Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 20, 2012

Sports Shorts

SEASON ENDS . . . Palo Alto's Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-stars were eliminated from the NorCal State Tournament in a 13-6 loss to visiting Mountain View at Baylands Athletic Center on Monday evening. Palo Alto lost in the second round to Northern Solano, 9-8, in eight innings Sunday night and fell short again with a third-round ending this season. Mountain View started off its first inning with a bang, connecting for four hits — one an RBI double into deep left off the bat of catcher T.J. Solomona. Mountain View led 3-1 after the first inning. Palo Alto's bats came alive in the fourth when center fielder Alexii Sigona ripped a two-run double into left field, tying the game 5-5. The fifth inning turned out to be pivotal for Palo Alto as Mountain View struck for five runs on four hits. Shortstop Adam Spielman had the key hit, a double over the head of left fielder Shane Stafford, who was playing shallow, bringing in two runs and putting his team up 10-5 after the fifth. Palo Alto had no answer for hard-throwing reliever Josh Longabaugh, who came in the fifth inning and gave up one earned run in three innings, sealing the win for Mountain View. Palo Alto committed four errors, two of which came in Mountain View's big fifth inning.Palo Alto's Sigona had a solid game, going three for four, with two of the hits being doubles.

WATCH LISTS . . . Stanford senior running back Stepfan Taylor has been included on the Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top running back. Stanford's Toby Gerhart captured the honor in 2009. Taylor, from Mansfield, Texas, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons (2010-11), putting him in select company with Darrin Nelson (1977-78) and Gerhart (2008-09) as the only backs in Stanford history to achieve the feat. Other Stanford players named to preseason 'watch' lists include: junior defensive end Ben Gardner, named for the Lombardi Award, which is presented annually to nation's top college lineman or linebacker; Chase Thomas, Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy are up for the Butkus Award, which is presented annually to the top linebacker in college football; Thomas and Skov also have been included on preseason lists for the Bednarik and Nagurski Awards, honoring the nation's top defensive player; and David Yankey was named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, which honors the top interior lineman.

COMING BACK . . . Stanford fans will get another season to watch ace Mark Appel take the hill at Sunken Diamond, as he and the Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to reach an agreement before the signing deadline last Friday. The Pirates chose Appel with the eighth overall selection in the June Major League Baseball First-Year Draft; however, many scouts listed the Stanford starter as the top pitching prospect in the draft. "After much thought, prayer and analysis of both opportunities, I came to the conclusion the best decision is to remain at Stanford continuing my studies, finishing my degree, and doing all I can to assist the Cardinal baseball team in our goal to win a national championship," Appel said in a statement. "I greatly valued the prospect of a professional opportunity and I will pursue a professional baseball career after getting my Stanford degree." Appel, who was recently named the College Baseball Writer's Association National Pitcher of the Year, posted a 10-2 record on the year with a 2.56 earned run average.

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