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CBD Column: Pac-12 Notebook

Pac-12 Notebook

 

Overall Record: 58-25

PCT: .699

Ranked Teams

Collegiate Baseball: Stanford (3), ASU (11), Oregon (15), Arizona (18), USC (21), Cal (25), Oregon State (26), UCLA (28)

NCBWA: Stanford (2), ASU (11), Arizona (14), Oregon (23), Oregon State (24), UCLA (25), Cal (28), USC (29),

Baseball America: Stanford (2), Arizona (7), ASU (11), UCLA (17), Oregon (18)

USA Today Coaches: Stanford (1), Oregon (12), Arizona (13), USC (23), UCLA (24),

  • Cal and Oregon State were top vote getters that did not make the top 25 in the Coaches’ poll
  • ASU is not eligible to receive votes in the USA Today Coaches’ poll due to their post-season ban

Players of the Week

Week One

  • Player of the Week: 1B Abe Ruiz, Arizona State
  • Pitcher of the Week: RHP Jimmie Sherfy, Oregon

Week Two

  • Player of the Week: OF Jeff Gelalich, UCLA
  • Pitcher of the Week: RHP Mark Appel, Stanford

Notable

Pac-12 vs. 2011 CWS Teams:

  • Texas—swept by Stanford
  • Vanderbilt—swept by Stanford and Oregon

Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay earned his 100th career win over the weekend.

Arizona (5-2)

So far this season:

Dropping a game against North Dakota State caused some to question the depth of the Wildcats’ bullpen. However, Arizona has responded well to the loss, winning four out of their last five games and dominating at the plate.  The Wildcats now stand at 5-2 with their only other loss being to Auburn. Refsnyder, Field, Rickard, Mejia and Mejias-Brean are all batting over .300 for a combined 32 RBI and 33 runs. Wade and Heyer are both pitching exceptionally well with ERA’s below 2.00 with 14 innings pitched a piece and only four earned runs.

Looking ahead:

Harvard and UC Davis will both pay visits to Hi Corbett within the coming week. The Crimson open their season with the series at Arizona and UC Davis is currently 5-3. 

Arizona State (5-1)

So far this season:

Despite dropping a game to UC Riverside, ASU is hot at the plate. The Sun Devils have outscored their opponents 63-10 in just six games with a team batting average of .383. The top of the order for the Sun Devils—Aplin, Allen, Marrero, DeMichele and Ruiz—has given opposing pitchers quite a handful, each batting well over .300 with a combined 30 RBIs, 40 runs, 10 doubles and 6 homeruns.  On the mound, Friday starter Brady Rodgers has pitched 13 scoreless innings so far, without even allowing a walk, for two wins. Trevor Williams is also 2-0 as a starter and freshman LHP Adam McCreery has also earned a win. Four relievers—Dunbar, Barrett, Ravago and Gomez—all still have ERAs of 0.00. Last Sunday’s win over UC Riverside marked Tim Esmay’s 100th career win coaching at Arizona State.

Looking ahead:

The Sun Devils will head to Surprise, AZ for the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium where they will face Saint Louis, Northern Illinois, Winthrop and Saint Mary’s. 

California (5-2)

So far this season:

Last year’s only Pac team to make an appearance in Omaha is off to a start that proves they’re not a team to look past this year, including sweeping Pacific to start the season off. Although they lost a series to Long Beach State, Cal has yet to be shutout. Renda, Bruno and Matthews are the biggest bats for the Golden Bears so far, all batting above .300. If the Golden Bears gain consistency on the mound, they have the potential to get hot like they did headed into last year’s postseason.

Looking ahead:

Lehigh pays a visit to Berkeley this weekend for a three-game series. Lehigh enters the series with a record of 2-2.

Oregon (7-1)

So far this season:

The Ducks started the season off with a loss on the road at Hawaii, but bounced back to win the series and continue on a seven-game winning streak—and they haven’t even played a game in Eugene yet.  That win streak included sweeping Vanderbilt in Nashville. Heineman, Jones, Thomas, Altobelli, Healy and Garlick are all batting over .300 with 37 combined runs and 33 RBI. Jimmie Sherfy has been excellent in the relief role for the Ducks, earning him Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors after opening weekend. Keudell, Reed and Tessar have also been impressive starting on the mound.

Looking ahead:

The Ducks will see if they can keep this winning streak going, but this time on their own turf, as Long Beach State comes to Eugene for a three-game series. Long Beach State is currently 4-4, and 2-3 against Pac-12 teams.

Oregon State (5-3)

So far this season:

Oregon State has been hot and cold so far this season, but when they’re hot…they’re hard to stop. They began the season taking a series at UCSB 3-1 with the only loss being in twelve innings. However in the San Diego/San Diego State Tournament they suffered two blowout losses to San Diego and San Diego State. Bryant and Boyd have been excellent in relief for the Beavers, however consistency in the starting rotation is needed in order for the Beavers to keep putting up wins.

Looking ahead:

The Beavers head to Arizona to join the Sun Devils in the Coca-Cola Classic. The two Pac-12 squads won’t meet up, but they will face the same opponents. Oregon State takes on Saint Mary’s first, then Winthrop, Saint Louis and Northern Illinois.

Stanford (8-0)

So far this season:

Stanford may be the hottest team in baseball right now. With a perfect 8-0 start sweeping Vandy and Texas who were both CWS teams last season, Stanford has proven that they can live up to their preseason hype. Not only are the Cardinal winning, but they’re dominating. To date, they’ve outscored their opponents 75-24. Stewart, Ragira, Diekroeger, Griffiths, Kauppila, Wilson and Gaffney each have hit at least two doubles and are all batting over .300 with at least twenty at-bats. Not coming as a surprise, Appel and Mooneyham have been outstanding on the mound with 15 strikeouts each.

Looking ahead:

The Cardinal is looking to extend its perfect start this weekend as they head to Fresno for a three-game series against Fresno State who is currently 4-5.

UCLA (5-3)

So far this season:

The big question heading into the season for the Bruins was how were they going to make up for the loss of Cole and Bauer from their pitching staff?  So far this season, that concern has proven to be legitimate. Although the Bruins hold a 5-3 record, starting pitching has yet to really settle in for UCLA. Plutko, Weiss and Vander Tuig all have ERAs above 4.30 so far and the confidence level on the mound is questionable. This will come with time, however Pac-12 play is nearing close and in order for the Bruins to be competitive in a conference that strong, it is necessary for them to improve as a pitching staff. Fortunately, Griggs has been a good go-to closer for the Bruins with two saves and an ERA of 1.50. The reason for success so far is because what UCLA is lacking in pitching at the moment they are making up for at the plate. Gelalich has been phenomenal with three homeruns, seven RBI and 12 runs. Other big bats for the Bruins include Brown, Williams, Valaika, Keefer, and Heineman who are all well over .300.

Looking ahead:

The Bruins head into this weekend on a three-game win streak as Sacramento State pays a visit to Jackie Robinson Stadium. Sacramento State heads into the series with a 4-4 record.

USC (7-1)

So far this season:

The Trojans were off to their best start in recent history as they began the season 7-0 sweeping Jacksonville and Akron with a win at Long Beach State as well. However, USC suffered their first loss this week at Pepperdine after falling behind early. Despite the loss, USC’s 7-1 record has turned a lot of heads as Pac-12 play nears. Swick, Foat, Roundtree, Landecker, Garcia, Houts and Stubbs are all batting over .300 for a combined 83 total bases. Triggs, Mount and Tarpley have all been strong on the mound with 43 strikeouts between the three.

Looking ahead:

The Trojans head east this weekend for one of the toughest match-ups of the week as they take on ACC powerhouse North Carolina. The Tar Heels enter the series with a 6-1 record.

Utah (1-7)

So far this season:

At 1-7, it is evident that Utah has struggled so far this season.  With some of the Utes strongest players, Nielsen and Cooper both struggling at the plate (.133 and .067) the Utes definitely have some challenges to tackle before Pac-12 play begins.  With the struggles that the Utes have been facing, Morin, Brooks and Sharrar have stepped up for Utah at the plate batting above .300. However, pitching is still a big question mark with the lowest ERA of a starting pitcher standing at 5.59.

Looking ahead:

This weekend, the Utes look to improve their record as they head to Alabama to face UAB. The Blazers enter the series with a record of 5-2.

Washington (5-3)

So far this season:

The Huskies are off to a strong start at 5-3, with two of their three losses being within one run. Averaging 7.6 runs per game so far, the Huskies have been strong at the plate. Led by freshman Branden Berry batting .375, Pehl, Ray, Brown, Anselment, Camporeale and Wiggins are all batting over .300 for Washington. Asmus and West have been strong in the starting pitching role for the Huskies both with ERAs below 3.00. The Huskies have also been doing well defensively with just five errors and a fielding percentage of .983.

Looking ahead:

Saint Joseph’s comes to town this weekend to take on the Huskies in a four-game series including a double header on Saturday. The Hawks enter the weekend with a record of 1-5.

Washington State (5-2)

So far this season:

After opening the season losing a series at Mississippi State, the Cougars have continued on to win their last four games bringing their record to 5-2.  Blackham, Richards and Monda have been strongest at the plate for the Cougars, all batting .375 or higher so far this season and accounting for 21 of the Cougars’ 49 runs. Four Washington State pitchers still have ERAs of 0.00 (Camus, Chleborad, Drobnick and Pistorese) and Swannack has also been strong on the mound with an ERA of 1.86.

Looking ahead:

The Cougars take on Northern Colorado in a three-game series this weekend. Northern Colorado is 0-4 so far this season.