See also: Super Regional scoreboard
Stanford (34-24) at Vanderbilt (44-18)
Friday: 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sunday: 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Coach: Mark Marquess.
Postseason History: 10th super regional appearance. Seeking 17th trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in Bloomington Regional. Won in five games, beating No. 4 Indiana in the final.
|2B||Brett Michael Doran||R||Sr.||.234||.332||.304||1||21||22||33||3|
(An anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinal)
"They're dangerous. They're athletic. They're physical. They've got some experience, of course, with Blandino and Diekroeger. And they are just one of those physical teams that, if you don't get ahead and you leave some pitches in the middle of the plate, they can hurt you. They're a complete mystery team. Their pitching is kind of thrown on the wall. They've got some good young arms. Quantrill obviously is a good arm. Vanegas is the wild card of that playoff. I think they're a dangerous team, a West Coast team that has some physicality to it. I think they play pretty good defense. They're athletic and they cover ground. A bigger, athletic team.
"Hoffpauir's a football guy. They're one of those few teams that are physical and they can hold onto some guys, whereas a lot of those other physical guys aren't showing up on the West. There's no shortstops showing up on the West, no catching showing up on the West. These guys didn't have a great year, but they clearly played a very, very difficult nonconference schedule. I think it's a tough matchup for Vanderbilt. There's no fear, they've played everybody. They survived the West, survived the Indiana regional. Was that unbelievable or what?
"Edman's an unassuming player, but he's a good freshman. He's patient, I think he sees the ball pretty good, and he can hit a fastball. Blandino is one of the best pure hitters, clearly, in the West. He's got some pull power, and he wants the ball middle-in, he wants to pull. And he hits breaking balls good. How you get him out is you pitch him away, you cross-count him with the change. He hammers the ball in and he hammers spin, in my opinion. Diekroeger wants to pull early. Another guy that, his barrel is in the zone a long time. He'll get himself out, a little undisciplined, but he hammers righthanded pitching. His splits are big.
"Slater is one of those big, strong, athletic guys that you don't really see a whole lot in the West. he's strong, physical, hits the ball in the middle of the field. He'll hit mistakes, likes the ball out over the plate. He's a dangerous guy. Hoffpauir's got some pop, he chases, a lot of strikeouts, low walks. But they're somewhat of a mistake-hitting team. They're physical enough that they're going to make you pay if you make mistakes. I don't really love them, but I think Blandino is completely the real deal, and they've got enough guys around him. My big worry for them is, are they too righthanded? Whiting will play, Taylor will play, Jose will play, so they may get lefthanded, and Diekroeger's a lefthanded hitter and Edman's a switch-hitter, so they'll have a decent mix. But I think those righthanders are in for a long weekend possibly.
"On the mound, they've got young arms and they're talented arms. And they've got some power arms. Quantrill is 90-93, he's got a good arm. He's another guy that can surprise you a little bit. They could be a sneaky team. I would not rule him out this weekend. He was more fastball and presence; I think he mostly strikes people out with his fastball, not really a knockout breaking ball. I think he's going to be really good the next couple years. Hochstatter, he's OK. It's 83-86, 87. It's touch and feel, there's a change. Logan James has a pretty good arm and a pretty good breaking ball. He's a little bit of a wild card too. He's got better stuff than Hochstatter for sure. If he can throw strikes, I like him. It's a low 90s, 90-91 arm with kind of a hard slurve. He's all right, a little erratic.
"Vanegas is the other guy that, he could go four or five innings out of the bullpen, and he's got power stuff. Vanegas, if he was healthy his whole career, they may be talking first round with him a year ago. Now he looks like he's contributing. If they're up 3-2 in the seventh or eighth, he can come in and shut them down.
"There's certainly swagger there. They're not dirty. They're not really in your face, but they're competitive. They're a little bit like an SEC team, much more than most of the teams out west, just because of their physicality and their style a little bit. There's not a lot of short game, and they don't run that much. It's pretty much power versus power. They're kind of a wild card team. I don't think anybody expected them to be where they were. But they just kind of play. There's no Oregon to them, where Oregon manufactures runs, and Stanford is more of an athletic, physical banger team. I think their outfield can run. It's one of those outfields that plays deep, they don't take a lot of chances but they run pretty well. Blandino is solid at third, Edman is solid at short. Diekroeger is really a middle infielder playing first, he's good, and Whiting is serviceable behind the plate. They're better than you think defensively, and I think they'll be pretty good on that turf at Vanderbilt.
"The other thing about Stanford is they run pretty good. I'm talking more like 90s, home to first. They don't steal bases, but you've got a bunch of solid runners through the bag. And they put a little pressure on defenses with their speed, not so much with their short game. They all run pretty good, but they just want to hit, they don't want to get thrown out. There's a fair share of doubles. Most teams on the West, all they can do is hit singles. This team hits doubles and some home runs. That separates them from some clubs. They're a dangerous team, and you saw that this weekend. If they get you on the ropes, they're a little bit dangerous."
Coach: Tim Corbin.
Postseason History: 5th super regional appearance (2nd straight). Seeking 2nd trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Nashville Regional. Won in three games, beating Oregon in the final.
(An anonymous coach breaks down the Commodores)
"It's just arm after arm, and every single guy is 93-95. Tyler Beede was the guy coming in with all the fanfare, and he's thrown better of late, but Carson Fulmer, and (Adam) Ravenelle out of the pen, those guys are good. Fulmer, the energy he brings on the mound, he believes he's going to win, he competes with closer stuff but for seven innings as a starter. I thought he was the best guy we saw all year. He's athletic on the mound, he holds runners. He does all the things you need a guy to do. The changeup is a great pitch, and he only needs to use that against a premium hitter who can catch up to his fastball. Against lefties with changeups, it keeps them honest. Usually he just needs the fastball-slider.
"Beede was effectively wild. I definitely thought Fulmer was better than him, not a knock on Tyler. But it looked like it wasn't coming out of his hand clean, he scuffled some. These last couple starts, he's gotten back to the guy he was. The curveball, he'd throw one good one and one bad one, just inconsistent. It didn't look like he was getting into a flow. He's a good competitor, found a way to get through it, that says a lot about him. He's going to be just fine, went through a little bit of adversity, and looks like he's gotten through it. His changeup was better than his breaking ball and more consistent. But he's a legit three-pitch guy. I can see him being in someone's rotation in the big leagues for a long time.
"You get to Sunday and you're thinking, 'OK, we might be able to get somewhere.' Not the case at all. (Tyler) Ferguson is just aggressive, gets after it. We thought watching on tape we might be able to take early and get ahead in counts, but he was dead on and threw strikes. Then you see Ravenelle, it's almost unfair to see so many arms like that. That was by far the best pitching staff we saw all year. Ravenelle was 94-95, and the slider really gave our guys a hard time. Guys just couldn't pick up the spin, a great slider, a great out pitch. The fastball was good enough where you have to cheat a little bit, and he was commanding it pretty good. Then Jared Miller, he's tough on our lefties, and he got taken out of the rotation but he's a strike-thrower. He's starting to get the ball up in the zone a little bit. Brian Miller is really tough to pick up, strike after strike, really hard on our righties with that low slot, and enough sink on it that our lefties had trouble with it too.
"Offensively, Conde puts a lot of pressure on you, a lot of good at-bats and he can run. Reynolds is a freshman, one of the better hitters we saw all year. Reynolds made me uncomfortable. You don't normally see freshmen that make you uncomfortable, but he took really good swings, didn't swing at too many out of the zone. He had an idea of what he wanted to do; I think he's got a chance to be a great hitter. Xavier Turner, when those guys are locked into their approach and hitting balls to the middle, they give you problems with the approach. They take their walks, don't chase a lot of balls. They are a doubles team, they hit a lot of doubles. Zander Wiel has some power, can hit a long home run. Just a very competitive lineup one through nine.
"Swanson and Conde, they get on base, score a lot of runs, can both bunt. They play the game. They have a great rapport in the middle of the infield, they understand the game, just good baseball players. The biggest thing about Dansby is he believes it. Great players believe they're great players, And he does. And he should—I think he is a great player. He's got the confidence and feel for the game. I think he has a chance to have a big, big junior year next year.
"I thought defensively, Norwood was very good, they can put in Ro Coleman to give them good at-bats and bunt, do some things. Wiseman gives them a threat. But one through nine, there's no definite outs in the lineup. They bunt, hit-and-run, steal bases. It's built for their pitching staff. They play great defense, they already pitch it well; they're playing for low-scoring games, playing to win 4-3, but they won't give up very many.
"Jason Delay did a really good job behind the plate, handled the staff well, did a good job on the ball in the dirt, a good thrower but not a great thrower. And he swung the bat OK. I give him an 'A' for the way he handled that staff as a freshman and hitting the way he did. I was very impressed with him.
“I thought Vanderbilt was the best team we played all year. Overall their lineup was very good from top to bottom. And their pitching was the best.”