By Kent Larsen
Guthrie Leading Stanford towards the College World Series
STANFORD, CALIFORNIA -- In his first year at Stanford University, Sophomore
Jeremey Guthrie has surprised everyone and become a starter in Stanford's
rotation, helping to put the team two of three games away from the College
World Series. Just one year ago Guthrie didn't know what would happen as he
expected to return to BYU after completing an LDS mission to Spain.
But Guthrie didn't know that while he was serving a mission, his high school
coach had been talking him up to Stanford. In spite of his mediocre pitching
record at BYU in 1998 (5-3 with a 6.10 ERA in 15 starts), the coach managed
to get Stanford interested. Guthrie says he was surprised that his coach had
so much interest, "I guess he saw a lot of potential in me in high school. I
didn't get a lot of innings, I just kind of went out there and threw it."
After receiving an offer from the prestigious university, Guthrie's parents
wrote him and asked if he would consider going to Stanford instead of BYU.
He accepted, but even after he arrived he wasn't sure he could cut it.
Stanford is considered one of the best places to prepare for playing in
baseball's major leagues, but when Guthrie threw for the first time in two
years he felt weak and out-of-balance. So he went to work in the weight room
and built back his confidence. He has developed a low-to-mid 90s fastball
and refined a curveball and slider.
Stanford's coach Mark Marquess says he too was surprised at Guthrie's
performance. "Here's a guy who hasn't thrown a ball for four years and he
transfers in. We don't know what we're getting. We weren't even going to
count on him. I thought we would just give him some innings. But he gives us
11 wins and he's our Friday starter."
And his performance has been exceptional. The Cardinals were 5-0 with
Guthrie pitching in his first five games and he had at that point a 0.94
ERA. While he hasn't kept up that pace, he still has an 11-4 record and 2.78
ERA, the best record among Stanford's starters. He will start the first game
of the Super Regional competition tonight against South Carolina. The team
that wins two of the three-game series will go on to the College World Series.
His performance has opened a lot of options for Guthrie. Since he is older
than 21, Guthrie can be drafted in the Major League draft next week. And,
assuming Stanford wins two games, Guthrie will likely pitch the first game
of the series next weekend.
And during all this he has the challenge of keeping his mind on the games.
His biggest distraction is his planned wedding, four days after the
Pitcher Takes Long Road to Stanford
Yahoo! News (AP) 31May01 S2
By Anne M. Peterson: AP Sports Writer
LDS Mission Helped Stanford's Pitching Ace