Mark Appel - Jake Roth, USA Today Sports
February 25 - March 3
The #1 North Carolina Tar Heels won the Houston Classic, sweeping through the tournament beating Rice and Austin Kubitza on Friday, Cal on Saturday, and destroying #30 Texas A&M 14-2 on Sunday. They are off to a 10-0 start.
The Cal State Fullerton Titans took two of three games against the Oregon Ducks, winning Friday and Saturday and dropping the Sunday game for their first loss of the season. Freshman hurler Thomas Eshelman won Friday, helped by an Anthony Hutting HR, to improve to 3-0 on the year. Junior Catcher Chad Wallach, son of Tim and brother of minor leaguers and former Titans Matt and Brett, had 3 hits over the weekend. He is hitting .367/.486/.467 on the season.
If North Carolina State lefty Carlos Rodon were a Junior, he would probably be the consensus #1 pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. as it is, we'll have to wait for his pro-debut in 2014, but we can pass the time by watching performances like the one he turned in on Saturday. Rodon, facing Florida Atlantic, fanned 16 in 7 innings, walking three and giving up a run.
The Arkansas Razorbacks entered the weekend as the #2 ranked team in the country. They didn't show up however, dropping all four weekend games in the Coca-Cola classic in Surprise, Arizona. #25 Arizona State beat the Hogs twice, and Arkansas also dropped games against Gonzaga and, surprisingly, University of the Pacific.
Rounding the Bases
In my head, I hear Lou Brown's voice saying, "That's a helluva block." (Video)
You can follow the college baseball attendance leaders, here. LSU averages over 10,000 per game. I bet in the 80's and mid-90's I attended at least a season's worth of Giants games (81+) that averaged well less than that.
A great list of top college players. It includes draft-ineligible players.
This is a great website for scoreboard watching.
At this point, everybody should be familiar with Mark Appel. He was the Pirates 1st round pick in 2012 and was offered $3.8 million to sign, but opted to return to Stanford for his senior season. Whether he wanted more money, didn't want to give up the "college experience", or merely wanted to continue to dominate college hitters is anybody's guess, but whatever the reason, it looks as if he'll get all that he wanted and more. Facing #22 Texas on Friday, he mowed down 14 Longhorns, a career high, in his complete game shutout.
Appel's Stanford teammate Austin Wilson, assumed to be a Top 10 pick, is dealing with an injury. He is 0-3 on the year and will possibly return to action in a month.
Brian Ragira has assumed the role of Stanford's go-to bat in Wilson's absence. A probable supplemental first-round pick, Ragira leads the Cardinal in hits and is hitting .341/.420/.523.