Feb. 14, 2013
No. 7 Stanford Cardinal (0-0 0-0 Pac-12)
No. 17 Rice Owls (0-0 0-0 Conference USA)
Feb. 15 - 2:30 p.m. (PT) Feb. 16 - Noon Feb. 17 - 11 a.m.
Reckling Park (5,368) Houston, Texas
Game Notes | Rankings | Pac-12 Standings
Live coverage on KZSU 90.1 FM KZSUlive.stanford.edu
Live Stats Live in-game statistics will be provided through GameTracker via GoStanford.com
Video Live video will be available through Rice's Owl Vision All-Access via GoStanford.com
Polls Stanford (7th - NCBWA, 9th - BA, 9th - CB, 7th - USA Today)
Rice (18th - NCBWA, 18th - BA, 20th - CB, 17th - USA Today)
On the Web GoStanford.com Pac-12.com RiceOwls.com ConferenceUSA.com
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The Farm Report
Stanford opens the season with a three-game series at No. 17 Rice (Feb. 15-17). The Cardinal has won each of its last five season-opening contests and as many series.
Since 2000, Stanford has won 12 of 13 opening weekend series, including three-game sets at No. 17 Rice (2011) and against No. 10 Vanderbilt (2012). This will be Stanford's third season-opening series against Rice since 2010, and its fourth in as many seasons against a top-20 team.
Last Series With Rice (March 9-11, 2012) - Austin Wilson hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as No. 2 Stanford won the second of its first two games against No. 4 Rice. Jordan Stephens and J.T. Chargois combined for a four-hitter as Rice salvaged the final contest of the three-game series.
The Cardinal is 11-4 (.733) all-time against the Owls. The two teams first met in 1991, when Stanford swept the Owls in three games.
The trip to Houston will be a homecoming of sorts for Texas natives Wayne Taylor (Houston/Memorial), Mark Appel (Houston) and Brian Ragira (Arlington/James Martin). Taylor was the 2011 Texas Baseball Player of the Year and an all-state quarterback. A two-time AFLCA All-America, Ragira also picked up all-state honors in 2010. Appel was born and raised in Houston before playing his prep ball in California. Appel's parents currently live in Beijing but will be moving back to Houston in the near future. A number of Appel's family members attended Rice, including his uncle, John Casbarian, who is the dean of Rice's architecture school.
Inside the Lines
According to the league's preseason coaches' poll released Feb. 8, Stanford was picked to win the Pac-12 title. A preseason favorite for the second straight year, the Cardinal has not won a Pac-12 title since copping back-to-back crowns in 2003 (College World Series runner-up) and 2004 (NCAA Regional).
Consensus Preseason Top-10 Choice
Stanford earned high praise from the pollsters and enters the 2013 season as a consensus preseason top-10 team. Here's how the Cardinal fared among the major polls:
No. 4 - Perfect Game
No. 7 - USA Today/ESPN
No. 7 - National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
No. 9 - Collegiate Baseball
No. 9 - Baseball America
Return of the Mark
Speaking publicly for the first time since announcing his return to The Farm for his senior season, Appel, the only unsigned player among 31 first-round picks last year, handled the barrage of questions with the same poise and composure he shows on the mound during the Bay Area Baseball Media Day on Feb. 7.
On not signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates crossing paths with the team's fans down the road: "If they're going to boo me, then so be it. I'd love to sit down and have a meal with them after the game."
On prepping for the 2013 draft: "Everybody said, `If you don't sign, you're pushing your major league career back a year.' I don't see it that way. I don't understand how people can say that I can't keep working and keep getting better at Stanford. It might be a different situation and scenario than a minor league team, but I still have the opportunities to improve my game, get better, to just grow as a baseball player and a teammate and prepare myself for the next level."
On what he's learned about himself throughout the process: "It's not all about money for me. There are a lot of things I value greater than money. Money means a lot to a lot of people. It seems like a social status. I'm not defined by how much I earn or will earn."
A Look Back at 2012
THE LAST MEETING
March 11, 2012
Cardinal Drops Pitching Duel to Rice 1-0
Jordan Stephens (2-0) and J.T. Chargois combined on a four-hitter as No. 4-ranked Rice (13-4) salvaged the final game of the three-game series, following a 1-0 victory over No. 2-ranked Stanford (13-2) on Sunday afternoon.
Stanford tallied a 41-18 record and finished the regular season 12th in the USA Today poll, 13th by Baseball America and 14th by Collegiate Baseball. It was the 25th time since 1981 the Cardinal finished the season ranked in top 15.
Stanford ended its season in the NCAA Super Regional for the second straight season and ninth time since 1999.
The Cardinal roster featured six players who were selected in the MLB Draft, headlined by first round picks RHP Mark Appel and 3B/LF Stephen Piscotty. Players who signed professional contracts included SS Kenny Diekroeger, CF Jake Stewart, C Eric Smith, LHP Brett Mooneyham and LF Tyler Gaffney.
Stanford Over Pittsburgh, Football Over Baseball
Tyler Gaffney is still a former Stanford outfielder, but he's no longer a former Stanford running back.
Gaffney announced Feb. 11 that he is returning to The Farm after spending last season playing baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Gaffney will be completing work toward his degree and will play with the Cardinal football program next season.
Selected in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Gaffney hit .297 in 38 games for the Pirates' Class-A affiliate State College Spikes.
Because he signed a professional baseball contract, Gaffney is no longer eligible to play collegiate baseball.
Stanford held its Cardinal & White Intersquad Scrimmage on Feb. 9. Several hundred fans watched from the warm seats of a sun-soaked Sunken Diamond as the team competed in a friendly fashion.
The only hiccup on the day came when Stanford took the field with one squad wearing cardinal uniforms and the other wearing grey uniforms.
Major League Style
Since the turn of the century, Stanford has had 88 players go on to the Majors. Head coach Mark Marquess has coached 56 Major Leaguers since 1977.
Cardinal have had a number of great two-sport stars. One of the first was Ernie Nevers, who starred for the Cardinal in the early part of the 20th century. This list is quite impressive: NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, current head coach Mark Marquess (a punter, wide receiver and quarterback with Jim Plunkett in the late 1960s) and NFL Executive Ray Anderson. Major League pitcher Joe Borchard (also a Cardinal quarterback), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and quarterback), 1940s Major Leaguer and Korea War pilot Lloyd Merriman, Brian Johnson (quarterback), Toi Cook (NFL veteran and member of the 1987 College World Series team) and John Lynch (quarterback and RHP). Orange Bowl Champion and running back Tyler Gaffney played baseball on The Farm and helped pave the way for the most recent addition to the fraternity, freshman OF Zach Hoffpauir. Hoffpauir was a backup strong safety for the 2013 Rose Bowl champions.