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Pac 12 Weekend Preview May 17/18/19

Oregon State at Oregon

 

The rivalry between Oregon State and Oregon takes on a new meaning this weekend, as the winner of the series controls their own destiny for a Pac-12 baseball championship. Oregon State enters the weekend with a one game lead over Oregon for first place atop the conference. The Beavers, winners of 12 in a row, are ranked No. 3 in the latest NWBA poll. They sit 41-8 overall and 20-4 in the Pac-12. Oregon, ranked No. 6 in the NCWBA poll, has won eight in a row. They are 42-11 overall and 19-5 in the Pac-12, after sweeping Ohio State in Columbus last weekend. The Ducks also swept a midweek two-game series from Gonzaga this week. Oregon State holds a slight advantage in ERA, as the Beavers lead the conference with a 2.06 ERA. Oregon is second with a 2.61 ERA. The Beavers also post a better team batting average (.286) to Oregon’s (.264). The Ducks hold an advantage over Oregon State defensively, as the Ducks are tied with UCLA atop the conference with a .980 fielding percentage. The Beavers rank seventh in the conference with a .972 fielding percentage. The Ducks have committed 41 errors, compared to the Beavers 54. With a series like this, where both teams are so evenly matched, the winner of the series could come down to who executes in critical situations. A new wrinkle to keep an eye out for is the return of LHP Jayce Fry. Although he isn’t slatted to get a start, he could be used out of the pen to get one of the Ducks many lefty hitters. This series is crucial because Oregon ends the season at Utah, the last place team in the Pac-12. Oregon State ends the season at home against Washington State, the second to worst team in the Pac-12.

Series Prediction: Oregon State takes two out of three.

Friday, May 17 – 6:00 p.m. PT

 

Oregon State- Matt Boyd LHP (10-2, 2.04 ERA)

Oregon- Tommy Thorpe LHP (5-4, 2.62)

 

Saturday, May 18- 2:00 p.m. PT

Oregon State- Andrew Moore RHP (10-1, 1.48 ERA

Oregon- Cole Irvin LHP (10-2, 2.64 ERA)

 

Sunday, May 19- 12:00 p.m. PT

Oregon State- Ben Wetzler LHP (6-1, 1.46 ERA)

Oregon- Jake Reed RHP (6-3, 3.00 ERA)

 

 

UCLA at USC

UCLA takes on their rival USC in a conference matchup at Dedeaux Field. The Bruins, ranked No. 11 in the NCWBA poll, come into the weekend with a 34-14 record. They are 17-7 in the Pac-12. The Bruins sit just two games behind Oregon and three games behind Oregon State. USC, on the other hand, is 19-30 overall. They are 10-14 in the conference. The Trojans are tied with Arizona for sixth place in the Pac-12. The Bruins hold the advantage on the mound, with a 2.77 ERA. The Trojans are last in the conference with 4.70 ERA. Offensively USC has the statistical advantage. The Trojans have a team batting average of .283, while UCLA sits next to last with a .254 average. Although the Trojans have the edge with the bats, UCLA’s arms are elite. Look for UCLA to control this series, as the Bruin have won the last 20 of 22 matchups against the Trojans.

 

Series Prediction: UCLA takes two out of three.

Friday, May 17 – 7:00 p.m. PT

USC- Bob Wheatley LHP (3-4, 2.78 ERA)

UCLA- Adam Plutko RHP (7-2, 2.68 ERA)

 

Saturday, May 18 – 2:00 p.m. PT

 

USC- Wyatt Strahan RHP (4-3 3.49 ERA)

UCLA- Nick Vander Tuig LHP (9-3, 1.79 ERA)

 

Sunday, May 19 – 1:00 p.m. PT

 

USC- TBD

UCLA- Grant Watson LHP (5-3, 3.49 ERA)

 

Arizona at Arizona State

Rivalry weekend continues in the Pac-12 as the Arizona Wildcats travel to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils. The Wildcats come into the series really struggling. They have lost three in a row after being swept last weekend against UCLA. The Wildcats are 29-20 and 10-14 in the Pac-12. They sit tied for sixth in the Pac-12. It might be too late for Arizona to make up ground for a regional bid, but they could try and sway the committee by taking the series against nationally ranked Arizona State. The Sun Devils, No. 14 in the NCWBA poll, come into the weekend with a 33-15-1 record. They are 14-10 in the conference. The Sun Devils sit three games back from UCLA, but also hold a three game lead over Stanford. Both teams excel offensively, as the Wildcats rank atop the conference with a .300 team batting average. The Sun Devils are third with a .296 team batting average. The problem for Arizona has been on the mound, where the Wildcats sit ninth with a 4.46 ERA. It will be interesting to see which Arizona team shows up this weekend. Will the Wildcats accept the fact that they are on the outside looking in for postseason play? Will the Wildcat team that allowed 23 runs to Washington show up? Or will the defending national champions scrap to keep their season alive?

 

Series Prediction: Arizona State takes two out of three.

 

Friday, May 17 – 6:30 p.m. PT

Arizona- Konner Wade RHP (4-6, 4.38 ERA)

Arizona State- Trevor Williams RHP (5-5, 3.59 ERA)

 

Saturday, May 18 – 6:30 p.m. PT

 

Arizona- James Farris RHP (4-5, 4.20 ERA)

Arizona State- Ryan Kellogg LHP (10-0, 3.36 ERA)

 

Sunday, May 19 – 12:30 p.m. PT

 

Arizona- Tyler Crawford RHP (5-2, 4.02 ERA)

Arizona-TBD

 

Stanford at California

The Stanford Cardinal travel to Berkley this weekend to take on the California Bears. The Cardinal has to be one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season. They are 26-21 overall and 11-13 in the Pac-12. They are fifth in the conference, three games back from Arizona State. California comes into the weekend with a 22-28 record. They are 10-17 in the conference, which ranks them third to last in the standings. California is coming off being swept last weekend against Arizona State. The initial thought would be to pick Stanford, and then rationalize how the Cardinal could make a last ditch effort to push themselves into a last minute regional bid. The problem is, the Cardinal don’t seem to have any fight left after losing to Santa Clara, at home, 3-0 on Tuesday. As previously mentioned, with three potential first round picks on the roster, it would be harder to find another team that has underachieved as much as Stanford.

 

Series Prediction: California takes two out of three.

Friday, May 17- 7:00 p.m. PT

Stanford- Mark Appel RHP (8-4, 1.97 ERA)

California- Ryan Mason, RHP, (5-3, 3.81 ERA)

 

Saturday, May 18- 6:00 p.m. PT

 

Stanford- Mark Appel RHP (8-4, 1.97 ERA)

California- Trevor Hilldenberger RHP (5-3, 4.58 ERA)

 

Sunday, May 19- 1:00 p.m. PT

Stanford- John Hochstatter RHP (3-3, 3.60 ERA)

California- TBD

 

 

Washington at Washington State

The Washington Huskies travel to take on the Washington State Cougars this weekend. Washington comes into the weekend with a 19-31 record. They are 10-14 in the conference, which places them tied for sixth. The Huskies have been playing well of late after taking back to back series against Utah and Arizona. The Huskies dropped a midweek game against Portland on Tuesday. The Cougars, on the other hand, come into the weekend with a 21-27 record. They are 8-16 in the Pac-12, three games ahead of Utah for last place. The Cougars lost the series at USC last weekend. They then dropped a midweek game to UC Santa Barbara by a final of 7-6.

 

Series Prediction: Washington takes two out of three.

 

Friday, May 17- 6:00 p.m. PT

Washington State- Joe Pistorese LHP (5-3, 2.71 ERA)

Washington- Jared Fisher RHP (2-2, 2.62 ERA)

 

Saturday, May 18- 2:00 p.m. PT

Washington State- Tanner Chleborad RHP (3-8, 6.65 ERA)

Washington- Austin Voth RHP (6-5, 2.65 ERA)

 

Sunday, May 19- 1:00 p.m. PT

Washington State- Scott Simon RHP (3-3, 3.96 ERA)

Washington-TBD

 

Kansas at Utah

The Utah Utes are next in line this weekend as they take a break from conference play. The Kansas Jayhawks travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utes. Utah is 17-29 overall and 6-21 in the Pac-12. Utah has lost three in a row, and have lost 12 of their last 13 games. The Kansas Jayhawks are 31-21 overall. They are 12-12 in the Big 12.