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Pac-12 Weekend Preview (March 22nd-24th)

Pac12LogoArizona State at Oregon State

The Oregon State Beavers, ranked No. 4 by the NCWBA, return home this weekend to host the No. 21 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. Oregon State is 19-1 and 3-0 in conference play. The Beavers are coming off a three-game sweep at Arizona last weekend, the first time they have accomplished the feat in program history. Arizona State heads to Corvallis with a record of 12-5-1 and 1-2 in conference play. The Sun Devils lost two out of three against Washington State last weekend, and dropped a Tuesday game against Texas Tech by the final of 8-7. The matchup this weekend will be a test for Arizona State as the Beavers hold an NCAA low ERA of 1.59 in 181 innings pitched. Batters are hitting .203 against the Beaver pitching staff. Arizona State ranks third in the Pac-12 with a .295 average. The Sun Devils are also second in the conference with 11 home runs. Although Arizona State ranks in the upper half of the Pac-12 in multiple categories, so do the Beavers. The difference maker in the series will be playing at Goss Stadium, where the Beavers are 8-1 this season.

Series Prediction: Oregon State sweeps Arizona State

 

Friday, March 22 – 5:35 p.m. PT
Oregon State- Andrew Moore RHP (5-0)

Arizona State – Trevor Williams, RHP (3-1)

Saturday, March 23- 2:05 p.m. PT

Oregon State- Matt Boyd LHP (3-0)

Arizona State -Ryan Kellogg, LHP (4-0)

 Saturday, March 24- 12:05 p.m. PT

Oregon State- Ben Wetzler LHP (0-0)

Arizona State –Adam McCreery, LHP (1-2)

 

California at UCLA

The Bears will travel to UCLA this weekend to take on a Bruin squad that is 15-3 and 3-0 in conference. UCLA, ranked No. 7 by the NCWBA, comes into the weekend after sweeping Washington last week. In the final two games against the Huskies, the UCLA pitching staff completed back-to-back shutouts. They have not allowed a run in 32 consecutive innings. California is 13-0 on the season and 3-0 in conference play. The Bears swept Utah last weekend, but dropped a Tuesday night game again San Jose State by a final of 3-1. Before the loss to San Jose State, California had won eight in a row. UCLA ranks second in the conference with a 2.02 ERA, while California ranks eighth with a 4.07 ERA. On paper, the Bruins staff should be able to handle a California team that only hits at a .271 clip. UCLA ranks right below Cal with a .259 average. The difference maker in the series will be UCLA’s pitching staff holding hitters to a conference low .201 batting average.

Series Prediction: UCLA Sweeps California

Friday, March 22 – 6:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Adam Plutko, RHP, (3-0)

California- Justin Jones LHP (1-1)

 

Saturday, March 23 – 2:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, (3-2)

California- Kyle Porter LHP (0-0)

 

Sunday, March 24 – 1:00 p.m. PT
UCLA – Grant Watson, LHP, So. (4-0)

California-Michael Theofanopoulos LHP (0-1)

 

Arizona at Oregon

The Oregon Ducks, ranked No. 12 in the latest NCWBA poll, will host the No. 25 ranked Arizona Wildcats over the weekend. Arizona travels to Eugene looking forward to getting back to action after being swept by Oregon State last weekend. The Wildcats are 15-8 and 0-3 in conference play. Oregon enters the weekend with a 15-6 record. The Ducks are 2-1 in conference after taking two out of three from USC last weekend. The matchup this weekend has a lot of intrigue, and it will be a battle to see which team’s strength wins out. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in fielding percentage, and are ranked third nationally with a .987 mark. They have committed a conference low ten errors so far. The Ducks also have the fourth best ERA in the conference with a 3.00 mark. For Oregon, pitching and defense is the key to their success. On the opposite side of spectrum, Arizona enters play leading the Pac-12 with a 7.4 runs per game average. The Wildcats rank second in batting average (.316), first in on-base percentage (4.14), hits (180), RBI (154), and stolen bases (53). Brandon Dixon is leading the conference with a .430 batting average. Whichever team’s strength wins out, will take the series.

Series Prediction: Oregon wins two out of three.

 

Friday, March 22 – 6:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Jake Reed, RHP, (2-3)

Arizona- Konner Wade RHP (2-1)

Saturday, March 23 – 2:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Tommy Thorpe, LHP, (2-2)

Arizona- James Farris RHP (3-2)

Sunday, March 24 – 12:00 p.m. PT
Oregon- Cole Irvin LHP, (3-1)

Arizona- Cody Moffett, LHP (2-1)

 

Utah at Stanford

Utah travels down to Palo Alto over the weekend to take on No.17 ranked Stanford. The Utes are 9-9 on the season and are 0-3 in conference play. Utah was swept last weekend by California, but the Utes were able to get a win Tuesday night against Utah Valley by a final of 3-2. Stanford returns to action after a 12 day layoff. Two weekends ago, Stanford had a disappointing weekend in which they were swept by UNLV at home. Stanford returns to action with a 10-5 record. The weekend matchup with Utah will kick off Stanford’s conference schedule. Stanford ranks third in the conference with a 2.08 ERA. Offensively, the Cardinal rank eighth with a .244 batting average. Utah sits tenth with a .236 batting average and the Utes rank seventh with a 3.61 ERA. Stanford should be able to handle Utah, especially with Appel going Friday. It will be worth watching to see if Stanford shows rust after such a long layoff.

Series Prediction: Stanford takes two out of three

 

Friday, March 22- 7:00 p.m. PT

Stanford- Mark Appel RHP (2-2)

Utah- Brock Duke RHP (2-0)

Saturday, March 23- 2:00 p.m. PT

Stanford- John Hochstatter RHP (0-1)

Utah- Tanner Banks LHP (1-3)

 Sunday, March 24- 1:00 p.m. MT

Stanford- Dean McArdle RHP (1-0)

Utah- Joe Pond RHP (2-2)

 

 USC at Washington

 

USC travels to Washington over the weekend in a battle of struggling teams. USC enters the weekend with an 8-13 record and a 1-2 conference record. The Trojans have lost seven of their last eight, with their sole victory coming against Oregon Sunday afternoon. USC also dropped a two-game series against Louisville during the week. Washington enters play this weekend with a 4-15 record and a 0-3 conference record. The Huskies have lost seven in a row and are coming off being swept at UCLA in a series where the Huskies only scored two runs. Washington ranks last in the conference with a .235 batting average. The Huskies also sit ninth with a 4.26 ERA. USC ranks last in the conference with a 4.57 ERA. The bright spot for the Trojans is their team batting average sits at .278, which ranks fifth in the conference.

 

Series Prediction: USC takes two out of three.

 

Friday, March 22- 6:00 p.m. PT

USC- Bob Wheatley, LHP (2-2)

Washington- Nick Palewicz RHP (2-3)

 

Saturday, March 23- 2:00 p.m. PT

USC- Wyatt Strahan, RHP (0-0)

Washington- Austin Voth RHP (2-3)

 

Sunday, March 24- 12:00 p.m. PT

USC- Kyle Twomey, LHP (2-1)

Washington- Tyler Davis RHP (0-3)

 

 **Brown at Washington State

The Washington State Cougars take a break from Pac-12 competition this weekend when they take on the Brown Bears in a four-game set. Washington State is 11-8 on the season and the Cougars sit 2-1 in the conference after a series victory last weekend at Arizona State. The Cougars dropped a Tuesday game by a final of 10-8 to Gonzaga. Brown comes into the weekend 1-6 and losers of five in a row. Washington State should be able to handle Brown, as the Cougars lead the Pac-12 in most offensive categories. The Cougars have a .323 team batting average, while Brown sits at .233. On the mound, Washington State ranks ninth in the conference with a 4.55 ERA. Brown sits at 4.52. Look for a lot of runs to be scored this weekend.

Series Prediction: Washington State takes three out of four.