Mack Draft: – Mark Appel, John Simms, Nolan Fontana, James Madison, Kartsten Whitson, Charles Tilson

Stanford starting pitcher Mark Appel and Rice starter John Simms didn’t disappoint in an anticipated pitching matchup. Appel allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings and Simms struck out four and allowed a run on five hits in five innings. Both pitchers showed why they have bright futures as starters. By the way, the Cardinal picked up an impressive 5-3 in over the Owls to begin the weekend series. –

I saw (Nolan) Fontana drive the ball better a year ago, and it is always important to remember this is only one game (the first game of the year at that). That said, he will have to drive the ball more consistently, although his approach serves him well. He’s a good looking athlete, and while he’s not diminutive by any means, he also doesn’t appear to have much more room to get bigger. I like how he moves at the shortstops position, with soft hands and naturals weight transfer to go along with a strong arm. He also has some speed on the bases – 


•Is James Madison and Bucknell still using the old bats? The Dukes completed the sweep on Sunday by winning 19-12. JMU finished the series by scoring 91 runs in the four game series while hitting .481 as a team with 23 home runs, a 1.056 slugging percentage, .588 on-base percentage, and 34 walks. They averaged 27.3 runs per nine innings right now as one of the games over the weekend was a seven inning affair. –

Florida’s pitching staff is ridiculously deep and talented. Adding Karsten Whitson to that mix is just unfair, and it sounds like he was exceptional yesterday. I actually don’t think that’s a bad USF lineup — they’ve got some quality veteran hitters like Sam Mende, Todd Brazeal, Jonathan Ksocso and Junior Carlin. But Florida’s pitching can make anybody look bad. –


The second-toughest sign on the Top 50 may be New Trier High (Winnetka, Ill.) outfielder Charlie Tilson, who told area scouts last year that he was dead-set on attending Illinois. Tilson raised his profile significantly with a breakout performance at the Area Code Games, and a potential seven-figure bonus could change his mind. Ranked No. 42 on our list, he has yet to align himself with an advisor. –  


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