Appel Pitches Stanford to Opening-Round Win
June 3, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - Stanford's Mark Appel pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts and the second-seeded Cardinal scored seven runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to defeat No. 3-seed Kansas State, 10-3, Friday afternoon on the first day of the NCAA Fullerton Regional at Goodwin Field.
Kansas State fell to 36-24 on the year and will play an elimination game against the loser of Friday's second game between No. 1-seed Cal State Fullerton and No. 4-seed Illinois at 6 p.m., (CT) Saturday. Stanford improved to 33-20 and will play the winner of the game between the Titans and Fighting Illini at 10 p.m., (CT) Saturday.
Appel retired the first nine batters he faced with three strikeouts. After hitting Ross Kivett with a pitch and allowing a single to Kent Urban to open the fourth inning, the right-hander faced just one over the minimum until the seventh inning. He surrendered three runs on the afternoon, two of which came in the eighth inning, on seven hits with no walks.
"More than anything else, it was how Appel dominated us from a pitching standpoint," head coach Brad Hill said. "His velocity was too much today, and his breaking ball was working. He became a three-pitch guy with the breaking ball and a changeup. We were really concerned about his velocity. We got our swings long and tried to cheat to it, and that's when the breaking ball and changeup came into effect. We also got sloppy defensively too, which opened up the door for them in some situations."
Stanford led 3-1 through four innings, but scored three times in the fifth on RBI singles by Scott Piscotty and Kenny Diekroeger, and a run-scoring double by Lonnie Kauppila to extend its lead to 6-1.
Kansas State didn't do itself any favors with five errors in the game that led to two unearned runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. The Wildcats' five errors were the most in a game since 2004.
Kauppila led the Cardinal offensively, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Piscotty went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while four other Cardinal players had two hits each.
K-State starter Kyle Hunter (5-5) took the loss as he allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
Urban paced the Wildcats, going 3-for-4 with a RBI. The senior extended his hitting streak to eight games and recorded his second three-hit game of the season. Dan Klein added two hits, while Nick Martini and Jason King had the Cats' other two RBI.
King's RBI came on a groundout in the fourth inning to give him 150 for his career, but the junior lost his career-long 16-game hitting streak by going 0-for-4.
Consecutive RBI doubles by Urban and Martini scored two Wildcat runs in the eighth inning.
The Wildcats will face either Cal State Fullerton or Illinois in the loser's bracket Saturday afternoon at 6 p.m. (CT). The game can be seen nationally on ESPNU and ESPN3.com, while listeners throughout the state of Kansas can hear the game on the K-State Sports Network.