Palo Alto NCAA Regional Baseball Preview

May 31, 2012

A Look At Stanford’s Regional…

College Baseball 360 contributor Kevin Kennedy is covering the Palo Alto Regional for us this weekend. The Regional includes host Stanford along with Pepperdine, Michigan State and Fresno State.

The first round pits Stanford against Fresno State and Pepperdine versus Michigan State. Included below are looks at each of the four teams as well as a statistical comparison of each of the four and podcast interviews with Michigan State Friday starter Tony Bucciferro, Stanford Friday starter Mark Appel and Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess.

Stanford's Stephen Piscotty drove-in seven runs in a game twice in 2012 (Stanford photo)

#1 Seed: Stanford Cardinal

Record: 38-16 (18-12 Pac-12, Tied for 4th, 2 games back of first)

How they qualified: At-large

Ranking: (All rankings): #10 CB360 Composite/#10 NCBWA/#12 Collegiate Baseball/#13 USA Today/#19 Baseball America

Tournament History: 31st NCAA Appearance/(3rd straight/Lost in Super Regional in 2011)/16 CWS Appearances (Last 2008)/Two National Championships (1987, 1988)

Head Coach: Mark Marquess (36th year at Stanford)

Top Hitters: Junior UTL Stephen Piscotty, All Pac-12 (.319 avg., 54 RBIs, 72 hits)

Sophomore UTL Brian Ragira, Pac-12 Honorable Mention (.318 avg., 47 RBIs, 75 hits)

Sophomore OF Austin Wilson, Pac-12 Honorable Mention (.290 avg., 46 RBIs, 9 HRs)

Top Pitchers: Junior Mark Appel, All Pac-12 (9-1, 14 starts, 2.37 ERA 116 Ks)

Junior Brett Mooneyham (7-5, 13 starts, 4.05 ERA, 88 Ks)

Sophomore A.J. Vanegas (3-0, 19 appearances, 2.38 ERA, 5 Saves)

Notable Wins: Three-game sweeps of Vanderbilt, Texas, and Arizona State

Series victories vs. Rice, and at UCLA

2012 Results vs. Palo Alto Regional Opponents: Won two out of three at Fresno State

All-time records: Pepperdine: 22-5, Michigan St: Never played, Fresno St: 79-45

Season Recap: Stanford started the season 8-0, and 16-3 with series sweeps of Vanderbilt and Texas in Palo Alto. Following a series sweep at Arizona in late March the team won four of their next five games to improve to 20-7. In April the Cardinal lost a series at Oregon, but picked up a sweep of Arizona State and a road series win at UCLA to enter May 27-11. The Cardinal started the month losing four of five, including a series loss at Oregon St. Stanford then rattled off seven straight wins to enter the final week of the season with a chance to win the Pac-12, but the team lost two of three at home to rival Cal last weekend.

CLICK HERE to listen to an exclusive preseason podcast interview with Stanford head coach Mark Marquess by CB360’s Sean Stires.

CLICK HERE to listen to an exclusive interview with Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with Sean Stires.


Pepperdine's Joe Sever is the 2012 WCC Player of the Year

#2 Seed Pepperdine Waves

Record: 34-21 (16-8 WCC, 1st in WCC. Finished 1 game ahead of San Diego)

How they qualified: Won WCC Automatic Bid by winning regular season title. (WCC does not have a conference tournament)

Rankings: #24 Baseball America/#26 CB360 Composite

Tournament History: 26th NCAA Appearance (Last 2008)/Two CWS Appearances (Last 1992)/One National Championship (1992)

Head Coach: Steve Rodriguez (9th year at Pepperdine)

Top Hitters: Junior INF Joe Sever, WCC Player of the Year (.370 avg., 52 RBIs, 6 HRs)

Junior INF Zach Vincej, All-WCC and Conference Defensive Player of the Year (.348 avg., 23 RBIs, 18 2Bs)

Senior INF Tony Cooper, WCC Honorable Mention (.309 avg., 25 RBIs, 50 hits)

Top Pitchers: Junior Jon Moscot, All-WCC (6-5, 14 starts, 2.97 ERA, 91 Ks)

Sophomore Corey Miller, WCC Honorable Mention (8-3, 15 starts, 3.56 ERA, 65 Ks)

Sophomore Eric Karch (3-3, 24 appearances, 2.83 ERA, 28 Ks)

Notable Wins: Two out of three vs. Oklahoma and San Diego

2012 Results vs. Palo Alto Regional Opponents: Two out of three vs. Fresno State

All-time records: Stanford: 5-22, Michigan St: 1-0 (1979 NCAA Tournament), Fresno St: 26-40

Season Recap: Pepperdine began the season 7-2 with home series victories over Oklahoma and Fresno State. After a series loss at Louisville the Waves won eight of their next nine entering late March at 16-5. From March 23 to April 6 the team went 2-8, including being swept at home by Texas A&M. After an up and down stretch the Waves entered the last three weeks of the season at 26-19. In those three weeks Pepperdine caught fire winning six of seven. The Waves went into the final week of the season tied for first in the WCC with San Diego. In what was essentially a conference championship series the Waves won two out of three at home vs. the Toreros to take the WCC championship, their first conference title since 2006. Pepperdine won the championship with a 5-1 win over USD last Sunday in the regular season finale.


2012 Palo Alto Regional

Sac Bunts
#1 StanfordPac-1238-16.2906.744/26.430.37034-45.9673.25411377178.249
#2 PepperdineWCC34-21.2825.123/65.376.36347-58.9743.66613352191.263
#3 Michigan St.B1G37-21.2986.030/41.397.38061-84.9713.17315377169.245
#4 Fresno St.WAC30-26.2775.019.369.35259-78.9633.76312475161.276

All-B1G player Jordan Keur leads Michigan St. with a .359 batting average.

#3 Michigan State Spartans

Record: 37-21 (13-11, 5th in the Big Ten, four games back of first)

How they qualified: At-large

Ranking: Not ranked

Tournament History: 5th NCAA Appearance (Last 1979)/One CWS Appearance (1954)/0 National Championships

Head Coach: Jake Boss Jr. (4th year at Michigan State)

Top Hitters: Junior OF Jordan Keur, 1st team All Big Ten (.359 avg., 33 RBIs, 14 2Bs)

Junior INF Ryan Jones, 2nd team All Big Ten (.356 avg., 38 RBIs, 16 2Bs)

Junior INF Torsten Boss, 3rd team All Big Ten (.306 avg., 43 RBIs, 5 HRs)

Top Pitchers: Senior Tony Bucciferro, 3rd team All Big Ten (6-3, 15 starts, 2.80 ERA, 90 Ks)

Junior Andrew Waszak (4-3, 15 starts, 2.81 ERA, 75 Ks)

Junior Tony Wieber (2-2, 1.37 ERA, 9 Saves)

Notable Wins: at Baylor, vs. St. John’s and at Purdue

2012 Results vs. Palo Alto Regional Opponents: Did not play any of the Stanford Regional Participants

All-time records: Stanford: Never Played, Pepperdine: 0-1 (1979 NCAA Tournament), Fresno St: Never Played

Season Recap: Michigan State opened the season going 1-2 in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. After going 3-1 in the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, SC the Spartans traveled to Texas where they were swept at Texas A&M and picked up a win at Baylor. After the win in Waco Michigan State won 13 of 15 from March 9 to April 4. The streak included an eight game win streak. The team went into early April 18-8. The Spartans finished April by going 9-7 and entered the final month of the season 27-15. They finished the month losing two of three at conference champion Purdue. After starting the month by winning seven of nine the squad finished the regular season losing a series at Penn State. The Spartans then went 2-2 last weekend in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State was able to grab one of the last at-large tournament bids. The Spartans are the first Big Ten team to receive an at-large bid since 2009.

CLICK HERE to listen to an exclusive interview with Michigan State pitcher Tony Bucciferro.


Fresno State's Kenneth Wise earned 1st team All-WAC honors

#4 Fresno State Bulldogs

Record: 30-26 (8-10, 5th in WAC, three games back of first)

How they qualified: Automatic Bid – Won WAC Tournament

Ranking: Not ranked

Tournament History: 34th NCAA Appearance (2nd straight/Last Year 0-2 in UCLA Regional)/Four CWS Appearances (Last 2008)/One National Championship (2008)

Head Coach: Mike Batesole (10th year at Fresno State)

Top Hitters: Junior C/INF Trent Garrison, 2nd team All WAC (.333 avg., 35 RBIs, 10 2Bs)

Senior OF Kenneth Wise, 1st team All WAC (.323 avg., 36 RBIs, 4 HRs)

Sophomore OF Aaron Judge (.312 avg., 25 RBIs, 13 2Bs)

Top Pitchers: Senior Thomas Harlan, 2nd team All WAC (7-7, 15 starts, 2.73 ERA, 83 Ks)

Senior Justin Haley, 2nd team All WAC (7-3, 2.98 ERA, 89 Ks)

Senior Taylor Garrison (1-2, 26 appearances, 2.77 ERA, 10 Saves)

Notable Wins: Two out of three at New Mexico State and wins vs. Pepperdine, Stanford and New Mexico

2012 Results vs. Regional Opponents: 1-2 vs. Pepperdine, 1-2 vs. Stanford

All-time records: Stanfords: 45-79, Pepperdine: 40-26, Michigan St: Never Played

Season Recap: The Bulldogs started the season by winning three of four vs. Butler, but followed that by losing six of their next eight with series loses at Pepperdine and vs. Stanford.. The win vs. #1 Stanford on March 2 the Bulldogs handed Stanford ace Mark Appel his only loss of the season. Fresno entered mid-March at just 7-9 before winning five straight. From late March to the end of April the Bulldogs went 6-13 to enter May 18-22. Fresno lost each of its first three conference series. The team turned their season around by going 7-3 in May to finish the regular season. During those ten games FSU won series vs. WAC Regular Season Co-Champions Sacramento State and New Mexico State. The Bulldogs started last weekends WAC Tournament 2-0 before losing to Sacramento St. The Bulldogs then won three straight elimination games to win the tournament title. In the final game the Bulldogs defeated Sacramento St 4-3 in 13-innings on a walk-off single.


The Palo Alto Regional gets underway Friday with #2 Pepperdine taking on #3 Michigan State at 1 p.m. PST/4 EST followed by #1 Stanford going up against #4 Fresno State at 6 p.m. PST/9 EST. Saturday’s and Sunday’s games are scheduled for 1 and 6 p.m. local time as well. If a Monday game is necessary it will be played at 6 p.m. PST.

The winner of the regional takes on the winner of the Tallahassee Regional, which features #3 National seed Florida State, Mississippi State, Samford and UAB.

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