Widgets Magazine
Baseball roundtable: Marquess’s final regular season series
Head coach Mark Marquess travels with the Stanford baseball team for the regular season series finale against the Washington State Cougars this weekend, marking the final regular season series for the 41-year head coaching veteran. Marquess is one of three coaches all-time to earn 1,600 wins with a single program. (BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

Baseball roundtable: Marquess’s final regular season series

Riding high after a dominant weekend at home against the Washington Huskies, No. 10 Stanford (37-14, 18-9 Pac-12) will travel to Washington State (24-26, 10-17) for last weekend of regular season play. Senior staff writer Olivia Hummer and editors Lorenzo Rosas and Laura Anderson discuss how the Cardinal can ensure a winning weekend against a lesser opponent and the future of the team in years to come.

 

The Cardinal are coming off a three-game sweep of Washington over the weekend and have won 18 of their last 20 games. While the team as a whole has been successful this season, who are the players most likely to provide a spark for Stanford on its final road trip against Washington State and in the NCAA regionals?

Olivia Hummer (OH): One of the biggest assets for this Stanford squad has been its depth. Nearly every member has the ability to step up and make a big contribution in a big spot. That being said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the top of the order where Matt Winaker, Nico Hoerner and Quinn Brodey have been putting up strong showings nearly every game. But, again, you can discount anyone on this team. Junior Jesse Kuet – who stepped up off the bench to fill in for injured third baseman Mikey Diekroeger – went 10-for-18 (.556) this week with six RBI and was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week. It’s a strong lineup from top to bottom and anyone on this Cardinal team can start a rally.

Lorenzo Rosas (LR): What has been the most incredible aspect of the Cardinal’s successful season thus far – in which Stanford has guaranteed its best finish since the Pac-12 expansion – is the quality on the mound from Stanford’s pitching staff both from a quartet of left-handed starters and locked-in relievers that effectively close the door on opponents.

Left handed pitchers freshman Erik Miller, sophomore Kris Bubic, junior Andrew Summerville and senior Chris Castellanos comprise four of the five starters for the Cardinal this season as Stanford has started a left-hander in 42 consecutive games and all but two of its 45 games on the season. In relief, Stanford is an undefeated 26-0 when leading after six innings in addition to going 9-2 during one-run games this campaign.

The combination of the two have propelled Stanford to 24th-best in the nation on the mound by Earned Run Average and continue to be a major reason behind the Cardinal’s success thus far. If the pitching staff continues to throw lights out against opponents, I can’t imagine a mediocre Washington State lineup (seventh in the Pac-12 with a .271 team batting average) challenging the high-flying Cardinal.

Laura Anderson (LA): I agree with Olivia that the Cardinal have benefitted throughout the season from their depth on offense. When every part of the order can contribute, Stanford can start long rallies and come back from deficits like on Sunday against Washington. Brandon Wulff and Jesse Kuet are holding career-high hit streaks heading into this weekend, and Daniel Bakst has been really impressive in his freshman season.

Although the offense has impressed, the pitching has perhaps been even more clutch this year. If the team can get a lead early in the game, Colton Hock can shut any opponent down. That the Cardinal closer can be lights out game after game and power through long saves like the eight-out save on Saturday gives the team an edge heading into its final series.

 

This weekend against the Washington State Cougars is the final regular season series for the Stanford seniors and head coach Mark Marquess. Marquess has spent 41 years at the helm, shaping the program for nearly half a century. What will be the key factors for the baseball program to continue building on Marquess’ legacy?

OH: It’s tough to imagine Stanford baseball without Nine at the helm. That being said, he’s set this team up for success in the future. It’s stocked with young talent on both sides of the ball, with sophomore pitching stars Kris Bubic and Tristan Beck (last season’s opening day starter who was sidelined with a back injury this year) and offensive performers like freshman Daniel Bakst and sophomores Hoerner and Wulff, all of whom have already made major marks on the season.

However, if you talk to the senior players, most are quick to highlight Marquess’s impact off the field. For 41 years he’s emphasized academics, and his focus on his players’ character over strictly baseball performance is a quality the next head coach of the Cardinal is likely to seek to replicate.
LR: While replacing a legend and one of only three coaches to ever reach 1,600 wins with a single program in No. 9, Marquess has not only gifted the Cardinal success in his 41 seasons at the Farm but also successfully positioned Stanford for success in the future as Olivia mentioned. A major factor behind Stanford’s victorious campaign thus far has been the ascendance of underclassmen such as Daniel Bakst who owns the longest hitting streak for the Cardinal on the season at 11 games and has recorded a hit in 28 of his 34 games.
That being said, replacing the Pac-12 leader in wins will also entail continuing the legacy of responsibility and accountability within the Cardinal program that the coaching veteran has instilled. Stanford baseball athletes are expected to be responsible both on and off the diamond; student-athletes must account for the upkeep of Sunken Diamond while also must be at least one quarter ahead by their junior year, reflecting the discipline Marquess requests from his team. The biggest challenge for the Stanford moving forward, thus, will be continuing the legacy of accountability in the locker room and the lion’s share of this task will fall on the continuity of players Marquess has taught in the upcoming years.
LA: The team has definitely had a source of inspiration this season as it has honored Nine and that should extend into the final weekend of the regular season. But while the inspiration might be coming from a retiring coach, Marquess has emphasized a strong team dynamic over his time at Stanford that factors into the comeback performances and long rallies. The next head coach of the team will surely emphasize a similar “never give up” mentality. That being said, much of the continuity should come from the players who have played under Marquess. The Cardinal will look to upperclassmen like Matt Winaker and Quinn Brodey next season to step up and continue encouraging the mindset that Marquess developed over the past 41 years.
Contact Olivia Hummer at ohummer ‘at’ stanford.edu, Lorenzo Rosas at enzor9 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Olivia Hummer

Olivia Hummer '17 is a managing editor of The Daily's sports section and writes about volleyball, football and baseball. When she's not filling in as an emergency copy editor, she can be found curled up in a ball bemoaning the misfortunes of her beloved Seattle Mariners or cursing the misuse of the Stanford Athletics logo. Olivia is a senior majoring in history from Covina, California, and can be reached at ohummer 'at' stanford.edu.
  • skullbreathe

    Many of the upper classmen you note in the article for team continuity with the new coach next year will be drafted and gone. Thankfully the mindset Coach Marquess has installed permeates from the Seniors down to the Freshman..