year in Seattle.
Stanford in the Rankings
• Stanford dropped back out of the top-25 for the second time in two weeks, but are still receiving votes and rank No. 28 in the USA Today / Coaches Poll. 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 15.
McArdle Rebounds to Beat the Spartans (May 3)
• Dean McArdle (6-2), who was knocked out of the weekend rotation, rebound with his longest outing in a month-- 5.1 innings, when the righthander retired 11 in a row and combined with A.J. Vanegas and Chris Reed on a seven-hitter. Chris Reed secured his fifth save with a perfect eighth and by striking out the side in the ninth after a lead off single.
Cardinal Fall in the Desert (April 29-May 1)
• Playing its fourth top-10 opponent of the season, No. 21-ranked Stanford dropped a three-game series at No. 7-ranked Arizona State (L 10-12, W 6-4, L 1-7). In the opener, ASU erased 3-0, 3-2 and 4-2 leads by scoring nine runs in its final two at-bats. Stanford made it close with five runs in the ninth, but the Sun Devils took the opener 12-10. The Cardinal evened the series behind Danny Sandbrink on Saturday. The senior righthander in his second weekend start of the season, pitched a complete game, five-hitter with a career-best nine strikeouts. It was his longest outing since he beat Pepperdine in the NCAA Regional in 2008 as a freshman. On Sunday it was all Arizona State as Jake Barrett struck out 10 and Joey DeMichelle hit three home runs. Stephen Piscotty had multi-hit games in all three games raising his average to .366.
• Oregon State (12-3) leads the pack with a half game lead over Arizona State (13-5). Both Cal (11-7) and UCLA (11-7) are 2.5 games back. Those four all remain ranked in the top-25, with Stanford ranked No. 28 and Arizona No. 30 in the USA Today poll. The league on July 1 expands to the Pac-12, and for baseball, welcomes in Utah.
• Third baseman Stephen Piscotty has watched his average rise to .356 on the season, fourth-best in the Pac-10 after three more multi-hit games at No. 7 Arizona State. One of four sophomores in the starting lineup, Piscotty has a team-best 17 multi-hit games.
Enter Sandman to the Rotation
• Senior righthander Danny Sandbrink had his longest career outing since his freshman year with a complete game five hitter at No. 7-ranked Arizona State to even the series in Tempe. Since moving to the weekend rotation, Sandbrink has allowed just three earned runs over 14.1 innings, striking out 14 following a career-best nine last Saturday. Sandbrink has a 2.27 ERA overall in 39.2 innings with a .201 opponent average. Sandbrink had never gone longer than six innings after that NCAA Regional win in 2008.
• Senior catcher Zach Jones has a team-best four home runs on the season. All three-run home runs, including one last week at No. 7 Arizona State. The Cardinal catcher has watched his average rise to .241 on the season, impressive when you think it hovered in the .130’s in late March. He also has 25 RBIs, second on the team, and all since March 29.
Solid Junior Bullpen
• LHP closer Chris Reed, LHP Scott Snodgress and RHP Brian Busick -- all juniors, make up a solid bullpen for the Cardinal. All former starting pitchers at one point in their careers, Busick has a 2.35 ERA in four appearances this year after a 1.78 bullpen ERA last year; Reed has a 1.53 ERA out of the bullpen and five saves in six chances in 19 appearances after giving up seven runs as a starter in the second game of the season; and Scott Snodgress prior to four runs last weekend, had a 3.14 ERA. Snodgress’ ERA is now 4.40.
Working Through That First Season
• Stanford’s freshman class-- rated No. 1 by Baseball America-- has produced three starters for most of the season in RF Austin Wilson, 1B Brian Ragira and 2B Lonnie Kauppila. All three have had their ups and downs with Wilson entering the weekend at .314 thanks to a current five-game hit streak, with three homers, Kauppila hitting .295 with a .988 fielding percentage at second and Ragira batting .292 with a team-best 28 RBIs, hitting for the cyle and driving in seven this season.
Vanegas Making Waves
• Another freshman, A.J. Vanegas, is also beginning to find his footing. After a respectable 4.12 ERA over his first nine appearances, the righthander has allowed just two runs over his last nine games and 15.2 innings. After allowing runs in six of his first nine appearances, his ERA has dropped to 2.83 over 18 games this season following 1.2 shutout innings on Tuesday. Opponents are batting .216 against him.
Down on the “other” Farm
• Stanford continues to have a number of players across professional baseball, other than its seven who are in the majors this season. Cord Phelps is knocking on the door of a call up with Triple-A Colorado for the Indians, batting .289 with 18 runs in 23 games, Chris Carter is hitting .319 for the Triple-A affiliate of the Rays, John Hester, who was up with the Diamondbacks last year, was traded recently to Baltimore and is in Triple-A Norfolk, Donny Lucy is hitting .281 for the White Sox Triple-A team, and James Rapoport has a .286 average for the Cardinals Triple-A team as an outfielder. In Single-A, Jeff Inman has a 1.64 ERA as as starter in the Florida State League with a .190 opponent batting average.
• 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.