The Stanford Cardinal baseball team will commence their 2014 season with a three-game series at home against Rice from February 14-16, whereupon they will spend eight of their next nine games on the road, including a three-game series against SEC powerhouse Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.
Stanford’s regular season schedule is a challenging one, as the Cardinal will face off against the likes of Rice, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, and UCLA, four of which comprise a competitive PAC-12 conference, arguably one of the strongest in the nation heading into 2014.
Despite losing Mark Appel to professional ball, Stanford will be more than fine going forward on the mound. John Hochstatter and Bobby Zarubin are poised to take charge of the starting rotation, while AJ Vanegas will look to rebound to his former blue-chip self and help anchor the bullpen in the absence of Garrett Hughes.
Offensive stalwarts Brian Ragira and Austin Wilson are gone, but Louisville Slugger All-American Alex Blandino will help lead Stanford’s offensive barrage, as the junior third baseman wields a quick, compact swing with solid pop and flashes a good glove at the hot corner.
In addition, the leadership of senior Brant Whiting behind the plate should help guide a young, yet talented pitching staff, while Danny Diekroeger brings a crafty bat and versatile defensive skill as he has the athleticism to play across the infield with relative ease.
Stanford has a difficult schedule ahead of them, but they have the talent to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament and even move past regional play.