Appel rocked as Stanford falls to FSU 17-1

788374.jpg

Appel rocked as Stanford falls to FSU 17-1

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Six Stanford pitchers combined to walk 12 and hit another five as Florida State (47-15) won the opener of the best-of-three Super Regional 17-1 over visiting Stanford (41-17) on Friday evening.

Brandon Leibrandt (8-2), the son of former major leaguer Charlie, went the first 6.0 innings, giving up one run on six hits for the win.

Mark Appel (10-2) gave up seven runs on five hits over the first 4.0 innings, the most runs he had given up since seven at No. 8 Arizona. In his shortest out of the season, 4.0 innings, he gave up all seven in the fourth.

The 17 runs given up by the Cardinal were the most playoff runs given up by the program, tying the 17-3 loss to Miami in the 1985 College World Series.

FSU's Travis Devon homered twice and drove in six runs. Stanford's Brian Ragira (three) and Jake Stewart (two) accounted for five of the seven hits.

Florida State batted around and sent 12 men to the plate in the fourth, scoring seven times to lead 7-1. Appel struggled with his control in the fourth, giving up two bases loaded walks (three total) and hitting a batter earlier in the inning. Following the two walks, he gave up back-to-back singles to make it 5-1. A wild pitch made it 6-1. A sacrifice fly completed the damage. Appel also gave up four hits in the inning.

FSU batted around again in the fifth, sending 11 men to the plate against three Cardinal relievers and adding another four runs to make it 11-1. Stanford pitchers walked another four in the inning, hit another batter and gave up two hits.

NOTES: Other than elimination games, Stanford has given up 14 or more runs in the playoff four previous times. The next game all resulted in wins... Saturday's Super Regional is on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. PT, with Sunday's game, if necessary, at 4 p.m. PT... former Stanford softball Olympian Jessica Mendoza was doing sideline reporting for ESPN2 with Mike Patrick and Nomar Garciapara in the booth.

Courtesy Stanford media services

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

justin-wilcox-cal-ap.jpg
AP

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

BERKELEY — With more than a half-century without a Rose Bowl berth, tougher academic standards than most Pac-12 schools and lackluster fan support in a pro-sports focused market, there are plenty of hurdles for a football coach at California.

Coach Justin Wilcox took the job for the Golden Bears because he embraces those obstacles and he wants players who feel the same way as he seeks to rebuild a program that has one winning record in the past five years and no conference championships since 1958.

"When you come here, there are challenges," Wilcox said at his introductory news conference Tuesday. "You don't come here and go through school and just go through the motions. You'll be challenged in the classroom, challenged on the football field and learn to interact in a dynamic society. I believe in that and that helps guys grow."

Wilcox faces many hurdles in his new job replacing the recently fired Sonny Dykes less than three weeks before national signing day. He has to put together a coaching staff, evaluate the players already on campus and try to keep together, and even add to, a recruiting class that committed to a different staff.

Athletic director Mike Williams fired Dykes after four seasons on Jan. 8 because he wanted a coach committed to Cal instead of flirting with other jobs and needed someone who could excite a fan base that often stayed away from Memorial Stadium in recent years as the Bears teamed porous defenses with sometimes exciting offenses while posting a 19-30 record.

Williams had five finalists for the job but chose a former Cal assistant with a defensive background and familiarity with the Pac-12 as an assistant for seven years at three schools in the conference.

"He truly gets this place, he truly gets coaching in the West," Williams said. "He came in and was very organized and thoughtful. He knew what he wanted to do and who he wanted to hire. ... It's a special place and I think he'll treat it as a special place."

While Dykes flirted with job openings at Houston and Baylor this past offseason in part because of his concern about increased academic standards for recruits, the Bears hope Wilcox is someone who wants to stick around after more than a decade of being on a self-described "windy" path as a top defensive coach.

The former Oregon defensive back began his coaching career in 2001 as a graduate assistant at Boise State. He spent three years as linebackers coach under Jeff Tedford at Cal from 2003-05 when the Bears nearly ended their Rose Bowl drought during a 10-win season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback in 2004.

Wilcox has spent the past 11 years as a defensive coordinator with stops at Boise State, Tennessee, Washington, Southern California and finally Wisconsin, where he helped the Badgers field a top 10 defense and win the Cotton Bowl.

Wilcox has worked and played for many successful coaches, including Tedford, Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins, Mike Bellotti, and Paul Chryst.

"I've been extremely fortunate to work for and with people I learned so much from," he said. "Each step along the way, I've seen it done a lot of different ways. I'm not trying to be any of those people. I always try to take pieces and make it my own."

Wilcox has begun putting together his staff, having hired former Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator and longtime Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood to fill that role on the Bears.

The Bears will look very different under Wilcox than Dykes. Wilcox said he will recruit tight ends as Cal moves from the spread "Bear Raid" offense that relied on four receivers almost exclusively to a more balanced offense with tight ends and more power concepts.

While he will delegate most of the offensive responsibilities to Baldwin, Wilcox said he will be more involved on defense where he wants to find players who can fit into his base 3-4 system.

Cal ranked 125th in total defense, 127th in scoring defense and 122nd in yards per play out of 128 FBS teams last season on the way to a 5-7 record.

"Every second is critical right now," Wilcox said. "I will not sacrifice the long-term good of the program for what everyone wants which is certainty. Things will happen quickly. I understand the recruits have some anxiety about the situation and there's emotions involved. That's totally understandable. I'd feel the same way."

EWU head coach leaving to become Cal’s new offensive coordinator

baldwin-beau-us.jpg
USATSI

EWU head coach leaving to become Cal’s new offensive coordinator

Newly announced Cal head football coach Justin Wilcox has his offensive coordinator just two days into the job. Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin is stepping down and is on his way to run the offense in Berkeley, EWU announced on Monday.

"I’m excited for the great opportunity that’s ahead but I’ll miss an amazing place," Baldwin said at a press conference held at EWU to announce his decision to leave the school.

Under Baldwin, EWU turned into a powerhouse at the FCS level, posting an 85-32 record in nine seasons. The Eagles won five Big Sky Conference titles and were crowned national champions in 2010.

Baldwin has never coached at the Division I FBS level, but has posted success in the past against those teams. Last season, Baldwin and the Eagles started off the year with a 45-42 win on the road against Washington State.

To open the 2013 season, Baldwin received national attention as EWU pulled off a huge upset by taking down No. 25 Oregon State, 49-46.

In 2016, EWU averaged 42.36 points per game. The Eagles rushed for 112 yards per game and gained 238 yards per game through the air.