No. 1: 13-Run Inning vs. Texas
In retrospect, this full-throttled display of Cardinal offensive
might seems like a mirage in the desert now just because Stanford
never regained the prowess it demonstrated in its 13-2 start. After
taking two of three from Rice in March, the Farm Boys'
university-mandated finals week off threw a wrench in their
previously well-oiled engine. But let us not forget the fourth
inning in which this team scored 13 runs and batted around twice
against Texas. Afterwards, the Longhorns' bus with coach Augie
Garrido aboard couldn't have been a fun place to be.
No. 2: Appel 14 Strikeouts/Justin Ringo Walk-Off Vs. Rice
In a moment that represented the apex of Stanford's sizzling start,
Justin Ringo - a last-minute replacement for an injured Jake Stewart
- blasted a two-run 10th inning walk-off homer into the Bay Area
night to lead the Cardinal over No. 4 Rice on Friday night. The
junior's season was disappointing, but this is a moment that he'll
remember 50 years from now. The jack capped off Mark Appel's career
14 strikeout night.
No. 3 Wilson's Walk-off Bomb vs.
The Cardinal didn't immediately lose their magic after the
preseason. The Pac-12 opener against USC, in fact, was one of the
grittiest wins of the season for the Farm Boys. One strike away from
victory, Mark Appel gave up a ninth inning single allowing the
Trojans to surge ahead 2-1. In their final at-bat, though, Stanford
would not be denied. Kenny Diekroeger tied the score with a clutch
sacrifice fly, and Austin Wilson pulverized a ball over the left
center field fence that sent everyone home happy. That was just one
of the big man's team-leading 10 homers in 2012.
No. 4: The Great Blandino's Weekend
Massive production from guys who hadn't contributed all too much
before 2012 was a major theme of this past Stanford season. Brett
Michael Doran provided game-winning sparks. John Hochstatter kicked
off his Cardinal career in phenomenal fashion. Danny Diekroeger
locked down the second base position following Lonnie Kauppila's
injury by hitting a team-leading .354.
But perhaps no one was more impressive than the local freshman Alex Blandino, who belted eight homers in just 153 at-bats. Three of
those shots came over the course of two games against Arizona State.
Two left the yard in Stanford's 17-5 Friday win and another one
sailed out Saturday before the main event in the bottom of the
ninth. That would be Blandino's walk-off screamer down the third
base line that propelled the Cardinal to an 8-7 win and earned the
third baseman national player of the week honors.
No. 5: True Grit: Five-Run Comeback
vs. St. Mary's
Stanford was reeling after being swept in Arizona. Their flight home
was long, layover-filled, and torturous. At least one player
suffered from motion sickness on the way home. Yet, the Cardinal
still had to gear up just over 12 hours after their 1 a.m. campus
return to play St. Mary's in a midweek tilt.
Through eight and half innings, Mark Marquess' squad looked
expectedly disinterested. They had sleepwalked to the their final
opportunity trailing 8-3. That's when the miracle began. With the
bases loaded, a Kenny Diekroeger single, Brian Ragira double, and
Austin Wilson base hit plated five to send the game to extra
innings. Stephen Piscotty ended up pitching twice to open the door
for Danny Diekroeger, who delivered a 9-8 win with a bouncer through
the right side in the 12th inning. Those who stuck around for the
entire marathon went nuts.
That furious comeback sealed the most improbable win in a season
that saw a lot of success. Thanks for enjoying our coverage, both
here on the Bootleg and on KZSU Radio.
David Lombardi, a TV and radio (95.7 The Game SF) personality in the Bay Area, is a Stanford and Pac-12 Conference enthusiast. He has broadcast the Cardinal on KZSU for several years. You can check out several of his Stanford calls and other writing at www.davidlombardisports.com.
Top 5 Moments of 2012 (with Audio)
The Bootleg Top Stories
Bootleg Post-Game Report: UCLAR.J. Abeytia, Jim Rutter, and Special Guest "Senator" Troy Clardy break down the Cardinal's Heartpounding Escape From Pasadena
The BootlegYesterday at 10:49 PM
UCLA Post-Game: Coach MoraCoach Jim Mora breaks down his team's defeat at the hands of Stanford.
The BootlegYesterday at 10:19 PM
UCLA Post-Game: Coach ShawStanford Coach David Shaw humbly discusses Stanford's 22-13 Escape From Pasadena.
The BootlegYesterday at 10:06 PM
Opposing Views: UCLADouble-barrel analysis from Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times and Blair Angulo of Scout BRO fame on UCLA-Stanford Saturday Night.
The BootlegThursday at 9:27 PM
Diron Reynolds 9/21DL coach discusses rotation strategy, progress of freshmen, nickel packages
The BootlegWednesday at 10:22 PM