By Joseph Beyda
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.
Stanford (41-18, 18-12 Pac-12) stayed in contention until an eight-run top of the eighth for the Seminoles (48-15, 24-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who stranded 14 Cardinal runners to extend Stanford’s College World Series drought to four years. The Cardinal gave up double-digit bases for free for the second game in a row, walking nine and committing four errors, en route to just its second loss of the season when scoring at least seven runs.
“We just couldn’t stay with them,” said head coach Mark Marquess. “They beat us in every chance we had. They just beat us. They did a great job. We couldn’t contain them.”
Redshirt junior lefthander Brett Mooneyham’s final collegiate outing lasted just over an inning, as he allowed five runs before being replaced by sophomore righty A.J. Vanegas, who kept the Seminoles at six runs through the fifth frame. Stanford tacked on runs in the third and fifth but could never make too much of a dent, despite a 4-for-5 performance from junior leftfielder Stephen Piscotty, also likely playing in his last game in Cardinal.
“We didn’t quit,” Piscotty said. “Going into today, the goal was to get ahead early, but if we got down we were just going to fire back. We had nothing to lose. I think our team did that.”
After Florida State made it 10-2 in the seventh, Stanford mounted its first significant rally of the weekend. Doubles by Piscotty and sophomore rightfielder Austin Wilson started things off before a fielding error, an infield single and a pair of walks kept the four-run push going.
With the bases loaded and the score 10-6, Piscotty then grounded out to third — his only out of the night — to end the inning, and the Seminoles came back with eight runs to put Stanford hopes to rest.
“I would’ve traded all four of those hits for that at-bat,” Piscotty said. “It’s tough. I am just so proud of the way our team played.”
Florida State was led by senior third baseman Sherman Johnson, who had five RBI on the evening. Homers by Johnson and junior first baseman Jace Boyd accounted for five of the Seminoles’ first six runs, and grand slam by junior leftfielder Seth Miller punctuated the eighth-inning onslaught.
While the Seminoles get ready for Omaha, Stanford will now begin to prepare for a future without its top two starters, junior righty Mark Appel and Mooneyham, as well as two of its best hitters over the last three years, Piscotty and shortstop Kenny Diekroeger. Also selected in the later rounds of last week’s draft were centerfielder Jake Stewart, catcher Eric Smith and leftfielder Tyler Gaffney, all of which are eligible for another year on the Farm.