Day Two Palo Alto Regional Notebook

June 3, 2012
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Notes, Quotes, Observations & Video From Stanford Regional…

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CB360 Contributor Kevin Kennedy is at the Palo Alto Regional for us this weekend…

Stanford's Stephen Piscotty helped his team beat Pepperdine on Saturday to help his team go to 2-0 in the Palo Alto Regional.

#1 Stanford 5 #2 Pepperdine 4

(Postgame Video Interviews Below)

The nightcap of Day 2 in the Stanford Regional featured the most exciting game of the regional so far with the host Cardinal pulling out a 5-4 win over Pepperdine in a tense game Saturday night.

The Cardinal (who were the designated road team) scored the winning run in the top of eighth on junior shortstop Kenny Diekroeger’s RBI double down the left field line to give Stanford (40-16) a 5-4 lead.

-“This is why we came to Stanford honestly, to play in front of a packed house. There was a lot of electricity tonight, and it was a really exciting game,” said Diekroeger.

-Stanford trailed 4-0 after three innings and 4-1 going into the sixth when Pepperdine starter sophomore Scott Frazier uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded to score one run. That’s where things got interesting Waves catcher senior Miles Silverstein lost the handle of the ball allowing another run to score on the error. The craziness continued when the ball appeared to hit the Stanford runner who scored the first run. The umpires ruled interfererence allowing a third run to score.

-The easiest way to say it is Stanford scored three runs on a wild pitch and tied the game 4-4.

-Stanford Sophomore first basemen Brian Ragira, who appeared to be the player the ball touched, said, “I didn’t see too much of it, ball in the dirt to the back stop, I’m busting to try and get home.” “Next thing I know the ball is rolling around and the pitch is around me and we ended up with three runs.”

-“I think it’s really hard on our guys when (Stanford scores) three runs on a wild pitch and a fluke play,” said Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez.

-Rodriguez continued to talk about the play saying, “I think the call was correct in regards to the logistics of the rules. My only problem was the crowd control around the dugout (Stanford players). When their whole team is out there and the pitcher goes out for the ball-that was probably the only thing I could say was an issue, but the call in regards to officiating was correct.”

-Ragira said in the postgame press conference he was unsure if the ball touched him.

-Pepperdine scored first in the bottom of the third with a four run inning. The Waves scored their first two runs on an RBI single and a fielder’s choice and two batters later after Stanford pulled starter junior Brett Mooneyham after 2.1 IP the first batter Cardinal reliever junior Dean McArdle faced, freshman left fielder Bryan Langlois, doubled home the last two runs of the inning making it 4-0 Waves.

-Stanford made it 4-1 in the top of the fourth with a solo homerun from Ragira. His drive to dead center field was the first homer in any of the four games of the regional.

-After Pepperdine scored its four runs two Stanford relievers held them to two hits from the fifth inning on. The Waves did have chances, leaving two on in the seventh and eighth.

-In the sixth Langlois was thrown out at home on a ground ball to second that would have given the Waves the lead.

-Waves left 10 men on base

-Langlois lead the Waves offensively for the night going 3-for-4 with two RBI.

-WCC Player of the Year junior second basemen Joe Sever (.370 avg. entering NCAAs) went 2-for-5, a day after going 0-for-3 vs. Michigan St. He did strikeout in his final two at-bats in the seventh and ninth innings.

-“You got good stuff if you strike him out twice. He is a fantastic hitter,” said Stanford Head Coach Mark Marquess.

-Stanford sophomore reliever AJ Vanegas (4-0) got the win pitching 3.2 innings of relief allowing one hit, no runs, three walks and eight strikeouts. Vanegas struck out the 3-4-5 hitters for Pepperdine to end the game.

-“It was an unbelievable job by AJ. Obviously he was just fantastic, won some big spots, great stuff,” Marquess said.

-Vanegas and McArdle combined to pitch 6.2 innings of relief allowing no runs, three hits, three walks and 10 Ks.

-Waves starter sophomore Scott Frazier (7-5) took the loss going 7.2 innings, allowing five runs, four earned on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts. When Frazier was replaced in the eighth it was the first time Pepperdine went to its bullpen during the regional.

-“That’s why I think he’s going to be a high draft pick next year,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a big ol’ donkey who wants to get out there and wants to compete and get after it.”

-Offensively for Stanford they were lead by Ragira who went 2-for-3 with a homerun, two runs and an RBI. Sophomore second basemen Danny Diekroeger and freshman third basemen Alex Blandino also had multi-hit games.

-Danny Diekroeger is 4-for-9 in the two games this weekend. Ragira and junior catcher Eric Smith are each 3-for-6.

-Pepperdine committed three errors, two by freshman third basemen Austin Davidson.

-Stanford is one win away from advancing to the Super Regional’s for a second straight year. Last time the Cardinal did that was when they made five straight from 1999-03.

-Pepperdine will have to win three straight games to move on to the Super Regional. Since winning the National Championship in 1992 the Waves have been eliminated in the regional’s the last nine times they have made the tournament.

-“It’s a hard pill to swallow…but what’s great is this is probably one of the best teams for us in regards to pitching depth and in regards to our own team, so I feel very comfortable with where we are right now,” said Rodriguez.

-“To be honest, it was an outstanding college baseball game. If people paid money to come and see this, they got to watch a really good game, and that’s my opinion. But I just told them they need to erase it because they have nothing to be ashamed of. And if they keep that same competitive nature, I like our chances, I really do,” said Rodriguez.

Stanford Head Coach Mark Marquess, 2B Kenny Diekroeger, 1B Brian Ragira and RP AJ Vanegas discuss their 5-4 win over Pepperdine in the winners bracket game of the Stanford Regional.

Pepperdine Head Coach Steve Rodriguez and LF Bryan Langlois speak after the Waves 5-4 winners bracket game loss to Stanford in the Stanford Regional.

 

Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole got his first NCAA Tournament win on Saturday since winning the 2008 national championship.

Game 1: #4 Fresno St 8 #3 Michigan St 2

(Postgame Video Interviews Below)

-In Saturday’s first game #4 seed Fresno St eliminated #3 Michigan St with an 8-2 win.

-Fresno St (31-27) started ace pitcher senior Thomas Harlan after he was scratched from Friday night’s game with an injury. Harlan struggled in the first allowing two runs and two hits. Harlan then allowed just two base runners until he was pulled after 4.1 innings.

-Bulldogs Head Coach Mike Batesole did not want to risk overusing his starter and risk injury. Harlan was pulled after 64 pitches allowing two runs, three hits, two walks and two strikeouts. He retired seven of the last eight hitters he faced.

-“Tommy gave us everything he had,” Batesole said.

-Batesole’s plan was to use Harlan and senior relievers Gene Escat and Taylor Garrison in that order for the game and the plan worked to perfection.

-“That almost never happens the way you plan that out,” said Batesole.

-Escat (4-0) got the win and closer Garrison picked up his 11th save. The two relievers combined to pitch 4.2 innings allowing four hits, no runs or walks with two strikeouts.

-“I wasn’t too disappointed to see the lefty (Harlan) leave the game.” Michigan St Head Coach Jake Boss said. “The right-hander they brought in threw just as well.”

-The Dogs scored in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead, but from the second to the fifth Fresno had one hit against Michigan St junior starter Andrew Waszak

-Batesole called scoring first, “the best thing we did today.”

-Offensively Fresno was lead by Garrison was 3-for-4 with three RBI’s. Junior catcher Austin Wynns, senior second basemen Patrick Hutcheson and freshman left fielder Jordan Brink also had multi-hit games.

-Brink, 2-for-4, was hitting just .210 coming into Saturday.

-Garrison is 5-for-8 with four RBI’s in the first two games of the regional.

-One of two Fresno hitters that did not have a hit was freshman right fielder Jordan Luplow who was the only Bulldog hitter who had two hits against Stanford ace Mark Appel on Friday.

-Fresno St did not commit an error Saturday after having four in the loss to Stanford.

-Batesole’s club is now 16-3 in NCAA/WAC Tournament elimination games since 2008. Fresno is 4-0 in do-or-die games in 2012.

-Batesole on elimination games, “That’s the sign of an experienced team that’s been through these kind of wars.”

-“It’s a lot of fun playing in these elimination games. Coming in today, we played the game we always play. We stuck to our plan of getting clutch hits, and luckily everything worked out together,” said Garrison.

-The Bulldogs win was their first NCAA victory since winning the National Title in 2008.

-This was the first time Fresno and Michigan St played in baseball.

-On the losing side the biggest positive for Michigan St (37-23) was pulling the likely play of the regional with a triple play in the top of the eighth. With runners at 1st and 2nd Spartan center fielder freshman Andrew Cheky made a diving catch. The runners were well on their way to scoring and the Spartans turned a F-8-3-6-3 triple play.

-Michigan St left six runners on base. Spartans left a total of 15 in their two regional games.

-After scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the game 2-2 the Spartans only had one hit until the seventh inning.

-Michigan St had three singles in the seventh but did not score. Fresno had a 1-6-4-3 double play

-“There were a few (good at-bats) and they made a couple plays on us, said Head Coach Jake Boss. “Again, when we got in the positive counts, we took some tentative swings and you’re not going to win that way.”

-Cheky was the only Spartan hitter with two hits, going 2-for-3. Freshman DH Blaise Salter had MSU’s 2-RBI’s.

-Junior left fielder Jordan Keur, who came in leading the Spartans with a .359 average, went 1-for-7 in MSU’s two games.

-On the mound Waszak (4-4) took the loss throwing 7 innings allowing four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.

-After allowing two runs in the first Waszak set down 11 of the next 12 Fresno hitters. He allowed two runs and four hits in his last two frames.

-MSU’s two relievers senior Bryce Jenney and junior closer Tony Wieber combined to allow four runs on seven hits in their two innings of relief.

-Michigan St scored just four runs and hit .265 as team in their two games. They entered the tournament hitting .298.

-“Very disappointing as far as today is concerned, I thought we were capable of playing better, which is probably the most disappointing thing,” Boss said.

-Michigan St made the tournament for the first time since 1979 and just the fifth time in school history.

-The Spartans have had three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since they had four straight from 1990-94.

-Boss on his team’s historic season. “Obviously losing today hurts right now, but in a week or two when we really step back and take a look at things. A lot of credit goes to our senior class. Really, all the credit goes to our senior class. All those guys came in our first year and they bought in and changed the culture of the program.”

Sunday’s schedule will have Pepperdine facing Fresno St in an elimination game at 1 p.m. PST. Pepperdine will start sophomore Corey Miller (8-3 3.56 ERA). Fresno did not announce a starter.

The winner will play Stanford at 6 p.m. The Cardinal will start junior Stephen Piscotty (5-2 2.57 ERA). If Stanford wins they advance to the Super Regional’s. If Stanford loses than the final two teams will play again Monday night.

Fresno St Head Coach Mike Batesole, Pitcher Thomas Harland and 1B Trent Garrison speak after the Bulldogs 8-2 elimination game victory over Michigan State.

Michigan St Head Coach Jake Boss and SS Justin Scanlon speak after the Spartans season ending 8-2 loss in the Stanford Regional.

 

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