June 3, 2011
Box Score | Photo Gallery
FULLERTON, CA - Stanford's Lonnie Kauppila finished 4-for-5 with a pair of runs driven in to help power a 16-hit attack and sophomore right-hander Mark Appel struck out eight in the complete-game effort, lifting the No. 2-seeded Cardinal to a 10-3 win over No. 3-seeded Kansas State on Friday night in the opening game of the 2011 NCAA Baseball Regional at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, CA.
Stanford improved to 33-20 overall and advanced in the winners bracket to meet either No. 4-seeded Illinois or host and top-seeded Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night at 8 p.m. PDT. The Wildcats (36-24) will meet the loser of Friday night's late game between the Fighting Illini and the Titans on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the first elimination game of the regional.
Appel (6-6) allowed three runs on seven hits without walking a batter, tossing his second complete game of the season for the Cardinal, who took advantage of five Kansas State errors on the day. Wildcats starter Kyle Hunter (5-5) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits and striking out a pair in four innings of work.
Kauppila was one of six Stanford hitters with multiple hits on the day, five of whom drove in at least one run. Stephen Piscotty finished with two hits and three runs scored to go with an RBI while Ben Clowe had two hits and two runs scored.
Kenny Diekroeger's RBI double in the second put the Cardinal on the board in the second inning while Kauppila and Brian Ragira added RBI hits in the third for the 3-0 lead.
Appel, who didn't allow a hit until the fourth and retired the first nine batters he faced, was tagged for a single run on Jason King's RBI ground out in the fourth, but held the Wildcats to just two hits over the next three innings while Stanford's offense took control, scoring three in the fifth and two each in the sixth and seventh to salt the game away.
Kansas State tried to claw its way back, striking for two runs in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Kent Urban and Nick Martini to close the gap, but a strikeout by Appel ended the inning and a pair of ground balls and a fly out in the ninth clinched the win.
Urban finished 3-for-4 to pace the Wildcats while Dan Klein also had two hits for Kansas State.
Stanford Coach Mark Marquess
(Opening statement): "I think it was a good game for us. I thought Mark Appel pitched magnificently. He didn't walk anybody and was low in the zone. Offensively we were able to get timely hits. It was a well played college baseball game."
(On the keys to the game) "They (Kansas State) made a couple of errors which helped us and then we backed those up with hits. They gave us some free base runners and that helped us."
(On keeping Appel in the game) "His pitch count was pretty well up there when we broke out and got a significant lead. It's important when you're pitching in a four-team regional and you can preserve the depth of your staff. It's huge. It will help us."
(On Lonnie Kauppila's effort) "Lonnie has played great all year. He's played phenomenally defensively and hit over .300. He's really come on and matured as a player. You can't expect a freshman to come in and play as well as he has."
Pitcher Mark Appel
(On his performance) "I feel like all my pitches were working today. The key was keeping them down in the zone, and being able to throw two off-speed pitches for strikes and keeping the hitters guessing."
(On his strategy) "Going into the game we knew Kansas State is a fast team and steals a lot of bases. Keeping those runners off the bases is huge. The first runner that scored for them was off a hit batter, so it just goes to show it's important not to give them free baserunners."
Second baseman Lonnie Kauppila
(On Stanford's offensive breakout) "We've been seeing and hitting the ball really well. Capitalizing on their errors was really huge too."
(On his performance at the plate) "I've been struggling lately, trying to figure out my swing. I'm trying to stay more compact and hoping I can keep it going this weekend."
Kansas State Coach Brad Hill
(Opening Statement) "Appel just dominated us on a pitching standpoint. His velocity was too much. Once he became a two-pitch pitcher, mixing in that changeup, he became a three-pitch guy. We were really concerned about his velocity. Our swings were long, we tried to cheat through it. The breaking ball and changeup came into effect. The five errors, which we made, we haven't done in a long time. That was really disappointing. It really opened up the door for them in some situations."
(On Goodwin Field compared to their home stadium) "The stadium is a little similar. A little bigger in left, a little shorter in right, besides that it's similar."
(On playing tomorrow) "We'll just come out and play better tomorrow. We were embarrassed today, no question. We're a much better ball club than that. We're going to go out and do the best we can. We did some things today, and we're going to prove we're a better ball club than we were today."
(On starting pitcher Kyle Hunter) "Got behind the count, and left balls up. You're going to get in trouble when that happens. I thought they fouled off two pitches he made. He just didn't throw enough pitches down in the zone."
Kansas State 3B Jason King
(On Stanford starter Mark Appel) "Our conference prepared us well to face a guy like that. We faced three guys who are very similar. I think we were ready, but when you face a guy like that who's on, it's going to be hard to beat him, especially when you throw two pitches for strikes, it's going to be tough."
(On not getting multiple hits in a row) "Appel was throwing multiple pitches for strikes, to righties and lefties, and that makes it hard to do that."
Kansas State LF Kent Urban
(On feeling if they were ever out of the ball game) "With aluminium bats, even if they're toned down a little bit, you never think you're out of the game. Those five errors killed us. We don't make those five errors, the game's a lot closer. We've come down from big deficits before. We'll come back tomorrow, play our style and play better baseball."