Stanford righthander Mark Appel continues to dominate during his senior season for the Cardinal.
Stanford lost in an upset tonight at home against Nevada Las Vegas, 3-2, but Appel continued to be electric. He pitched seven innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits with one walk and 15 strikeouts—a new career high.
"He's been real consistent," Stanford pitching coach Rusty Filter said. "Rice was not his best outing, but the last three have been real consistent. He's been pretty special the last couple years going on Friday, giving us a chance to win and he did the same thing tonight, we just didn't pull it out. He's been pretty good the past three weeks."
The athletic, 6-foot-5, 215-pound Appel was pitching with his typical stuff tonight: a mid-90s fastball that topped out at 98, a hard slider and a changeup. Once again he's one of the most talented players in the country but it's tough to gauge where he'll go in the draft after turning down $3.8 million from the Pirates as the No. 8 pick in 2012. He's taken a step forward from his junior year to his senior year and is on track to graduate this quarter.
"He's become more of a baseball player at this point, trying to understand situations and trying to pitch out of situations," Filter said. "He had a fantastic year, number-wise last year, and to try to improve upon that sometimes isn't really do-able. But he's tried to create more angle to the fastball and pitch both sides of the plate with the fastball and he's been able to do that so far this year."
Over his first four starts, Appel is 2-2, 1.20 with 17 hits, six walks and 43 strikeouts over 30 innings.