The No. 2 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores traveled across the country this weekend to take on the No. 11 Oregon Ducks. Game one of the three game series pitted LHP Kevin Ziomek against RHP Jake Reed of Oregon. In the top of the second inning, second baseman Tony Kemp tripled into the left-center gap to drive home Rhett Wiseman and Xavier Turner. Jack Lupo then singled to center to give the Commodores a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Ducks first baseman Ryon Healy jumped on a Ziomek fastball and hit a home run to left field. The home run by Healy would account for one of the Ducks two hits on the night. Ziomek pitched his second straight complete game in the Vanderbilt 4-1 victory. He struck out 13 batters and only walked one. Continue reading
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.
Conforto led the Beavers with a .349 average and finished tied for the Pac-12 lead in homeruns with 13. He set the all-time Oregon State record with 76 RBI, breaking the previous record of 67, in 2000, by Joe Gerber. Continue reading
The Arizona State Sun Devils had arguably the best weekend in the Pac-12. Arizona State defeated No.2 Arkansas and highly touted RHP Ryne Stanek Friday night 3-2. Second baseman James McDonald had two hits and two RBI. On Saturday, RHP Trevor Williams pitched a complete game in the 8-1 victory of Pacific University. Williams improved to 2-0 while only allowing one run and striking out nine. Sunday pitted the Sun Devils against Arkansas again, resulting in another Sun Devil victory 3-1. The score was tied 1-1 in the seventh, before Arizona State stuck for two runs. The game between the Sun Devils and Gonzaga ended in a 6-6 tie, after the Sun Devils scored a run on a Trever Allen homerun in the bottom of the eighth. The game was called due to Gonzaga’s pre-arranged travel plans. The Sun Devils are the big winners after two victories against the No. 2 ranked team in the country. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Colton Plaia decided to return to Loyola Marymount after being selected in the 33rd round of the 2012 MLB daft because he wanted to continue to be a part of building the Loyola Marymount baseball program. In his final season, Colton is batting .321 with three doubles thru eight games. Defensively, Colton has thrown out five base runners in seven attempts. In a recent interview, Loyola Marymount head coach Jason Gill called Colton “the best catcher on the west coast.”
You can see Colton at bat and behind the plate below: Continue reading
The No. 5 ranked Oregon Ducks hosted Loyola Marymount over the weekend to kick off their 2013 home campaign. On Friday night, Loyola Marymount was able to upset the Ducks 7-2. Saturday afternoon, Oregon rebounded with a 6-1 victory. In the series finale, the Lions were leading 1-0 entering the bottom of the sixth. After the Ducks loaded the bases, DH Tyler Bumgartner delivered a two-out double to left field to clear the bases. Oregon would add to the lead and wind up winning 6-1, claiming the series victory.
Here is Loyola Marymount head coach Jason Gill on the performance of his team this weekend, the expectations of the program moving forward, and talking about his senior catcher Colton Plaia. Continue reading
Arizona State at Tennessee
The No. 22 ranked Sun Devils traveled to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers over the weekend. In game one, RHP Trevor Williams secured his first victory of the season by throwing seven innings and striking out eight as Arizona State won 4-0. Trevor Allen hit a three-run homerun for the Devils. In game two, after Arizona State scored two early runs, RHP Drake Owenby for Tennessee was able to stifle Arizona State. He pitched four innings out of the pen and did not allow a run as Tennessee was able to secure an 11-2 victory thanks to three Volunteers knocking in multiple RBI. In game three Sunday afternoon, LHP Ryan Kellogg improved to 2-0 after bouncing back from allowing an early run. His final line was 5 IP, 1ER, and 6K’s, as Arizona State was able to secure a series victory 5-1. Outfielders Trevor Allen and James McDonald each hit a two-run homerun to account for four of the five RBI. Continue reading
The No. 6 ranked Bruins will travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears this weekend. It will be UCLA’s first visit to Baylor in program history. UCLA (2-1) is coming off a series victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Bruins dropped the opener 6-2 in 10 innings Friday night, but rallied on Saturday by defeating the Gophers 14-0. On Sunday, sophomore starter Grant Watson kept the Gophers quiet by throwing six scoreless innings and tallying a career high eight strikeouts. Baylor (1-3) is coming off a win at home Tuesday against Texas State. The Bears were swept on the road at UC Irvine last weekend. Continue reading
Oregon St: 18-12
Arizona St: 18-12
Washington St: 12-18
The Pac-12 is one of the best conferences in college baseball. It’s a safe statement after the University of Arizona claimed their fourth National Championship in school history by sweeping the two-time defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks in 2012. Their coach was also rewarded. Andy Lopez was named the National Coach of the Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Arizona was also able to lay claim to the Pac-12 title last season; an honor in which they shared with another national power, UCLA. UCLA finished one game better than Arizona in the overall record, and advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. They meet in the winner’s bracket with Arizona getting the better of their conference rival. Still, two teams in the College World Series, is a signal to the rest of the NCAA that the Pac-12 is once again a dominant conference. Continue reading