Washington State at Oregon State
The final series of the Pac-12 for Oregon State and Washington State takes place at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. The Beavers hold a two game lead atop the conference with a three-game series against the Cougars left on the schedule. Washington State comes into the weekend with a 22-30 record. They are 8-19 in the Pac-12. The Cougars were swept by rival Washington last weekend, and then defeated Portland 1-0 during the midweek game. Oregon State, ranked No. 3 by the NCWBA, holds a 43-9 overall record. They are 22-5 in the Pac-12. The Beavers are coming off winning the series at Oregon last weekend. The Beavers and Ducks were also slated to play a midweek game, but it was cancelled due to the weather. With the win last weekend, the Beavers pretty much wrapped up a national seed and put themselves in perfect position to win the Pac-12.
Series Prediction: Oregon State sweeps Washington State.
LOS ANGELES — Sophomore David Berg set the UCLA school record with his 16th save of the season and pushed his scoreless streak to 34 2/3 innings pitched on Sunday.
The scoreless 1 1/3 innings he pitched in the series finale at Dedeaux Field was also his third save of the weekend as UCLA (37-15, 20-7) swept rival USC.
The Trojans (19-33, 10-17) were in all three games, but couldn’t get over the hump, losing back-to-back one-run contests before Sunday’s 5-2 defeat. They dropped Friday night’s game when the turf monster bit them on a flukey play where the “earth moved and sod came up” as USC head coach Dan Hubbs described it. Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — David Berg’s first career save was of the three-inning variety. It sent UCLA to the College World Series last season.
While it wasn’t a postseason performance, Berg faced a tough situation on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field. Facing off with the Bruins’ rival, Berg collected his longest save of the season on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field to give UCLA a 7-6 victory and a Pac-12 series win.
Berg entered in the seventh inning of a 7-6 game with the tying run 90 feet away and quelled the USC rally. The Trojans had scored three runs against relievers Cody Poteet and Zack Weiss to trim away a 7-3 lead.
“It was 7-3 and then all of a sudden it was 7-6. I don’t like using him in the seventh,” UCLA head coach John Savage said, “but we felt with two outs and runners at first and third, we felt we had to go to our guy.”
As he has done all season, Berg shut the door, using his stellar defense to his benefit. With runners on the corners, Berg got one of USC’s hottest hitters, Greg Zebrack, to hit a hard grounder to the hole on the left side where shortstop Pat Valaika made yet another solid play, cutting the ball off and firing to first to nab Zebrack by a step.
USC was able to get the tying run in scoring position in the eighth inning, but Berg was able to induce two more grounders to Valaika, who made a pair of solid plays — charging a slow hopper up the middle and backhanding a short hop in the hole — and UCLA was out of the inning. The sidewinding closer finished off the 2 1/3 innings save for his 15th save of the season tying the UCLA school record that was set last season by Scott Griggs. He also pushed his scoreless streak to 33 1/3 innings, dating back to March 30. Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — It isn’t an otherworldly being the Ghostbusters are chasing. It isn’t a crazed swamp creature that ends up on your front lawn. But the turf monster is something all ballplayers fear for it can strike at any moment and when it does, there’s usually little that can be done.
Even a senior playing a rivalry game on the day of his graduation isn’t immune. The turf monster reared its ugly head and took a bite out of USC second baseman Adam Landecker helping UCLA to a 2-1 victory Friday night at Dedeaux Field.
Landecker became a turf monster victim with two runners on base in the ninth inning of a tie game. The runners took off running as Brent Wheatley delivered a pitch to Kevin Kramer, who hit a hard grounder to Landecker’s right. Landecker slid to stop the ball and tried to pop up to his feet. When he did, a huge sod patch gave way and popped up with him.
The senior appeared to lose his balance as he tried to rise to his feet with the earth giving way while he simultaneously tried to pull the ball from his glove. Instead the ball shot out of his glove to his side. The botch was all speedy pinch runner Brett Urabe needed to get home with the winning run. All-American closer David Berg pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to lower his ERA to 0.63 and record his 14th save of the season. Continue reading
Taylor Sparks led Irvine to a big series win.
There were some matchups with big postseason potential implications this weekend as 10 of the 11 SoCal squads took to the diamond. The Big West featured some crucial matchups with four teams chasing after Cal State Fullerton.
This week’s action featured seven pitchers throwing complete games, yet the Pitcher of the Week did not. San Diego’s Kris Bryant hit five round trippers last week. He hit his nation’s best 26th, 27th and 28th homers over the weekend, but he didn’t earn the Hitter of the Week honor this week. Instead, he was bested by a teammate.
We provided you with live updates on Twitter (@SoCal_CBDaily) throughout the weekend, but here’s a recap of all the weekend action:
Oregon State at Stanford
Oregon State traveled to Stanford over the weekend and delivered a knockout blow to the Cardinal’s chances of playing in the postseason. In game one on Friday, Oregon State defeated Stanford 7-3. The Beavers tagged Appel to the tune of five earned runs in five innings. Appel also had five walks. Beaver starter Matt Boyd picked up his 10th win of the year after pitching 6 and 1/3 innings of three-run ball. Right fielder Dylan Davis knocked in three RBI, while second baseman Andy Peterson had three hits to lead the Beavers.
Oregon State at Stanford
The series this weekend for Stanford has to be considered a must-win, if the Cardinal has any dreams about playing in the postseason. Stanford enters the weekend 26-17 overall and 11-10 in Pac-12 play. They are currently in fifth place in the Pac-12 and ranked No. 21 in the latest NCWBA poll. The Cardinal were able to take two out of three from Arizona State last weekend, but followed up the series with a midweek lost to San Francisco. The latest RPI ranking has Stanford sitting at 76, which means the Cardinal could really use a win over the Beavers. Oregon State, on the other hand, comes into the weekend ranked No. 5 in the NCWBA poll. They are 38-8 overall and 17-4 in the Pac-12. Winners of nine in a row, Oregon State swept California last weekend and beat Portland during their midweek game. The Beavers rank sixth in the RPI ranking and are in perfect position to claim one of the national seeds. Continue reading
California at Oregon State
The Beavers swept California over the weekend and have now won eight in a row. In game one on Friday night, Matt Boyd set a new career high with 12 strikeouts in the 6-1 Beaver victory. Boyd went 8 and 1/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits. The lefty is now 9-2 on the year. Designated hitter Ryan Barnes led the Beavers with three RBI. Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — TCU will fly home happy after an emotionally charged series win at USC. On Saturday, the Horned Frogs took a 3-0 win at Dedeaux Field in a game that featured a benches-clearing altercation resulting in a pair of ejections.
TCU scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning on a Jantzen Witte two-run triple and added an insurance run the next inning on a Boomer White single. It was plenty enough. Starter Andrew Mitchell combined with relievers Trevor Seidenberger, Riley Ferrell and Alex Young for a four-hit shutout. USC never even got a runner to third base.
Mitchell picked up his first win since moving into the starting rotation from the closer role in the middle of the season. Young picked up his fourth save. USC starter Kyle Twomey fell to 2-6 despite pitching well.
California at Oregon State
The Bears travel to Corvallis this weekend to take on the Beavers at Goss Stadium. California comes into the weekend 21-23 overall and 9-12 in the Pac-12. They are coming off a 13-2 victory against Pacific on Tuesday, and a series victory last weekend against Washington. Oregon State is 34-8 and 14-4 in the Pac-12. Ranked No. 5 in the latest NCWBA poll, the Beavers are coming off a series sweep last weekend against USC. Look for Oregon State to continue their winning ways, especially at home. The Beavers are 17-3 this season at Goss Stadium, while California is 10-13 on the road. Continue reading