NCAA Baseball Palo Alto Regional Breakdown

Palo Alto Regional Breakdown

Stanford has a handful of players who will be playing in the big leagues sooner or later, but first they want to take a trip to the College World Series. The Cardinal have not been to Omaha since 2008 and juniors Mark Appel, Stephen Piscotty and Kenny Diekroeger have the talent to lead them back. Appel is the ace of the staff and one of the best pitchers in college baseball. Southpaw Brett Mooneyham is often overshadowed by Appel, but he is a fine starter as well. If Stanford is going to lose, the opposition will have to get into their bullpen. But even that may not be enough since Stanford, who ranked 23rd in the nation with 6.8 runs per game during the regular season, can certainly outscore their opponents even if Appel or Mooneyham have a bad outing.

But for now the question is whether or not anybody else in the region can get the best of the Cardinal. Pepperdine won the West Coast Conference title and the Waves have some quality wins on their resume. The pitching staff is solid, led by Jon Moscot, Scott Frazier and Corey Miller and the offense can put up some decent numbers on occasion. Joe Sever is the biggest bat on the team and he will need to continue to come through in the clutch.

Michigan State snuck into the NCAA Tournament and has a well balanced team with enough depth to potentially do some damage in Palo Alto. Tony Bucciferro and Andrew Waszak are quality starters and Tony Wieber was one of the best closers in the Big Ten during his junior campaign. The Spartans are solid at the plate too. They may not have a ton of power, but Ryan Jones, Jordan Keur, Torsten Boss and John Martinez are all very good hitters. Fresno State had to pull off a few upsets to win the WAC Tournament and reach the NCAAs. Since winning it all in 2008, the Bulldogs have failed to even win a game in the tournament. The story could be the same this year as Coach Mike Batesole has had trouble with consistency with this squad throughout the season. However, they are hot right now thanks to those WAC Tournament dramatics. For Fresno to make any noise in Palo Alto their hitting will have to get better. The Bulldogs do have quality depth on the mound and that could come in very handy if they can keep that momentum rolling in the right direction.


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