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Stanford baseball: The Fairy Tale Ending (Part 2)

Stanford baseball begins their run to the College World Series

Coach Marques talks to players

A week and a half ago, I said Stanford Cardinal baseball needed to go 6-0 in their remaining 6 games to win 40 games, something the baseball program hasn’t accomplished since 2012 and while guaranteed they would host a Regional, they could move up into the top-8 for a national seed and would be guaranteed to host a Super Regional if they advance.

11 days later, Stanford players, coaches, students and fans woke up as a 40-win team that will host a Regional this weekend as the #8 seed in the country. That means if Stanford continues their magical run for Coach Marquess, his career will end for better or worse in the two places he loves more than anything: Stanford or Omaha. Now before we start talking about Omaha, let’s get into who Stanford has to play first this weekend and how Stanford has fared historically in Regional’s and while being a host.

Previewing the regional for Stanford baseball

Stanford opens their Regional against Sacramento State who is coming into the postseason with a lot of momentum winning 8 straight and winning their conference championship. Sacramento State Head Coach Reggie Christiansen has really turned the program around winning 168 games over the last 5 years and has been acknowledged for it as he won WAC coach of the year in 2012 and 2014. Christiansen also graduated from nearby Menlo College so it will be a homecoming regional for him. Stanford has a 29-14 all-time record against Sacramento State however the last meeting was 2009 so it was before the Christiansen turnaround.

The other two teams in the Stanford Regional are BYU and Cal State Fullerton. Stanford has not tangled with the Cougars very much on the diamond as they’ve only met 8 times (6-2) but they went 37-19 this year and they seem to hitting their stride at the right time.

Cal State Fullerton however should be on every Stanford baseball fan’s mind. Stanford and CSF have met 103 times including 3 games this year where Fullerton completely overmatched Stanford although Stanford found a way to win the last game of their series which was way back in February. The two have tangled in the postseason 15 times and Stanford holds that edge 11-4. It may seem like a huge advantage but those games have been battles including 6 1-run games and 3 extra inning games.

Stanford comes into the postseason kind of like the 2010 and 2011 football team did going into their postseason. Stanford isn’t even a conference champion and lost in ugly fashion to the eventual conference champion (Oregon State-baseball/Oregon-football) and yet could be one of the best teams in all of college baseball. Since April 18th, Stanford has lost 2 games; Stanford also hasn’t lost 2 games in a weekend since the weekend of April 15th and hasn’t lost consecutive games since the Oregon State series back at the end of March and ironically, on April 1st ala April Fools.

Stanford baseball has performed well in the Regional round

Stanford also has their Regional history on their side. Stanford has only been swept out of Regional play twice in program history so if you want to see the favorite go down early, don’t bet on it. Both of those sweeps were not on Cardinal Territory either. Stanford is 86-33 all-time in Regional/District play. Stanford has hosted Regional/District play 17 times and are 48-12. Only 3 times has Stanford been eliminated in those series and has happened only once this century.

The smart play would be picking Stanford to win the Regional but keep your eyes on Fullerton. Fullerton is an experienced group and while it was the first 3 games of the season almost 4 months ago, they have no fear playing Stanford. Hope to be talking to you about the Super Regional’s next week instead of what a career it was for Coach Marquess.