As conference play kicked off over the weekend, the competition level proved just how ultra-competitive of a conference that the Pac-12 already is. Oregon State was the only Pac-12 team to come out of week one unscathed as they swept Cal in their conference opener. This makes them the only team in the conference undefeated in Pac-12 play aside from Stanford who has yet to play a conference game.
ASU (12-7) @ UCLA (15-4)
The Sun Devils traveled to Los Angeles over the weekend for their conference opener against UCLA. Friday night was highlighted by a pitching duel between two of college baseball’s finest aces: Adam Plutko and Brady Rodgers. Each pitched exceptionally well however both Plutko and Rodgers had their challenges, each allowing a five-run inning. The series opener finished in dramatic fashion as Kevin Williams lead the Bruins to victory with a walk-off homerun. The remainder of the series persisted to be just as competitive. ASU took game one of Sunday’s double-header 4-3, but fell to the Bruins in the rubber match 4-2. Next weekend the Bruins take on Washington State while Cal comes to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils.
Oregon (13-5) @ Washington (12-7)
The Huskies hosted the Ducks to open Pac-12 play taking the series 2-1. Washington bounced back from an early two-run deficit to put eight on the board in the series opener, ultimately defeating the Ducks 8-3. The Huskies clinched the series over Oregon as they blanked the Ducks 5-0 in game one of Saturday’s double-header with freshman Tyler Davis earning the W during the shutout. In game two of the double-header, Oregon battled through 13 innings to prevent being swept with another stand-out performance by Jimmie Sherfy in relief as he pitched six and 2/3 innings allowing one run and four hits. The Huskies have a break from Pac-12 play next weekend as they host Cal State Bakersfield and the Ducks continue conference play hosting Utah.
Oregon State (14-5 ) @ Cal (10-7)
The Golden Bears played host to Oregon State over the weekend to open Pac-12 play. However, the Beavers were the only Pac-12 to pull off a conference-opening series sweep. Oregon State opened up the series with a 9-2 victory lead by a three-hit performance by Tyler Smith compared to the 14 hits that Cal allowed. In game two of the double-header, pitching was key for both sides as Child threw eight complete innings for Oregon State allowing only an unearned run and Matt Flemer threw seven quality innings for the Golden Bears. Sunday, Oregon State clinched the sweep as Keyes had a four-hit performance and Conforto had an astounding six RBI game. Freshman Jace Fry also put up a quality performance on the mound as he earned his first career win as the Beavers defeated Cal 13-5. Cal continues conference play on the road next week at ASU while Oregon State hosts Arizona.
Utah (6-12) @ USC (13-6)
Heading into conference play Utah was the only Pac-12 team with a record below .500, but the Utes proved that they too could be competitive in this conference as they took the series over USC 2-1. In game one of a double-header on Friday night, pitching proved to be key for Utah in the 1-0 victory as Joe Pond and Tyler Wagner combined in an effort that allowed only three hits. The Utes clinched the series in game two of the double-header as they defeated the Trojans 3-1. Game three of the series was a completely different ball game though. USC bounced back from Friday night’s losses to win 10-5 with 18 hits lead by Alex Sherrod who had a four-hit game. Freshman LHP Stephen Tarpley earned the W as the Trojans fought the sweep. Both Utah and USC continue conference play on the road as Utah travels to take on Oregon and USC heads to Stanford for the Cardinal’s conference opener.
Washington State (10-8 ) @ Arizona (16-4)
The Cougars traveled to Arizona to kick off conference play against the Wildcats. Washington State opened up the series shutting out Arizona in a 6-0 win on Friday night with J.D. Leckenby earning the win. The Cougars started out game one of Saturday’s double-header strong gaining a 5-0 lead, however Arizona fought back to win the game 8-7 lead by Robert Refsnyder who went three for three with three RBIs. Refsnyder continued an excellent day at the plate with another three-hit performance as Arizona won the rubber match in game two of the double-header 12-9 to take the series. Washington State takes on UCLA next weekend while Arizona heads to Oregon State to continue conference play.