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CBD Column: Pac-12 Weekend Preview (March 8th-10th)

Pac12LogoTexas State at Oregon State

The Oregon State Beavers, 12-0, moved up to No.4 in the latest NCWBA poll after a four-game sweep of Bryant last weekend. Left fielder Michael Conforto was named Pac-12 Player of the Week after a weekend in which he hit four homeruns and drove in 12 RBI. His seven RBI on Sunday was a career high for him during a single game. The game against Portland on Tuesday was rained out for the Beavers. Texas State is traveling to the Northwest for a week in which they will play Oregon State and then Oregon during the week. The Bobcats are 5-7 on the season but will enter the weekend on a three-game win streak. They beat UTSA 6-0 on Tuesday. The Bobcats also took two of three against Northern Kentucky last weekend. Oregon State ranks first in the Pac-12 this season with a 0.83 team ERA. Opposing hitters are batting just .178 against the Beaver pitching staff.

Friday, March 8 – 5:35vp.m. PT
Oregon State- Dan Child RHP (3-0)
Texas State- Kyle Finnegan, RHP (1-0)

Saturday, March 9- 2:05 p.m. PT
Oregon State- Matt Boyd LHP (2-0)
Texas State- Taylor Black, RHP (1-1)

Saturday, March 10- 1:05 p.m. PT
Oregon State- Andrew Moore RHP (3-0)
Texas State- Scott Grist, RHP (0-0-)

UCLA Hosting Dodgertown Classic

UCLA is 9-2 on the season and moved up to No. 7 in the NCWBA rankings this week after sweeping Wright State last weekend. The Bruins also beat Long Beach State on Tuesday night to win their sixth game in a row. The Bruins are 5-1 at home this season, with their only loss at Jackie Robinson Stadium coming on opening night against Minnesota by the score of 6-2. Norte Dame arrives at UCLA ranked No. 26 in the NCWBA poll and posts an 8-2 record. No.14 Oklahoma is also part of the Dodgertown Classic and will take on the Bruins on Saturday. The Sooners are 11-2 on the season, but dropped the Tuesday night game 6-1 to UT Arlington. The fourth team in the tournament is cross-town rival USC. Third baseman Kevin Kramer is leading the Bruins with a .385 batting average. He has a team high 13 RBI.
Friday, March 8 – 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Adam Plutko, RHP, (2-0)
Norte Dame- Sean Fitzgerald, RHP (1-0)
Saturday, March 9 – 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, (2-1)
Oklahoma- Jonathan Gray, RHP (2-1)
Sunday, March 10 – 3:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Grant Watson, LHP, So. (2-0)
USC- Kyle Twomey, LHP, (1-1)

Vanderbilt at Oregon

One of the premier matchups in the country this weekend will take place in Eugene as the No. 2 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores travel to No. 11 ranked Oregon. The Ducks are 10-3 this season and are coming off a two-game sweep of Cal State Northridge on Monday and Tuesday. Oregon traveled to Cal State Fullerton last weekend and dropped the first two games of the series before winning the Sunday matchup 9-1. Vanderbilt arrives in Eugene with a 13-1 record so far this season. It will be an interesting test for the Commodores, who have not traveled outside of Nashville, Tenn., this season. Vanderbilt is coming off an 8-3 victory Tuesday night against Eastern Illinois. The Commodores swept UIC last weekend by a total score of 17-4 during the three-game series. Keep an eye out for LHP Kevin Ziomek for Vanderbilt on Friday. He was recently named the SEC Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game, while striking out a career best 15 hitters. He only allowed one hit against Illinois-Chicago. For Oregon, first baseman Ryon Healy and shortstop J.J. Altobelli are the leading hitters on the team. Healy has a .392 batting average. Altobelli has a .351 batting average through 13 games.

Friday, March 8 – 6:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Jake Reed, RHP, (1-2)
Vanderbilt- Kevin Ziomek, LHP (3-0)
Saturday, March 9 – 2:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Tommy Thorpe, LHP, (2-1)
Vanderbilt- Tyler Beede, RHP, (3-0)
Sunday, March 10 – 12:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Cole Irvin LHP, (3-0)
Vanderbilt- Philip Pfeifer, LHP (2-0)

Columbia at Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats, ranked No. 17 in the NCWBA poll, take on Columbia for the first time in program history. Arizona comes into the series with an 11-4 record. They split a two-game series with Texas Tech on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last weekend, the Wildcats were able to take two out of three from San Francisco. Columbia is 0-4 on the season, and they are coming off being swept at Beaumont, Texas against Lamar last weekend. For the Wildcats, the series against Columbia falls into game 11 of the 18-game home stand. Arizona is second in the Pac-12 in team batting average with a 2.99 average. The Wildcats also lead the Pac-12 in hits (123), runs scored (110), and on-base percentage (.416).

Friday, March 8- 6:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- Konner Wade RHP (2-0)
Columbia- David Speer, LHP (0-1)

Satuday, March 9- 6:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- James Farris RHP (3-0)
Columbia- Tim Giel, RHP (0-1)

Sunday, March 10- 12:00 p.m. MST
Arizona- Cody Moffett, LHP (1-0)
Columbia- Joey Gandolfo, LHP (0-1)

UNLV at Stanford

The Stanford Cardinal is the third Pac-12 team ranked in the top 10 of the NCWBA poll this week. The Cardinal, coming in at No. 9, hosts UNLV over the weekend. Stanford is 10-2 on the season after defeating Santa Clara, 6-4, Tuesday night. The Cardinal is also coming off a series sweep over Texas this past weekend. The Pac-12 announced on Tuesday that RHP Mark Appel was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. Appel matched a career high with 14 strikeouts in a complete-game win on Friday night. UNLV will enter the weekend with a 10-3 record and are winners of six consecutive games. The Rebels defeated Hawaii 14-1 Monday. They also went 4-0 during the Rebel Classic in Las Vegas last weekend. UNLV had victories over Loyola Marymount, Bradley, and Hawaii. Stanford is second in the Pac-12 in team ERA. The Cardinal staff holds a 1.74 ERA in 98.0 innings pitched. Opposing hitters are batting just .200 against the Cardinal.

Friday, March 8- 5:30 p.m. PT
Stanford- Mark Appel RHP (2-1)
UNLV- Buddy Borden, RHP (1-0)

Saturday, March 9- 1:30 p.m. PT
Stanford- John Hochstatter LHP (0-0)
UNLV-Erick Fedde, RHP (2-0)

Sunday, March 10- 1:00 p.m. PT
Stanford- Dean McArdle, RHP (1-0)
UNLV- John Richy, RHP (1-2)

Long Beach State at Arizona State

The Arizona State Sun Devils had arguably the best weekend in the Pac-12 last week. The Sun Devils finished the Coca Cola Classic, which featured Arkansas, Gonzaga, and Pacific University, 3-0-1.Two of the Sun Devils three victories came against then No. 2 Arkansas. Arizona State heads into the weekend with a 7-2-1 record and a No. 23 ranking by NCWBA. Long Beach State is 6-7 on the season, and will enter the weekend after dropping a 3-2 game against UCLA on Tuesday. Long Beach State lost two out of three against Seattle University last weekend. Outfielder Kasey Coffman is leading Arizona State with .371 batting average and 13 hits through 10 games. Arizona State has also had big pitching performances from freshmen LHP Ryan Kellogg (2-0) and LHP Brett Lilek (1-0) so far this season.

Friday, March 8- 6:30 p.m. MT
Arizona State – Trevor Williams, RHP (2-0)
Long Beach State- Shane Carle, RHP (1-1)
Saturday, March 9- 6:30 p.m. MT
Arizona State -Ryan Kellogg, LHP (2-0)
Long Beach State- Landon Hunt, LHP (1-0)
Sunday, March 10- 12:30 p.m. MT
Arizona State –Adam McCreery, LHP (0-1)
Long Beach State- Jon Maciel, RHP (1-2)

Fresno State at California

The California Golden Bears host the Fresno State Bulldogs in a four-game series beginning Thursday. The Bears are coming off a tough appearance in the Houston College Classic, in which they lost to Baylor, North Carolina, and Rice. The Bears were able to beat Houston 13-2 on Sunday. After the weekend, the Bears are 5-7 on the season. Fresno State will enter the weekend 3-8 on the season. The Bulldogs lost to San Jose State 10-3 Tuesday night, but were able to take two out of three from USC last weekend. One of the reasons for California’s tough start is their pitching. California’s team ERA is 4.88, which ranks last in the Pac-12. Opposing hitters are hitting a robust .312 against California pitching. First baseman Devon Rodriguez leads the Bears with a .356 average and in hits with 16.

Thursday, March 7- 1:30 p.m. PT
California- Justin Jones LHP (0-1)
Fresno State-William Munro, RHP (1-1)

Friday, March 8- 1:30 p.m. PT
California- Kyle Porter LHP (0-0)
Fresno State- Derick Velazquez RHP (1-1)

Saturday, March 9. 1:00 p.m. PT
California-Michael Theofanopoulos LHP (0-1)
Fresno State- Tim Borst, RHP (1-0)

Sunday, March 10. 1:00 p.m. PT
California- TBD
Fresno State-TBD

USC at Dodgertown Classic

The USC Trojans will join UCLA, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame as part of the tournament that makes up the Dodgertown Classic. USC will play their games on Friday and Saturday at Dedeaux Field. On Sunday, the Trojans will travel across town to take on their rival at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Trojans are 6-6 on the season. On Wednesday, the Trojans feel at home to No. 13 ranked Cal State Fullerton by a score of 11-4. USC also lost two out of three last weekend against Fresno State. Infielder Kevin Swick is leading the Trojans with a .400 batting average through 12 games. He is also the team leader in hits with 16.

Friday, March 8. 6:00 p.m. PT
USC- Bob Wheatley, LHP (1-1)
Oklahoma- Dillion Overton LHP (4-0)

Saturday, March 9. 2:00 p.m. PT
USC- Wyatt Strahan, RHP (0-0)
Notre Dame- Adam Norton RHP (3-0)

Sunday, March 10. 3:00 p.m. PT
USC- Kyle Twomey, LHP (1-1)
UCLA- Grant Watson, LHP (2-0)

Washington at LSU

The Washington Huskies, 4-8 on the season, will make the trip across country to SEC territory when they take on the LSU Tigers this weekend. The Huskies are coming off a Tuesday victory over Seattle University by the score of 4-2. Washington lost two out of three at home last weekend against Cal Poly. LSU, on the other hand, is ranked No.3 by NCWBA and holds a 12-1 record. The Tigers defeated Sacred Heart on Wednesday and defeated Stephen F. Austin Tuesday. Last weekend, LSU defeated Brown on Friday and Saturday. They then beat Nicholls on Sunday. Washington ranks in the bottom half of the Pac-12 in ERA (4.55) and team batting average (.242). RHP Austin Voth has been the most reliable Husky starter. He will look to stifle the Tiger offense that holds a .323 team batting average.

Friday, March 8- 7:00 p.m. CT
Washington- Austin Voth RHP (2-1)
LSU-Aaron Nola, RHP (1-0)

Saturday, March 9. 6:30 p.m. CT
Washington- Tyler Davis RHP (0-1)
LSU- Ryan Eades, RHP (2-0)

Sunday, March 10. 1:00 p.m. CT
Washington- Nick Palewicz RHP (2-2)
LSU- Cody Glenn- LHP, (2-0)

Washington State at UTSA

The Washington State Cougars hit the road for eight consecutive games, which will begin in San Antonio, Texas against UTSA. The Cougars, 8-3 on the season, are coming off winning three out of four over Cal State Northridge last weekend. The Roadrunners are 9-4 this season and are 8-0 at home. UTSA is coming off a loss against Texas State on Tuesday, but they did sweep the UTSA Classic, which had teams such as Omaha, Penn State, and Stephen F. Austin. The Cougars rank first in the Pac-12 in team batting average at .318. They also rank first in the Pac-12 in homeruns with 11.
Friday, March 8. 6:00 p.m. CT
Washington State- Joe Pistorese LHP (0-1)
UTSA- Michael Kraft LHP (1-1)
Saturday-Game 1 March 9. 2:00 p.m. CT
Washington State- Scott Simon RHP (0-0)
UTSA- Brock Hartson RHP (1-1)
Saturday-Game 2 March 9. 5:30 p.m. CT
Washington State- Tanner Chleborad RHP (2-1)
UTSA- Clint Sharp RHP (0-1)
Sunday, March 10. 1:00 p.m. CT
Washington State- TBD
UTSA- TBD

Utah at Saint Mary’s

The Utah Utes will travel to Saint Mary’s over the weekend for a four game series. Utah is 5-5 through their first 10 games. The Utes are coming off a 1-2 weekend in which the dropped games against Minnesota and Dartmouth at the Dairy Queen Classic. During the tournament, Utah was able to beat Northern Illinios by a score of 6-1. Saint Mary’s is 4-8 on the season so far. They have dropped four consecutive games, including a series sweep last weekend at UC Riverside. The Gaels lost Monday to UC Santa Barbara by a score of 10-1. Utah ranks in the bottom half of the Pac-12 with a 4.29 team ERA. The Utes do rank tied for second in the Pac-12 with seven homeruns.

Friday, March 8- 2:00 p.m. PT
Utah- Brock Duke RHP (2-0)
Saint Mary’s- Jordan Mills LHP (1-1)

Saturday, March 9- 1:00 p.m. PT
Utah- Tanner Banks LHP (1-2)
Saint Mary’- Ryan Brockett, LHP (1-1)

Sunday, March 10. 1:00 p.m. PT
Utah- Joe Pond RHP (1-1)
Saint Mary’s- Ben Griset, LHP (0-1)

Monday, March 11. 1:00 p.m. PT
Utah-TBD
Saint Mary’s-TBD