Stanford tops ESPN Top 20, midweek notes

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

The other day I took a spin around the landscape of Northern California D1 baseball, after the opening weekend.  It clearly was an eye opening weekend for Cal Poly (destroyed Oklahoma State), Santa Clara (swept a tourney in Texas), Stanford (pounded Vanderbilt in a sweep), and to a lesser extent, Cal (swept Pacific, which they should have) and Saint Mary's (dominated on the mound in sweeping Southern Utah).  There was an awful lot of winning coming out of this region and ESPN has taken note.  

Stanford is #1 in the poll, with good stuff about LHP Brett Mooneyham (Buhach Colony HS) and freshman LHP John Hochstatter (San Ramon Valley HS) in the article.  No mention though of the HUGE weekend for junior 3B Stephen Piscotty (Amador Valley HS).  Cal is #9, with nice mention of senior C Chadd Krist (Petaluma HS) and junior 2B Tony Renda (Serra HS).  Cal Poly is ranked #18 and junior RHP Joey Wagman (Monte Vista HS) got lots of pub.  The amount of good pitching to come out of Monte Vista over the years is astounding.  Wagman was very little known, at least in regard to many other MVHS pitchers over the years... like Stanford's junior RHP Mark Appel and Oregon's sophomore LHP Christian Jones.  That is just a few of them and they ARE good.

Click here for a link to the article about ESPN's 2012 Top 20 college baseball poll/power rankings... LOTS of good ink for our clubs, including Cal Poly, Stanford, Santa Clara and nice mention for the West Coast Conference and some WCC teams like Gonzaga, Pepperdine, and BYU (up here the WCC includes Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, USF).  Some are saying the WCC has passed the Pac-12 in NCAA hoops.  Could the same happen in baseball?... I don't think so but I do think the WCC has closed the gap.

Midweek games are going on and so far this week...

*Santa Clara moved to 4-0 with a win 5-2 AT Cal Poly.  Cal Poly may have entered the national rankings but Santa Clara is the team at 4-0.  Lucas Herbst and Patrick Stover keep carrying the offense and once again the bullpen was outstanding.

*Nevada came into San Francisco and handed the Dons an unexpected 7-3 loss.  That brings the Wolfpack to 3-1 and dropped the Dons to 2-2.  There was production up and down the Nevada line-up, which produced a 12 hit attack and eight of the nine starting hitters had positive contributions with the bat, including Joe Kohan with a 3-4 effort (R, RBI).  Former Serra LHP, freshman Barry Timko made his college debut for Nevada and threw a scoreless inning.

*San Jose State and UC Davis had to stop their game due to darkness and were tied 3-3 headed into the 12th inning.  Of particular note in this game is this blurb I copied from the SJSU website... "Andre Mercurio and Michael Gerlach got things started by extending their streak of reaching base to 12 straight combined at-bats as the No. 1 and 2 hitters in the Spartans’ lineup. Mercurio led off the game with a walk and Gerlach singled on a bouncing ball through the left side."

*Stanford survived in extra innings at Pacific on Tuesday night, with Stephen Piscotty drilling a two-run homer that proved to be the difference.  It was Piscotty's 3rd homer of the young season and he already has 11 RBI, though he also made his 4th error already.  Christian Griffiths, Tyler Gaffney and Brian Ragira continued the very strong start by the Stanford offense.  For Pacific John Haberman had a four-hit night and Allen Riley hit his first homer of the season. 

*On Monday Saint Mary's beat Sacramento State 7-2.  Senior 1B Troy Channing went 3-4 with 3 RBI (2 2B, including one with bases loaded) in the win and is off to a very strong start.  Sophomore LHP Ben Griset turned in 7.0 very strong innings.  Look out for this club... I think they are a force to be reckoned with.