Stanford lands three on Baseball America’s preseason All-America first team
Baseball America named Stanford senior starting pitcher Mark Appel, junior right fielder Austin Wilson and junior first baseman Brian Ragira to its preseason All-America first team yesterday.
Appel, who surprised most of the nation when he spurned the Pittbsurgh Pirates to return to Stanford for his senior season, is the only repeat selection from 2012. Last year, fellow junior Stephen Piscotty joined Appel on the preseason first team. Piscotty chose to forego his senior season after being drafted 36th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Wilson and Ragira are expected to provide pop to the middle of the Stanford order. Top prospects coming out of high school, both Wilson and Ragira have started since they arrived on the Farm. Ragira has a .329 career batting average, and Wilson led Stanford with 10 homers in 2012.
Stanford is the only team in the country with three players on the Baseball America preseason All-America first team, which is selected by a poll of Major League Baseball scouting directors. North Carolina State, which placed two players on the team, was the only other team in the country with more than one member on the team.
Stanford, which has been ranked as high as fourth in preseason polls, opens its season two weeks from today. The Cardinal travels to Houston, Texas, to take on Rice in a three-game series.
Women’s tennis opens season with 6-1 win against UC-Davis
The No. 5 Stanford women’s tennis team kicked off its 2013 campaign with a 6-1 win against UC-Davis at Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Thursday. The Cardinal (1-0) took the doubles point and never looked back, dominating the Aggies (1-3) in five of the six singles matches.
Senior Stacy Tan was the first off the courts after she won all 12 of her games against UC-Davis senior Ellie Edles. Junior Kristie Ahn and sophomore Ellen Tsay, ranked No. 55, also won in straight sets and lost just a combined five games.
Highly touted freshman Krista Hardebeck, ranked No. 2 in the country, began her Stanford career with a 6-1, 6-0 win against Aggie senior Lauren Curry, while defending singles and doubles national champion Nicole Gibbs opened her junior year with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph.
The Cardinal’s lone loss was senior Natalie Dillon’s 4-6, 7-6 (2), 1-0 (8) falter against Melissa Kobayakawa.
Wrestling heads to Utah Valley and Boise State looking to build momentum
Fresh off a much-needed victory over Cal Poly (27-9) last week, the Stanford wrestling team heads off on another road trip in search of what has proved elusive so far this season: momentum.
The Cardinal (5-12, 1-2 Pac-12) will have its hands full when it takes on No. 17 Boise State (6-5, 2-1) on Sunday, but first has to deal with a much-improved Utah Valley side (3-2) tonight.
The Wolverines whipped Northern Colorado all around the mat in its last meet, winning 39-0. UVM also took down Arizona State two weeks ago.
Much will be placed on the broad shoulders of Bret Baumbach — the redshirt junior has won seven consecutive matches. Dan Scherer, too, has been good for the Cardinal, as has redshirt freshman Evan Silver, with the heavyweight Scherer scheduled to face No. 10 J.T. Felix when Stanford takes on the Broncos.