College World Series
“Quarterback U” is once again making headlines as “Coming-back U.” When Mark Appel pulled an Andrew Luck on Friday, announcing that he was returning for his senior season and turning down $3.8 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates, he bought the Cardinal at least a few games it just couldn’t have won with another pitcher on the mound.
The No. 13 Stanford baseball team may have swept its regional last weekend, but it still has a cross-country trip up next.
Stanford swept its regional for the second straight year, beating Fresno State once and Pepperdine twice at Sunken Diamond last weekend to stay in contention for its first national title since 1988.
The good news is that the Stanford Cardinal easily won its regional and punched its ticket to the Super Regionals. The bad news is that the Cardinal now has to travel to Tallahassee and face a Florida State team that spent the majority of the 2012 season as the country’s top-ranked team.
Don’t sleep on Fresno State. That’s a lesson that the college baseball world learned the hard way in 2008, when the unheralded, 33-27 Bulldogs took their conference tournament by storm and never stopped winning, staving off elimination six times en route to the program’s first NCAA championship in a men’s sport.
Fear not! The sports world (and the NCAA selection committee) has given us all another gift: Stanford is hosting a regional in the NCAA baseball tournament this weekend. The Cardinal will compete in a four-team, double-elimination bracket, and the winner will go on to the Super Regionals. From there, a best-of-three series will determine the eight participants in the College World Series.