May 30, 2012
Weekly Release | Tournament Central
Stanford (38-16) enter its 31st NCAA Regional (28th under Marquess) having won nine of its last 11. Stanford is hosting its 15th NCAA Tournament since 1983, having gone 55-12 at home over that time. Those 14 Regionals (and five Super Regionals) have led to 11 CWS. Game times for the ESPN3.com broadcast Regional are 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a possible game on Monday in the double elmination bracket. This regional and the Florida State Regional are matched up for a Super Regional.
Stanford will take on Fresno State at 6 p.m. and Pepperdine and Michigan State will meet in the other regional.
In the Rankings
• Stanford’s enter the post-season No. 12 in the USA Today poll, No. 19 in Baseball America and No. 13 in Collegiate Baseball. Stanford spent 12 weeks in the top-10 to open the season and in the top-five for the first 10 weeks. A preseason No. 2, Stanford was ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll the last week of February and were in the top-two in each of the first seven weeks. In 12 of the last 25 seasons Stanford has been ranked at No. 1.
Ticketing for the NCAA Regionals
• Should Stanford be selected to host, all-session tickets ($60-full price reserved, $40-full price general admission, $25-discounted general admission) will go on sale on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Single game tickets will go on sale the day of the game. Game times are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and if necessary, Monday at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available online at gostanford.com, at the box office and at 1-800-STANFORD (232-8225). Season ticket holders should have already received a flyer to put down a reservation.
Versus the Regional Field
• The Cardinal went 14-10 against the Regional field, including series wins over Vandy (3-0), Rice (2-1), Fresno State (2-1), Arizona State (3-0), UCLA (2-1) and series losses to Arizona (0-3), Oregon (1-2) and Oregon State (1-2).
• The annual MLB draft (this year reduced to 40 rounds from 50) will take place on June 4-6. The first round and compensation picks will occur at 4 p.m. PT on the MLB Network. Rounds 2-15 will take occur on June 5 and rounds 16-40 will take place on June 6. The MLB Network will televise all the picks. The Cardinal have had 19 first round picks since 1987. Mark Appel and Stephen Piscotty are projected first round picks with Appel as the possible No. 1 pick.
• Featuring three former national champions, the Stanford
Regional features the Cardinal (38-16), WCC champion Pepperdine (34-21), WAC Tournametn champion Fresno State (30-26) and Michigan State (37-21), who is making its first appearance in 33 years. MSU is making its fifth overall appearance, appearing with 34-time Fresno State, 31-time Stanford, and 29-time Pepperdine. FSU won the 2008 title, the Waves the 1992 title and Stanford in 1988 and 1987.
• Stephen Piscotty was named a finalist for the John Olerud Award, given to college baseball’s top two-way player. Teammate Mark Appel is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and is on the radar of the NCBWA’s 25-man watch list for the college baseball’s pitcher of the year award, formerly the Roger Clemens Award, as well as the Dick Howser Trophy. He is also on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top player and presented by USA Baseball. In conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the award for player and pitcher of the year, along with the Howser Trophy, Olerud (utility), Wallace (shortstop) and Bench (catcher) Awards and NCBWA Stopper of the Year, will all be presented at the “College Baseball Night of Champions” in Lubbock, Texas on June 30.
• RHP Mark Appel and 3B Stephen Piscotty were each named first team All-Pac-12. Piscotty was named a first team selection for the second year and third overall (he was an honorable mention pick as a freshman). Austin Wilson and Brian Ragira were named honorable mention for the second-straight year.
One of Nation’s Top Arms
• RHP Mark Appel is the Pac-12 leader in strikeouts (116) and is 9-1 with a 2.37 ERA over 14 starts this season. Appel has struck out 10 in seven starts this year, including four against the top-10. Appel has also pitched into the seventh in all 14 starts this year. He enters the post-season having gone 5-0 over his last six starts. Appel was 1-1 last year in the NCAAs with a 3.00 ERA, striking out 11 in 15.0 innings. He won with a complete game over Kansas State in last year’s NCAA Regional and took the loss at North Carolina in the Super Regionals.
Streaking Into Post-Season
• The Cardinal enter the NCAA Regional as winners of nine of its last 11, producing a 2.75 ERA over that stretch (33 ER of 108.0 IP) with opponents batting .244. The Cardinal are hitting at a .293 and fielding at an impressive .978 clip. Six of the nine wins have come when the Cardinal have scored over five runs. Overall Stanford is 28-1 when scoring six or more runs.
Do-Everything Utility Player
• Stephen Piscotty has started every game in his career-- The Cal Ripken of the Farm as he has added a new wrinkle to the resume, starting on the mound on the weekends. Since starting the last three weekends, he is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA. He had not pitched prior to March 28, having previous tossed innings in the Cape in the Summer of 2011 and during his freshman year. He also was a two-way player in high school. Piscotty also leads the club in RBIs (54) and is batting .319. He is also a finalist for the Olerud Award, given to the top two-player in the nation.
A Difference a Year Makes
• Following Stanford’s Super Regional loss to North Carolina, Eric Smith had a decision to make. With seven starters returning, the only opening was catcher, vacated by four-year starter Zach Jones. The junior began catching in fall ball and enters the NCAA Regional as the team’s leading hitter at .329 with 31 runs and 31 RBIs. He started 46 regular season games at catcher.
Ragira’s Numbers Keep Adding Up
• Brian Ragira, one of four players to start all 54 games this year, enters the NCAA Regional with a .318 average to go along with 47 RBIs, which ranks second on the club. A two-year starter at first base, Ragira, who never played the position prior, has a .992 fielding percentage this year.
Wilson Shows Off His Tools
• Austin Wilson, the team’s right fielder in all 54 games this year, leads the club with nine homers, has driven in 46 and is batting .290 on the year. Wilson has also shown off his arm-- throwing out three runners and range, running down balls in the alleys all season.
Out of the Ballpark
• Stanford is among the Pac-12 leaders in homers as Austin Wilson leads the club with nine homers, while Jake Stewart and Alex Blandino have seven homers a piece. Stewart had three homers last week, Blandino had four homers in mid-April during one, one-week stretch, earning national player of the week status.
• Saturday starter LHP Brett Mooneyham started the season with five-straight wins and enters the NCAA Regional at 7-5 with a 4.05 ERA. He has struck out at least seven in nine starts this season, ranking in the top-five in the Pac-12 in strikeouts. In previous post-sesaon appearances, Mooneyham took the loss at CS Fullerton in 2010, giving up six over 5.1 innings. He did not pitch in 2011 due to a finger injury.
Bullpen Arms... Long Duty Sometimes Needed
• A.J. Vanegas converted four of his five saves in the month of May, as he has been used primarily out of the bullpen after beginning the year as the team’s Sunday starter. He has a 2.38 ERA over 19 games this year. Dean McArdle has appeared in 22 games with a 3.32 ERA and 3-3 record. McArdle has thrown 2.0 or more innings five times this year, while Vanegas has tossed over 2.0 innings seven times.
Post-Season Nothing New
• This year’s team has a number of veterans who won the 2011 Regional at Fullerton and also lost the 2011 Super Regional at North Carolina and lost the 2010 Fullerton Regional. Stephen Piscotty, Brian Ragira, Jake Stewart, Austin Wilson, Kenny Diekroeger, Tyler Gaffney and Mark Appel have all started both years in the post-season.
• Stanford has seven wins in its last at-bat, doing it against San Francisco with four runs in the bottom of the eighth at home against USF. Eric Smith’s RBI double started the four-run rally. Versus ASU, Alex Blandino’s two-out RBI single against the Sun Devils, on Saturday, gave the Cardinal the series en route to the sweep. On Sunday at Washington, an interference call at home followed by a double steal gave Stanford a 9-8 victory. Five days earlier, the Cardinal won 9-8 in 12th innings as Danny Diekroeger drove in the winning run in the 12th after Stanford scored five in the ninth to send it to extra innings against Saint Mary’s on April 2. Homers won three games this year-- Austin Wilson’s walk-off two-run homer in the ninth against USC, Stephen Piscotty’s two-run homer at Pacific in the 11th and Justin Ringo’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Rice.
• Shortstop Lonnie Kauppila, a starter on the infield for 29 games this year, will miss the rest of the season with a left knee injury suffered on Sunday versus Oregon. The
Notables Off the Bench
Get Your Degree Under Marquess and Make the Majors
• Of Stanford’s 56 Major Leaguers under Mark Marquess, 47 have earned their degrees. Four of those players without a degree-- Drew Storen, Jason Castro, Michael Taylor and Cord Phelps are Major Leaguers, who take classes in the off season. A 2011 Wall Street Journal report said that only two dozen Major Leaguers had earned their degrees in 2010. Some Cardinal Major Leaguers who have earned their degrees include: Gold Glove catcher Bob Boone, Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell (communications), All Star Mike Mussina (economics), Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., (biology) former manager A.J. Hinch (psychology) and long-time Major Leaguers Mike Aldrete (communications) and Jeffrey Hammonds (history).Marquess himself was a politics major, whose freshman roommate just happened to be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Could No. 1 Picks Make History?
• Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft after leading the Cardinal to back to back BCS Bowl berths. In the preseason, RHP Mark Appel was projected as the No. 1 pick in the June draft. No school has ever had a No. 1 pick in the NFL and MLB in the same year.
The only program with two No. 1 picks from major sports in the same year was Utah with Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut in 2005.
• 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. That list has included: NFL Hall of Famer John Elway, current coach Mark Marquess (a punter, wide receiver and QB with Jim Plunkett in the late 1960s), NFL Executive Ray Anderson, Major League outfielder Joe Borchard (also a QB), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and QB), 1940s Major Leaguer and Korea War pilot Lloyd Merriman, Brian Johnson (QB), Toi Cook (NFL veteran and member of the 1987 CWS team), Mike Dotterer (only Stanford four-year letterman in football and baseball and won Super Bowl ring with Raiders) and John Lynch (QB and RHP).