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Pac-12 Weekend Preview (March 1st-3rd)

Pac12LogoCoach’s Corner

In preparing for the weekend, I caught up with Oregon State head coach Pat Casey to talk about his thoughts on how the season has gone so far for the Beavers. Oregon State is 8-0 and off to their best start since 1962. “Obviously when you start 8-0, you feel like you did a lot of things well,” Casey said. We played fairly well on the defensive side of the game. I think we could have swung the bats better.” The Beavers enter the weekend with a .297 team batting average, but will look to improve upon that number against a team in Bryant who has only played three games this season.

One of the strengths so far for the Beaver ballclub is “being efficient in our offensive situations when we need to be and playing defense at the right time,” Casey said. “I don’t know if we have made a fielding error in the infield thru eight games. We turned three double-plays against San Diego State in a close ballgame. That doesn’t show up in the box score, but it sure benefited us.” In the early part of the season, the starting pitching at Oregon State has been outstanding. RHP Dan Child is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA. LHP Matt Boyd is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA and Andrew Moore is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA. “Andrew Moore is a freshmen who we probably would have used in relief, but you see his stats, he is pitching very well,” Casey said. Moore was moved into the No.3 spot behind Boyd due to a minor injury from LHP Ben Wetzler. The injury is not serious and Casey expects Wetzler back sometime in the near future. When he returns, the Beavers starting staff will be as deep as any team in the country. Overall head coach Pat Casey is pleased with the start to the season, but feels there is room for improvement. “I can’t tell you we are the fifth best team in the country,” Casey said. “We played well, but we have miles and miles to go before we become the type of club that I would like to see. Weather we get there or not, we have to wait and see. Guys have to stay healthy and play right at the right time.”

Bryant at Oregon State

The Oregon State Beavers play host to the Bryant Bulldogs from Smithfield, R.I. this weekend. The Beavers will play for the first time at Goss Stadium this season, after winning the Palms Springs Tournament and sweeping San Diego State in a four-game series. LHP Matt Boyd was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after earning the victory at San Diego State Saturday. He pitched 8 and 1/3 innings while striking out a career high nine batters. Bryant (0-2-1) heads into the weekend after losing two at Houston Baptist. Sunday’s series finale was cut short due to Bryant’s traveling curfew. Sophomore outfielder Dylan Davis leads the ballclub with a .440 average thru seven games (made one start on the mound). He is leading the team in hits (11) and is tied with four other Beavers for the team lead in doubles (2).
Friday, March 1 – 5:35vp.m. PT
Oregon State- Dan Child RHP (2-0)
Bryant- Peter Kelich, RHP (0-1)

Saturday, March 2- 1:05 p.m. PT
Oregon State- Matt Boyd LHP (1-0)
Bryant- Craig Schlitter, RHP (0-1)

Saturday, March 2- 3:30 p.m. PT
Oregon State- Andrew Moore RHP (1-0)
Bryant- Kevin Mcavoy, RHP (0-0)

Sunday, March 3- 1:05 p.m. PT
Oregon State- TBD
Bryant- TBD

Wright State at UCLA

The No. 9 ranked Bruins (5-2) will host Wright State (3-3) of the Horizon League at Jackie Robinson Stadium over the weekend. UCLA is coming off a series victory at Baylor last weekend and a Tuesday victory on the road at UC Santa Barbara. Wright State is coming into the weekend after being swept by Clemson. The Raiders Tuesday game against Xavier was postponed due to rain. Centerfielder Brian Carroll enters the series as UCLA’s leading hitter. In seven games, the junior is hitting .462 with a .563 on-base percentage. The weekend starters for UCLA (Plutko, Tuig, and Watson) all enter the weekend with an E.R.A below 2.15
Friday, March 1 – 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Adam Plutko, RHP, (1-0)
Wright State – Casey Henn, RHP, (1-1)

Saturday, March 2 – 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, (1-1)
Wright State – Taylor Braun, RHP, (0-1)

Sunday, March 3 – 1:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Grant Watson, LHP, So. (1-0)
Wright State- Robby Sexton, LHP(1-1)

Oregon at Cal State Fullerton

The Oregon Ducks will travel to head coach George Horton’ alma mater, Cal State Fullerton. Horton was the head coach of the Titans for eleven seasons before accepting the duty of reconstructing Oregon baseball in 2008. Oregon (7-1) enters the weekend fresh off a 3-1 victory over the Portland Pilots Tuesday night and a series victory at home against Loyola Marymount. Cal State Fullerton (8-0) is coming off a road sweep at TCU in which they outscored the Horn Frogs 20-4. They were rewarded by moving up to No. 18 in the latest NCWBA poll. NCWBA’s Stopper of the Year watch list member RHP Jimmie Sherfy has appeared in six games and has not allowed a run. He has three saves in six innings pitched.

Friday, March 1 – 7:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Jake Reed, RHP, (1-1)
Cal State- Thomas Eshelman, RHP, (2-0)

Saturday, March 2 – 6:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Tommy Thorpe, LHP, (2-0)
Cal State- Justin Garza, RHP, (2-0)

Sunday, March 3 – 12:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Cole Irvin LHP, (2-0)
Cal State- Grahamm Wiest, RHP (2-0)

San Francisco at Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats continue an 18-game home stretch this weekend against the San Francisco Dons. The Wildcats are ranked No. 11 in the NCWBA latest poll, but might drop after losing a Tuesday night game to Utah Valley 3-1. Arizona and Utah Valley play again Wednesday. As of now, Arizona is 7-2 on the season after sweeping San Jose State in a three-game series last weekend. San Francisco will arrive in Tucson with a 4-5 record after losing two out of three at UC Santa Barbara last weekend. The Dons were able to respond with a win, 2-1, over San Jose State on the road Tuesday night. Second baseman Trent Gilbert is leading the team with hits (13) and has posted a .371 average. He is tied for the team lead in RBI (12) through the first nine games.

Friday, March 1- 6:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- Konner Wade RHP (1-0)
San Francisco- Abe Bobb, RHP (0-2)

Satuday, March 2- 2:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- James Farris RHP (2-0)
San Francisco- Alex Balog, RHP (1-0)

Sunday, March 3- 12:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- Stephen Manthei RHP (1-0)
San Francisco- Sheldon Lee, LHP (0-1)

Texas at Stanford

The No. 14 ranked Stanford Cardinal will host the Texas Longhorns over the weekend. The Cardinal, coming off sweeping Fresno State at home, enters the weekend with a 6-2 record. Stanford was able to get a complete game, 11 strikeout performance from Mark Appel on Friday. The next two games against Fresno State saw the Cardinal capitalize on late-inning homeruns. Texas arrives at Palo Alto 6-2 and ranked No. 25 in the NCWBA poll. The Longhorns swept Nebraska in Austin last weekend, but lost a Tuesday game at home against Sam Houston State 5-3. Stanford first baseman Brian Ragira will enter the weekend with a five-game hit streak. In eight games so far, Ragira has reached base in every game. It will be interesting to see if OF Austin Wilson will return to the lineup for the Cardinal. He sat out last weekend with a strain below his elbow.

Friday, March 1- 5:30 p.m. PT
Stanford- Mark Appel RHP (1-1)
Texas- Parker French, RHP (2-0)

Saturday, March 2- 1:00 p.m. PT
Stanford- John Hochstatter LHP (0-0)
Texas- Dillon Peters, LHP (1-0)

Sunday, March 3- 1:00 p.m. PT
Stanford- Bobby Zarubin, RHP (1-0)
Texas- Nathan Thornhill, RHP (1-1)

Arizona State at the Coca-Cola Classic

The Arizona State Sun Devils, ranked No. 24 according to NCBWA, travel to Surprise, Ariz., to participate in a four team tournament to be held at the training complex of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. The four teams participating in the tournament are Gonzaga, Pacific, Arizona State, and No. 2 ranked Arkansas Razor Backs. The tournament will start Thursday, and reports are circulating that the No. 24 ranked Sun Devils has upset Arkansas 3-2. Freshman LHP Brett Lilek started again highly acclaimed RHP Ryne Stanek. Lilek threw five innings and only allowed one run. The freshman secured the victory in his first career start. Second baseman James McDonald knocked in two.
The rest of the tournament will be played as followed:

Friday, March 1- 4:00 p.m. MT
Arizona State – Jr. RHP Trevor Williams (1-0)
Pacific- John Haberman, LHP (0-0)

Saturday, March 2- 4:00 p.m. MT
Arizona State – Fr. LHP Ryan Kellogg (2-0)
Arkansas- Trey Killian, RHP (1-0)

Sunday, March 3- 4:00 p.m. MT
Arizona State –Adam McCreery, LHP (0-1)
Gonzaga- TBD

California at Houston College Classic

Like Arizona State, the California Golden Bears will also partake in a tournament this weekend. The Bears will travel to Houston, Tex., to participate in a five-team tournament that will be held at the home of the Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park. The other tournament members include Baylor, North Carolina, Cal, Rice, and Houston. On Monday, Cal will also travel to Reckling Park in Houston to take on the Rice Owls. It will be a big weekend for the Bears as they will play No.1 ranked North Carolina and then take on No. 12 Rice. Junior designated hitter Devon Rodriquez is leading Cal with a .400 average and will return to Reckling Park, the scene in which Rodriquez delivered the game-winning single to lead the Cal Bears back from a 7-1 deficit against the Baylor Bears in the Houston Regional in 2011. The single advanced the Bears to the Super Regional’s in Santa Clara a year after baseball was about to be eliminated at Cal.

Friday, March 1- 12:00 p.m. CT
California- Justin Jones LHP (0-0)
Baylor- Max Garner, RHP (0-2)

Saturday, March 2- 12:00 p.m. CT
California- Kyle Porter LHP (0-0)
North Carolina- Brenton Moss- RHP (2-0)

Sunday, March 3. 11:00 p.m. CT
California: Michael Theofanopoulos LHP (0-1)
Houston- TBD

Monday, March 4. 3:00 p.m. CT
California- TBD
Rice-TBD

USC at Fresno State

The University of Southern California will travel to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs this weekend. The Trojans are riding a three-game win streak after beating Long Beach State 4-1 Tuesday night. USC was also able to take two out of three from Cal State Northridge last weekend. Fresno State, on the other hand, is coming into the weekend after dropping three at Stanford last weekend. The Bulldogs also dropped a 5-3 game on Tuesday at CSU Bakersfield. Fresno State is 1-6 on the season, while USC will open the weekend at 5-3. Sophomore Dante Flores leads the Trojan regulars with a .355 average. He hit his first homerun of the year Tuesday in the 4-1 victory.

Friday, March 1. 6:35 p.m. PT
USC- Bob Wheatley, LHP (0-1)
Fresno State- Will Munro, RHP Will Munro (1-0)

Saturday, March 2. 6:35 p.m. PT
USC- Wyatt Strahan, RHP (0-0)
Fresno State- Derick Velazquez, RHP (0-1)

Sunday, March 3. 1:00 p.m. PT
USC- Kyle Twomey, LHP (1-0)
Fresno State- Tom Borst, RHP (0-0)

Cal Poly at Washington

The Washington Huskies open the 2013 home season against the Cal Poly Mustangs. It will be an interesting series in Seattle as the Huskies are projected to finish in the middle of the Pac-12, but enter play with a 2-6 record. The 2013 schedule ranks as the third most difficult schedule in nation, and it won’t get any easier as the No. 27 ranked Mustangs are 7-0 after sweeping Seattle last weekend. The Huskies lost three out of four in Beaumont, Texas, at the hands of Lamar University. In the win on Friday night, RHP Austin Voth pitched 7 2/3 innings and struck out 14 hitters. It was arguably his best start as a Husky.

Friday, March 1- 5:00 p.m. PT
Washington- Austin Voth RHP (1-1)
Cal Poly-Joey Wagman, RHP (2-0)

Saturday, March 2- 2:00 p.m. PT
Washington- Tyler Davis RHP (0-0)
Cal Poly- Matt Imhof, LHP (2-0)

Sunday, March 3. 1:00 p.m. PT

Washington- Nick Palewicz RHP (1-1)
Cal Poly- Bryan Granger, RHP (2-0)

Cal State Northridge at Washington State

The Washington State Cougars will complete an eight-game home stand by hosting Cal State Northridge over the weekend. The Cougars are 5-2 on the season but hold a 4-0 record at home. Cal State Northridge is 4-3 so far this season, but the Matadors are riding a two-game losing streak after dropping two out of three at USC last weekend. The Cougars swept Eastern Michigan in a four-game series last weekend. Washington State outscored Eastern Michigan 34- 16. Sophomore LHP Jose Pistorese has a 0.00 ERA and has not given up a run in 11 and 2/3 innings. Washington State also leads the Pac-12 in homeruns. The Cougars have hit eight homeruns and freshman third baseman Nick Tanielu leads the Pac-12 in hits (14), doubles (4), and total bases (25).

Thursday, Feb.28- 6:00 p.m. PT
Washington State- Joe Pistorese, LHP (1-1)
Cal State Northridge- Jerry Keel, LHP (1-0)

Friday, March 1- 6:00 p.m. PT
Washington State- Tanner Chleborad, RHP (1-1)
Cal State Northridge- Harley Holt, RHP (1-0)

Saturday, March 2- 2:00 p.m. PT

Washington State- Scott Simon, RHP (0-0)
Cal State Northridge- Calvin Copping, RHP (1-1)

Sunday, March 3. 12:00 p.m. PT
Washington State- Kyle Swannack RHP (1-0)
Cal State Northridge- TBD

Utah at the Dairy Queen Classic

The Utah Utes will take part in the Dairy Queen Classic, hosted by Minnesota, this weekend. The four-team tournament will consist of Minnesota, Utah, Dartmouth, and Northern Illinois. The tournament will be held in the old stadium of the Minnesota Twins, the Metrodome. The Utes will face Northern Illinois Friday, Minnesota Saturday, and finish the tournament with Dartmouth on Sunday. Utah is 4-3 on the season, playing all seven games on the road. Junior TJ Bennett leads the Utes with a .417 average. The transfer from Mesa Community College has also hit two homeruns in seven games.

Friday, March 1- 12:15 p.m. CT
Utah- Brock Duke RHP (1-0)
Northern Illinois- Jordan Ruckman, LHP (0-2)

Saturday, March 2- 6:35 p.m. CT
Utah- Tanner Banks LHP (1-1)
Minnesota- Ben Meyer, RHP (0-2)

Sunday, March 3. 11:00 a.m. CT
Utah- Joe Pond RHP (1-1)
Dartmouth- Michael Johnson, LHP (0-0)