Stanford baseball hosts an NCAA Regional after earning a top-16 national seed. The three teams invited to the regional are the Baylor Bears, Cal State Fullerton Titans and Wright State Raiders. The profiles of each team are shown below:
No. 2 Baylor Bears
Record: 36-19, 13-11 Big 12
Home/Road Splits: 19-7 home, 12-10 road
Head coach: Steve Rodriguez (third year)
Record against RPI top 50: 8-11
Record against RPI top 100: 18-16
Big picture: After starting their season 14-16, the Bears went on a rampage in their final 25 games of the season, going 22-3 in that stretch, including four series wins against Big 12 teams. They enter the regional on a six-game win streak, coming off their first Big 12 title in program history following a 6-5, 11-inning win against TCU in the championship. Not only are the Bears hitting .289 as a team (with five players hitting above .300), but the pitching staff also owns a 3.19 ERA, good for 11th in the nation.
Players to watch: Designated hitter Richard Cunningham and first baseman Andy Thomas lead the Bears in hits (73 and 70, respectively) and batting average (.344 and .343). Cody Bradford (7-5) has a 2.38 ERA through 13 starts, best among regular starters.
No. 3 Cal State Fullerton Titans
Record: 32-23, 18-6 Big West
Home/Road Splits: 16-10 home, 16-13 road
Head coach: Rick Vanderhook (seventh year)
Record against RPI top 50: 3-11
Record against RPI top 100: 5-13
Big picture: Cardinal fans likely groaned when they saw that storied postseason rival Cal State Fullerton — making its 27th straight postseason appearance and seeking its 23rd regional title overall — ended up in Stanford’s region. The Titans eliminated the nationally seeded Cardinal last year and advanced to the College World Series, their third in a decade. Stanford and Fullerton clashed to open the season in February, and the Cardinal outscored the Titans 16-9 in a three-game sweep. More recently, the Titans have won 13 of their last 16 games to claim the Big West regular season title.
Players to watch: Second baseman Hank LoForte, the Titans’ primary leadoff hitter, paces Fullerton with a .341 batting average and 72 hits, and catcher Daniel Cope has a team-high 40 RBIs. Two of Fullerton’s three primary starters, Colton Eastman and Tommy Wilson, have ERAs below 3.00.
No. 4 Wright State Raiders
Record: 39-15, 22-6 Horizon
Home/Road Splits: 19-3 home, 17-11 road
Head coach: Jeff Mercer (second year)
Record against RPI top 50: 0-1
Record against RPI top 100: 6-7
Big picture: The Raiders visit Stanford riding an eight-game win streak, claiming the Horizon League regular season title and also winning the conference tournament for the third time in four years. They have scored double-digit runs in each of their last six contests, including three games in the Horizon League Tournament. They have made the postseason in three of the past four years and six times since 2006, but have never won a regional.
Players to watch: First baseman Gabe Snyder’s .363 average, 15 home runs and 72 RBIs power the Raiders offense. Ryan Weiss (9-2, 3.40 ERA) leads the team in starts and innings pitched and should take the mound against Stanford on Friday.
Contact Alexa Philippou at aphil723 ‘at’ stanford.edu.