Washington Preview

The Stanford Cardinal head back out on the road this weekend when they travel north to take on the Washington Huskies in a three-game series. The Cardinal currently sit one game out of first place in the conference and are looking to win their 11th consecutive series to start the season. Read on for a preview of this conference tilt.

Stanford (26-8, 4-2) at Washington (15-18-1, 3-3)

Friday - 6:30pm
Saturday - 1:00pm
Sunday - 1:00pm

For the first time since the 1999 season, the Stanford Cardinal travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies in a three-game series.  Stanford enters this weekend one game behind first place Arizona State and a half game behind USC in the Pac-10 standings (although all three teams have the same winning percentage).  Last weekend, the Cardinal took 2-of-3 games from the visiting Trojans to claim their tenth consecutive series win to start the year.  Stanford won the opening game 6-5 in ten innings, they dropped the middle contest 16-11, but rebounded to take the finale 15-4.  Earlier this week, the Cardinal crushed the Saint Mary's Gaels 19-2 in a single non-conference game.

Lately, the Stanford offense has been on fire.  Over their last seven games, the Cardinal are hitting .378 as a team while they've scored a whopping 88 runs in the process (12.6 per game).  They've also picked-up their power numbers in a big way with 19 homers in those last seven contests.  Individually, Chris O'Riordan has been the hottest hitter of the bunch.  Over his last seven games, the senior second baseman is hitting .567 (17-for-30) with three homers and nine RBI.  With this recent hitting serge, O'Riordan is now #1 on the all-time batting average list in Stanford Baseball history.  Other players have also been swinging very hot bats of late as Jason Cooper has hit four homers in his last five games while Andy Topham is coming off a game last Tuesday in which he tripled twice and drove home five runs.  Stanford is now leading the conference in hitting (.328), pitching (4.03), and fielding (.970).

Probable Starting Lineup :
C - Ryan Garko (.312, 6 HR, 28 RBI)
    * Only hitter in the starting lineup that is really struggling right now with only three hits in his last 18 at-bats.

1B - Brian Hall (.299, 3 HR, 21 RBI)
    * Has started the last two games at first base and has played flawless defense along with recording four hits and a home run.

2B - Chris O'Riordan (.366, 6 HR, 30 RBI)
    * Has struck out just one time in his last 39 at-bats.

3B - Arik VanZandt (.342, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
    * Big series against USC as he went 6-for-9 with two homers and four RBI.

SS - Andy Topham (.324, 4 HR, 22 RBI)
    * Has started last three games at short (moved over from third) ... first starts at SS since his freshman year in '99.

LF - Danny Putnam (.263, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
    * Getting much more playing time with five starts in left field over Stanford's last eight games.

CF - Sam Fuld (.329, 2 HR, 22 RBI)
    * Leads the team with 12 doubles.

RF - Carlos Quentin (.336, 7 HR, 32 RBI)
    * Has homered in three out of last five games.

DH - Jason Cooper (.390, 10 HR, 39 RBI)
    * Was named National Player of the Week by NCBWA after four homer, 10 RBI performance in four games last week.

Probable Starting Pitching Rotation :
Friday - Jeremy Guthrie (RHP; 6-0, 3.07 ERA, 73 1/3 IP, 18 BB, 66 SO)
    * Does not have a decision in his last three starts ... still sitting on a 11-game winning streak.

Saturday - Tim Cunningham (LHP; 5-2, 3.94 ERA, 61 2/3 IP, 24 BB, 34 SO)
    * Worst outing of his career last weekend as he gave up nine earned runs in one inning of work.

Sunday - John Hudgins (RHP; 6-0, 4.76 ERA, 51 IP, 23 BB, 38 SO)
    * 5-0 record in his six starts this season.

Primary Relief Pitchers :
* Ryan McCally (3-0, 2.57 ERA, 4 SV), Drew Ehrlich (0-2, 5.16 ERA, 2 SV), Darin Naatjes (2-0, 3.48 ERA, 2 SV), J.D. Willcox (2-1, 5.91 ERA).

-- Washington Huskies --

It's been an up-and-down year so far for the University of Washington baseball team.  Coming into the season, the Huskies had very high expectations with nearly every player returning from a 2001 team that finished eighth in the conference.  Washington was ranked #24 in the Baseball America preseason poll and were a team that was expected to contend for a NCAA Tournament berth.  But the Huskies haven't quite lived up to those expectations as they've struggled to a 15-18-1 record through the first two months of the season and are currently an even 3-3 in Pac-10 play.  This team still has aspirations of making the NCAA Tournament, but to do so, it would require some wins over quality opponents and it all starts this weekend against the Cardinal.  A series win this weekend and Washington is still alive for postseason action.  A series loss, and it becomes a must-win situation from here on out.  And if the Huskies were to get swept, it would drop them to six games under .500 and to a 3-6 mark in conference play and they can kiss the postseason goodbye.  So, it's certainly a big weekend for Washington as they look to upset the 2nd ranked Cardinal.

Last weekend, the Huskies took 2-of-3 games from Pac-10 cellar dweller Washington State in Seattle.  In Washington's other Pac-10 series, they dropped 2-of-3 games at Arizona State back in late March.  Earlier this week, the Huskies dropped a tough 6-5 decision to NAIA powerhouse Lewis and Clark State.  Hitting isn't an issue for this team as they boast an impressive .309 team batting average which is good for third in the conference.  There could also be many balls flying out of the yard this weekend as the Cardinal and Huskies are #1 and #2 respectively in the conference in home runs.  Individually, shortstop Tila Reynolds (.385-1-20) and center fielder Jay Garthwaite (.336-10-47) lead the offensive charge.  The Huskies also steal a lot of bases with 64 swipes already this season with Reynolds leading the way with 15 (in 17 attempts).  The pitching and defense are a whole another story though for this Washington team.  The Huskies team ERA currently sits at 6.31 (8th in the Pac-10) while their fielding percentage is a dismal .958 (8th in the conference).  Friday night starting pitcher Shawn Kohn (6-2, 3.13) is one of the top starters in the conference so we should see a pitcher's duel between him and Guthrie.  But after that, it gets pretty ugly for the Huskies.  Their two other weekend starters have ERA's over six and that goes the same for nearly all of their relief pitchers.  If Washington doesn't win the opener, they could easily be swept this weekend.

Probable Starting Lineup :
C - Aaron Hathaway (.333, 1 HR, 16 RBI)
    * Hot hitter with 13 hits in his last 25 at-bats.

1B - Kyle Larson (.327, 3 HR, 21 RBI)
    * Has handled 237 chances without an error at first base this season.

2B - Greg Isaacson (.321, 0 HR, 10 RBI) or Nick Batkoski (.147, 0 HR, 3 RBI)
    * Isaacson getting the bulk of the playing time with 16 starts in last 19 games.

3B - Michael Done (.282, 7 HR, 19 RBI)
    * Drafted in the 40th round by Baltimore last June.

SS - Tila Reynolds (.385, 1 HR, 20 RBI)
    * 3rd in the conference in hitting ... has committed a team-high 14 errors this season.

LF - Brandon Jacobson (.259, 1 HR, 9 RBI) or Mike Wagner (.286, 1 HR, 9 RBI)
    * Wagner has 12 hits in his last 31 at-bats (.387) in last eight starts in left.

CF - Jay Garthwaite (.336, 10 HR, 47 RBI)
    * Top power threat, has twice been named Pac-10 Player of the Week this season.

RF - Tyler Davidson (.314, 5 HR, 22 RBI)
    * Leads team with 36 runs scored.

DH - Bryan Johnson (.295, 7 HR, 32 RBI)
    * Hit home runs from both sides of the plate last Saturday versus Washington State.

Probable Starting Pitching Rotation :
Friday - Shawn Kohn (RHP; 6-2, 3.13 ERA, 69 IP, 13 BB, 50 SO)
    * Great control ... opponents hitting only .243 against him ... was second in the conference in ERA last season.

Saturday - Sean White (RHP; 3-2, 6.07 ERA, 43 IP, 21 BB, 24 SO)
    * Has given up 62 hits in 43 innings pitched, but has done a good job of keeping the ball in the ballpark with only two homers allowed.

Sunday - Clay Johnson (RHP; 1-1, 8.65 ERA, 34 1/3 IP, 8 BB, 25 SO)
    * Good control with only eight walks this season, but opponents are hitting .350 against him this season.

Primary Relief Pitchers :
* Tyler Shepple (0-2, 5.95 ERA, 4 SV), Scott Robertson (1-1, 9.00 ERA), Trevor Gibson (0-0, 9.42 ERA, 1 SV), Will Fenton (1-1, 3.65 ERA).

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