Stanford’s ace righty Mark Appel was masterful in shutting down Fresno State at Sunken Diamond on Friday night, going the distance and allowing four hits while striking out 11 in a 9-1 win. The Cardinal will face Pepperdine today and Fresno State faces Michigan State in an elimination game.
Appel saw his record improve to 10-1 as he avenged his only loss of the season. Expected to be the top overall pick in Monday’s draft, Appel showed why with a dazzling array of pitches that had the Bulldog hitters off balance into the middle innings. In the March loss at Fresno, Appel got hurt with fastballs early in the count as the aggressive Bulldog hitters pounded out seven runs on eight hits.
On Friday, Appel mixed it up and showed he could do as much damage with his offspeed stuff as he can with his high-90’s fastball. Meanwhile, the Cardinal bats were piling up hits against Fresno State starter Justin Haley and three relievers. Haley danced out of trouble nearly every inning until Stanford plated two runs in the fifth, then three more in the sixth.
With Appel in top form, it was more than enough. The Cardinal finished with nine runs on 12 hits and Fresno State helped out with four errors. Austin Wilson drove in three runs for Stanford and Kenny Diekroeger drove in two.