Palo Alto Regional & Day One Recap

June 2, 2012
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Postgame Videos With Stanford, Pepperdine & More…

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Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, pitcher Mark Appel and outfielder Austin Wilson discuss their 9-1 win over Fresno State on Friday in the Palo Alto Regional.

The Road To Omaha leads to TD Ameritrade Park and The Dugout – located right across the street from TDA’s home plate entrance. The Dugout has a ton of authentic college baseball caps – just like the ones the players wear on the field.

If you’re going to Omaha for the College World Series make sure to make your first stop The Dugout for all officially licensed CWS apparel. If you can’t make it to Omaha just follow our red links to The Dugout!

Game 2: #1 Stanford vs. #4 Fresno St (Postgame Video Below)

Palo Alto, CA— After a year of scouting, the process that leads up to the Major League Baseball Draft is almost complete. With the 2012 draft coming up on Monday the evaluation process is all but finished and now it is time for teams to make their final decisions.

Now it’s the waiting that players will have to deal with leading up to the draft.

Stanford ace junior Mark Appel (10-1) will go into Monday knowing his name will be called very early in the 1st Round but Friday night in the NCAA Regional in Palo Alto Appel had one more start to show why he is so highly rated.

Easy to say he only improved his stock with his complete game 11 strikeout performance in #1 seed Stanford’s 9-1 win over #4 seed Fresno St in the second game of the Stanford Regional.

The Cardinal (39-16) ace also got some revenge on the only team that beat him during the season. Fresno St beat Appel and Stanford 7-4 on March 2 in Fresno. It was the first loss of the season for the Cardinal and Appel allowed a season high seven runs.

Friday was a much different outing.

“I thought it was a great performance by Mark. He was tough and had good command with his stuff,” said Stanford Head Coach Mark Marquess.

Appel cruised through the first six innings allowing just one Bulldog (30-27) hit. He retired the first six batters he faced and following a single to lead off the third he set down the next twelve hitters.

Appel accounted for 10 of his 11 punch-outs in the first six innings.

Fresno St got to Appel in the last three innings of the game, but only scored in the seventh. By the time the Bulldogs cracked the scoreboard Stanford was up 5-1.

Appel finished the game allowing one run, two walks along with the 11 strikeouts on 122 pitches.

Fresno St Head Coach Mike Batesole said this may have been the best game Appel pitched all year.

“I’m pretty sure he could have won a big league game today,” said Batesole.

It was Appel’s fifth complete game of the season and second in his last three starts. It was the eight time this year Appel struck out at least 10 hitters.

Fresno St head coach Mike Batesole said last time they faced Appel they were able to take his fastball away. Three months later Batesole said Appel made adjustments and threw two breaking pitches he did not throw back in March.

“Last time out we took his fastball away early and we were pretty sure he was going to come out and make an adjustment this week and he surely did,” Batesole said.

Appel said “They are a fastball hitting team, so we knew the off-speed would be effective against them. We learned from the mistakes we made against them the first time.”

The game was 0-0 through four innings, but while Appel cruised Fresno St starter junior Justin Haley (7-4) faced trouble nearly every inning early.

Stanford left six men on base in the first four frames, including leaving a runner at third each inning from the second through the fourth.

In the fifth Appel finally got support from his offense.

After Haley retired the first two hitters of the inning, for the first time all game, a double by junior left fielder Stephen Piscotty and a walk to first basemen sophomore Brian Ragira kept the inning alive. Sophomore right fielder Austin Wilson singled up the middle to give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead.

The wheels came off for Haley in the sixth. Stanford sent nine batters to the plate while scoring three runs to increase their lead to 5-0.

Second basemen sophomore Danny Diekroeger had an RBI infield single. Stanford scored it’s other two runs with the bases loaded when Haley hit Ragria with a pitch followed by a walk to Wilson.

Haley was pulled after the walk going 5.2 innings allowing eight hits, five runs, six walks and five strikeouts. It was the third straight outing Haley pitched on short rest.

“I think he emptied his tank on short rest,” said Batesole. “What I really like is he pitched with a lot of heart.”

The Cardinal put the game away with a four run bottom of the eighth increasing their lead to 9-1. The Cardinal scored on the second bases loaded hit batter of the game, a 2-RBI single by junior shortstop Kenny Diekroeger and a throwing error on the Diekroeger single giving Stanford a 9-1 lead going into the ninth.

Stanford was lead offensively by Kenny Diekroeger who finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, junior catcher Eric Smith was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Austin Wilson who had three RBIs. Danny Diekroeger and Piscotty also had multi-hit games.

It was a tough night for Fresno St all around. Along with being shut down by Appel the Bulldogs committed four errors.

Freshman right fielder Jordan Luplow was the only Fresno player with multiple hits going 2-for-3. He also had a nice diving catch to end the bottom of the first inning.

The Bulldogs went 12-4 in the month of May and won the WAC Tournament last weekend in Arizona as the #5 seed in a six-team tournament.

Fresno St will look to avoid going 0-2 in regional play for the third consecutive tournament appearance. The Bulldogs have not won a tournament game since winning the National Championship in 2008.

Stanford is seeking a second straight Super Regional appearance and their first CWS trip since 2008.

Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole and outfielder Jordan Luplow after the Bulldogs 9-1 loss to Stanford…

Game 1: #2 Pepperdine vs. #3 Michigan St (Postgame Video Below)

Palo Alto, CA— In the first game of the day at Stanford #2 seed Pepperdine defeated #3 seed Michigan State 6-2 behind Waves (35-21) junior ace Jon Moscot’s sixth complete game of the season.

It was Moscot’s second consecutive complete game after he tossed one last weekend against San Diego in the first game of a de-facto WCC Championship Series against the Toreros last Friday.

Though he went the distance the junior had to battle all afternoon against the Spartans (37-22).

Michigan St. collected 10 hits, but left nine men on base.

After retiring Michigan St. in order in two of the first three innings Moscot allowed base runners every inning for the rest of the game.

Moscot worked out of jams in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth innings with out allowing any runners to score.

“Today was kind of the same it’s been all year. When there were guys on base, I seem to bare down,” Moscot said.

Moscot (7-5) finished the game allowing 10 hits, two earned runs, four strikeouts and two walks throwing 126 pitches.

“He’s got a good arm, there’s no doubt,” said Michigan State Head Coach Jake Boss. “We’re close, I thought we hit some balls hard that just had been hit right at some guys. It’s a cruel game sometimes.”

The game started off as a pitchers duel between Moscot and Michigan St. senior ace Tony Bucciferro (6-4).

After facing the minimum through two innings, Bucciferro got into trouble in the third.

Number seven-hitter senior designated hitter Matt Forgatch started the inning with a double followed by a bunt single by senior catcher Miles Silverstein. Ninth place hitter freshman center fielder Matt Gelalich than brought home the first run with a safety squeeze scoring Forgatch. Two batters later freshman third basemen Austin Davison hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Silverstein making it 2-0 Waves.

The Spartans answered in the top of the fifth with an RBI single by left fielder junior Jordan Keur cutting the Waves lead to 2-1.

Pepperdine broke open the pitcher’s duel with a four run sixth inning. After Bucciferro retired the first hitter of the inning the Waves put the next seven men on base with four singles, a double, an error and hit batter.

After Forgatch and Silverstein singled home the first two runs of the inning Gelalich hit a two RBI double to right making it a 6-1.

Gelalich, who came into the tournament hitting just .202, finished the game with three RBI’s.

“In order to win championships, you have to have guys step. It can’t be the same guy everyday,” said Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez.

The bottom of the order was huge for the Waves. Forgatch went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while Silverstein was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

The bottom three hitters for the Waves (Forgatch, Silverstein and Gelalich) combined to go 6-for-11 with five of the team’s six RBI’s.

Bucciferro was pulled after 5.1 innings allowing ten hits, five earned runs and four strikeouts. It was his shortest outing of the season.

Michigan St cut the deficit to 6-2 with a run in the top of the seventh but could not get anything across in the eighth when three runners reached base.

It was a frustrating day for the Spartans who along with leaving nine men on base equaled the Waves with 10 hits.

“We made a lot of the same mistakes we made a lot of the year, to be honest with you,” said Boss. “We left nine guys on base, so it’s more of the same for us.”

Seven of the nine Michigan St starters recorded a hit with junior second basemen Ryan Jones, freshman first basemen Ryan Krill and right fielder freshman Jimmy Pickens each collecting two hits apiece.

Michigan St, which received one of the last at-large bids in the tournament, was playing in the NCAA’s for the first time since 1979, but Head Coach Jake Boss said his team was not satisfied by just making the tournament.

“I think we came out with a purpose and a focus,” said Boss. “Nobody likes to lose. So to say we’re just happy to be here, I think, is incorrect.

Pepperdine is in the NCAA’s for the first time since 2008. Four years ago they also played in Palo Alto starting the regional 2-0 before being eliminated by host Stanford.

Saturday’s schedule will have Fresno St going up against Michigan St in an elimination game at 1 p.m. PST, followed by the winners bracket game between Stanford and Pepperdine at 6 p.m. PST.

Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez and pitcher Jon Moscot after the Waves 6-2 win over Michigan St in Opening Round of Stanford Regional

Michigan St Head Coach Jake Boss and Starting Pitcher Tony Bucciferro speak after the Spartans 6-2 loss to Pepperdine

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