A New Era

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STANFORD, Calif. – No. 13 Stanford enters its first season under the leadership of Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer when it hosts No. 17 Cal State Fullerton Feb. 16-18.

"Getting the chance to come back and take the baton from Coach Marquess is a dream come true," said Esquer, a former walk-on who started at shortstop on Marquess' 1987 national championship-winning team. "The people that come out and watch our team this season are in for a real treat this season, and we can't wait to get started."

Home, Sweet Home
Esquer was named Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball on June 16, 2017. Esquer is the 21st head coach in program history, succeeding Mark Marquess, who retired after 41 years at the helm. Esquer served as an assistant under Marquess from 1991-96 before spending the past 18 seasons as the head coach at Cal, where he was the 2011 National Coach of the Year and led the Golden Bears to five NCAA Regionals and the 2011 College World Series. Esquer accrued a 525-46-2 (.528) record at Cal, mentoring 81 Major League draft picks and 13 All-Americans.

Fresh Faces
Stanford welcomes eight freshman to The Farm for 2018 – three California natives and one each from Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

18 • Zach Sehgal • INF • 6'2 • La Jolla, Calif. • La Jolla
20 • Brendan Beck • INF/RHP • 6'2 • Corona, Calif. • Corona
21 • Tim Tawa • OF • 6'0 • West Linn, Ore. • West Linn
24 • Nick Brueser • INF • 6'3 • Chandler, Ariz. • Hamilton
27 • Carson Rudd • RHP • 6'5 • Agoura Hills, Calif. • Oaks Christian
39 • Jacob Palisch • LHP • 6'5 • Richardson, Texas • Jesuit College Prep
42 • Austin Weiermiller • LHP • 5'11 • Milton, Ga. • Cambridge
44 • Christian Robinson • OF • 6'3 • Melbourne, Fla. • Viera

Preseason Honors
Stanford opens the season ranked in several polls, including No. 9 in the Baseball America top-25 and No. 13 in the D1 Baseball rankings. Shortstop Nico Hoerner, left-handed pitcher Kris Bubic and right-handed pitcher Tristan Beck have each collected several preseason All-America honors. Hoerner picked up second team honors from D1 Baseball and Perfect Game, and third-team honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Baseball America. Bubic earned third-team recognition from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, D1 Baseball, Baseball America and the NCBWA, while Beck was named to Perfect Game's third team.

A Pair of Aces
Stanford returns two arms that have each spent a season as the Friday night starter. Last season, Bubic led Stanford with a 7-6 record, 2.79 earned-run average and 90.1 innings pitched, later winning Cape Cod Baseball League Pitcher of the Year in what is considered the nation's top collegiate summer league. Beck returns to the hill after missing 2017 through injury. As a freshman in 2016, Beck led the staff with a 2.48 ERA in 83.1 innings pitched.

Men in the Middle
Junior All-Pac-12 selections from 2017 Hoerner and Duke Kinamon combine to form one of the elite middle infield combinations in the country. Hoerner returns after hitting .307 with 33 runs batted in and 43 scored as a sophomore, adding six home runs and a .300 average for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the summer. Kinamon finished 2017 with a .284 average and 22 RBI, leading the Pac-12 with 188 assists and a .987 fielding percentage. Both players started all 58 games for the Cardinal a season ago.

Looking Ahead
Stanford opens its 2018 campaign by hosting a familiar foe, Cal State Fullerton. The Titans, which check in at No. 17 in D1 Baseball's preseason top-25 poll, first faced Stanford in 1979. The Cardinal holds a 60-48 overall record against Fullerton, most recently hosting them in the 2017 NCAA Regional at Stanford.

The Cardinal then hosts Rice and Michigan for four-game series before wrapping up nonconference play with a four-game trip to Austin, Texas, to face the Longhorns. Stanford's home Pac-12 opponents include USC, Oregon, Arizona State, California and Washington State – the Cardinal will have 18 of its 30 Pac-12 contest televised, second most in the conference behind Oregon State.