Stanford Tops Cougs In Series Opener


Stanford (12-8, 2-2 Pac-12) brought their “A” game Thursday night in the opener of a three-game Pac-12 series hosted by the Washington State Cougars (15-9, 2-2 Pac-12). By their “A” game, I literally mean just that.

The Friday night, or in the case this week Thursday night, guy for the No. 23 ranked Cardinal is the best pitcher at the college level. He proved that point once again against the Cougs going 9 complete innings hurling a shutout by a final score of 3-0 in Pullman, WA.

Who is the most talented pitcher in both the Pac-12 and the NCAA?

"“The guy we faced tonight is a big league pitcher,” Washington State Coach Donnie Marbut said. “Unfortunately for us, he came back to college and we had to face him.”"

Mark Appel passed up mega-millions at the end of last season. There are never enough great pitchers on an MLB roster. That’s why the Pittsburg Pirates used the 8th pick in the 2012 draft to get a crack at the services of Appel who has the potential to be a great one at the next level.

For some guys it isn’t all about the immediate gratification of money. Make no mistake in that regard.

When Appel does enter professional baseball, the guy will be offered a monstrous deal. Many experts suggest he will be the No. 1 overall pick this year. Being selected No. 1 typically means an 8-figure contract and financial security for a lifetime. A recent example of a Pac-12 student-athlete charting a similar course was Garret Cole of UCLA who is now in the Pittsburg organization. Heck, when Cole finally inked a deal after his junior season the contract included an $8million signing bonus.

Instead of being the darling of a major league ball club, Appel is enjoying another year of college life and looking invincible when he is handed the ball to start a game.

Washington State played pretty good baseball Thursday night, but gave up a miscue in the second inning. That proved to be all Stanford needed. They plated three runs, one unearned and rode the strong arm of Appel the rest of the way to victory .

The Cougs had chances but failed to capitalize going 0-8 with runners in scoring position. At the risk of rationalizing, credit the major league stuff of Appel for shutting down WSU each and every time they tried to scratch their way back into the ballgame.

Looking at the big picture, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is WSU lost the opening game of the conference series. The good news is they will be facing inexperienced Stanford pitching in the next two games.

There will be a special fireworks display following the game tonight. It’s very likely the Cougs will show some fireworks of their own against Stanford. If you can’t be on hand at Bailey-Brayton Field to take in some of the best in college baseball at 6pm, the Pac-12 is offering a live stream of the action.




Joe Pistorese

(3-2) went the distance Thursday night allowing just 9-hits and striking out 4. His ERA is an impressive 2.09 over a team-leading 47 ⅔ innings of work.

Collin Slaybaugh

collected half of the Cougs hits against Appel going 2-4

– WSU is 11-3 at home this year