For the past two seasons, every time senior Mark Appel stepped out onto the mound on a Friday night and looked towards home plate, he saw dozens of scouts with radar guns pointed right at him. Appel was such a can’t-miss prospect that not a soul expected to see him back at Stanford for his senior year. But when Appel fell to the eighth overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball’s Draft this past June, everything changed.
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Ace righthander Mark Appel was the only member of Stanford baseball’s 2012 draft class to return to school, as six former Cardinal players inked deals and began minor-league play in recent weeks.
Twenty-five days ago, the cruel Southeast sun set on another Stanford baseball season, the 24th in a row that has ended without a third national championship trophy making its way to the Farm. And as Cardinal fans watched another Pac-12 school, Arizona, erase a 25-year title drought of its own last Monday, they must have been shaking their heads that such a promising season ended with another floundering effort in the Super Regionals.
Thud. That’s perhaps the only way to describe how the Stanford baseball team ended its season. The Cardinal got beat by a No. 3 Florida State team that flat-out deserved its national seed. But 17-1? 18-7? What a way to go, especially when a Mark Marquess-coached team hadn’t lost by 10 or more runs once—much less twice—since April 2009.
The Stanford baseball team’s road to Omaha was cut short in the Super Regionals for the second straight year on Sunday night, as the Cardinal was blown out by Florida State 18-7 despite outhitting its hosts 18-13.
In the midst of a run to the Super Regionals of the College World Series, seven Stanford baseball players were selected in the MLB’s first-year player draft this Monday through Wednesday.
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.