Pac-12 Weekend Preview (March 21st-23rd)

Pac12LogoArizona State at Oregon State

The No.4 ranked Oregon State Beavers (18-3, 3-0) host the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-8, 1-2) this weekend in Corvallis. The Beavers are coming off a conference sweep of Utah last weekend, and are currently riding a 10-game winning streak. The Sun Devils split a two-game series against Wichita State during the week, and are coming off a conference series loss at home against Washington. Arizona State enters the series ranked second in the Pac-12 with a .297 team batting average, while Oregon State is third with a .287 team batting average. The difference in this series will come down to pitching, where the Beavers sit atop the conference with a 1.83 ERA, compared to the eighth ranked Sun Devil team ERA of 3.89.

Series Prediction: Oregon State takes two out of three

 

Utah at Oregon

Utah travels to Eugene this weekend to take on the No. 9 NCWBA ranked Oregon Ducks. The Utes (9-10, 0-3) are coming off a 7-3 midweek victory against Utah Valley, but suffered a conference sweep last weekend at home against Oregon State. Oregon enters the weekend with a 14-5 record and are 2-1 in Pac-12 play. The Ducks were able to overcome a Friday night loss, and claim a series victory against USC last weekend. Oregon holds an advantage both offensively and on the mound. The Ducks currently rank fourth in the conference with a .280 team batting average, and sit third with a 2.83 team ERA. Utah sits tenth with a .241 team batting average, and also rank tenth with a 4.76 ERA. If Oregon has visions of competing with UCLA and Oregon State, the Ducks need to take care of business this weekend.

Series Prediction: Oregon Sweeps Utah

 

Washington State at UCLA

The Cougars travel to Los Angeles this weekend to take on the No. 14 ranked UCLA Bruins. Washington State (7-9, 2-1) comes into the weekend riding high after taking the series last weekend against Arizona, and splitting a midweek series at San Diego. UCLA (12-7, 3-0) did not have a midweek game, but pulled off a sweep of California last weekend in Berkeley. Offensively, both teams are fairly even in team batting average. UCLA ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with a .254 average, while Washington State ranks ninth with a .253 average. From the mound, these two teams are polar opposites. UCLA is second in the conference with a 2.45 team ERA, while the Cougars rank last in the conference with a 5.01 ERA. It’s hard to imagine a team with the worst ERA in the conference, winning the series on the road against the defending National Champion.

UCLA sweeps Washington State

 

USC at Stanford

The Trojans travel to Palo Alto over the weekend to take on the Stanford Cardinal. USC enters the weekend with a 10-9 overall record, and are 1-2 in conference play. The Trojans are coming off a 4-3 loss to Stony Brook on Tuesday, and lost the Saturday and Sunday game last weekend at Oregon. Stanford comes into the series with a 7-8 overall record. This weekend’s matchup will be the first conference series for the Cardinal. Last weekend the Cardinal took two out of three from Kansas. Out of all the matchups in the conference, this series seems to be the most even. Stanford ranks fifth in ERA (3.10), and seventh in team batting average (.261). USC ranks sixth in ERA (3.24), and sixth (.273) in team batting average. The game-changer could come down to defense, where USC leads the conference in fielding percentage (.983), and have committed the fewest amount of errors (13) in the Pac-12. Stanford ranks near the bottom in both categories.

USC takes two out of three

 

Arizona at Washington

The Wildcats travel to Seattle over the weekend to take on the Washington Huskies. Arizona posts a 11-12 record, and are 1-2 in Pac-12 play. They are coming off a disheartening midweek game, in which the Wildcats were defeated at home by Grand Canyon 3-1. Arizona also dropped their opening conference series against Washington State last weekend. The Huskies will enter play this weekend with a 13-5-1 overall record. They are 2-1 in conference play. Washington took two out of three from Arizona State last weekend, and then defeated Portland on Tuesday. Washington is having early success this season by playing much improved baseball all over the diamond. The Huskies currently sit fifth (.275) in team batting average, seventh (3.66) in team ERA, and rank third (.977) in team fielding percentage. Leading the Pac-12 in team batting average (.316), it will be interesting to see how Arizona’s bats handle the damp air in Seattle. This will be the first time all season Arizona has played outside of Tucson. Look for the Wildcats inconsistencies to continue as they take on a much improved Husky team.

Washington takes two out of three

 

California at Cal Poly

The California Golden Bears take a break from conference play this weekend, as they travel to San Luis Obispo to take on Cal Poly. The Bears enter the weekend with a 10-9 record and are 0-3 in conference play. They were defeated by Fresno State in the midweek matchup, and were swept by UCLA last weekend. They are currently riding a four-game losing streak. Cal Poly comes into the series with a 17-3 record. They are currently ranked No. 10 in the latest NCWBA poll.

Cal Poly sweeps California