2012 Record: 41-18
2012 Finish: Stanford finished the regular season going 8-2 in its last 10 games in 2012. Its work through the season earned it a regional-host bid, which it ran the table on Fresno State and Pepperdine, advancing to play Florida State in the Super Regionals. If you are a Stanford fan, please stop reading now. The Seminoles took the Cardinal out behind the woodshed and beat them mercifully, outscoring Stanford 35-8 (I am still talking about baseball, I know it looks like a football score) in a two-game sweep to end their run to Omaha.
Good news for Stanford, Mark Appel is back for the 2013 season. The senior Friday night ace and first-team All-American picked up a 10-2 record last season with a 2.56 ERA and is arguably one of the most intimidating pitchers in the country.
Stanford will need to find a solid starter for the rest of the weekend with the absence of Brett Mooneyham, and junior Garret Hughes looks to be a good candidate for that. Hughes went 3-1 in his four starts in 2013 with a 3.20 ERA.
Offensively, Stanford returns some talent in Danny Diekroeger and first-team All-American Brian Ragira. Diekroeger finished 2013 hitting a solid .345, while Ragira hit for a respectable .329 and a team-high 83 hits.
Key Series: Perhaps one of the better opening weekend series in the nation and big test for both teams will occur when No. 8 Stanford travels down to Houston, Texas, to take on the No. 21 Rice Owls. The two teams met last season for a three-game series, which saw Stanford taking two-of-three games from the Owls.