2003 Pac-10 Baseball Season in Review
June 30, 2003
Pac-10 Notes: STANFORD won its third Pac-10 title in five years, claiming the 2003 Conference crown with an 18-6 mark in league play, 51-18 overall. It was the 17th time in school history that the Cardinal clinched the Pac-10 Championship. Stanford was one of four teams to earn an NCAA Tournament berth, the 11th time that the Conference has sent at least four teams to postseason play and the 53rd time that a Pac-10 school has made an appearance at the College World Series.
The Cardinal extended their school record of consecutive College World Series appearances to five. This season marked the second time in school baseball history that the team's senior class reached Omaha in each of its four seasons. In Stanford's 15th all-time appearance at the CWS, the Cardinal went 5-3, finishing as the runner-up for the third time in four years. ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE and WASHINGTON were also selected for postseason play. The Wildcats fell to San Diego and the Huskies were defeated by Long Beach State in Regional action, while the Sun Devils advanced to Super Regionals before being defeated by Cal State Fullerton in a best-of-three series.
Stanford's Ryan Garko and Arizona State's Dustin Pedroia were named Pac-10 Co-Players of the Year. Cardinal right-hander John Hudgins was honored as the Pitcher of the Year, while USC's Jeff Clement was named Freshman of the Year. Stanford's Mark Marquess garnered his ninth Coach of the Year honors.2003 SEASON WRAP-UP
ARIZONA (13-11, 35-23 -- 4th Pac-10)
Arizona earned an NCAA postseason berth for the first time since 1999 and its first under head coach Andy Lopez ... The Wildcats went head-to-head with Notre Dame and San Diego in Regional play ... UA lost to the Fighting Irish for the first time in school history by a score of 13-5 ... Arizona then went up against San Diego in the loser's bracket and got a well-pitched game by Sean Rierson, but could not hold on for the win ... Sophomore outfielder Jeff Van Houten finished the season with a final batting average of .413 and making him the first UA player since Robbie Moen (1991) to hit over .400 for a season ... Van Houten's average puts him atop the Conference in first place ... He is tied for first in the Pac-10 with nine triples and is ranked second with an even .700 slugging percentage ... Wildcats that made the Pac-10 All-Conference team include Brian Anderson, Brad Boyer, Gardner and Van Houten ... Van Houten was also named to the third team Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-America team ... Arizona ends its 2003 season with a 35-23 overall record, 13-11 in the Conference, good enough to grant them sole possession of fourth place .. Outfielder Brian Anderson garnered Baseball America's second team All-American honors, while Boyer was named a Baseball America Freshman All-American and catcher Nick Hundley was named to Collegiate Baseball's Freshman All-American team ... Anderson was the first Pac-10 player to go in this year's Major League Baseball Draft, selected in the first round, 15th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox ... Other Wildcats selected were Richie Gardner, Joe Little and Rierson.
ARIZONA STATE (16-8, 54-14 -- 2nd Pac-10)
Arizona State's 2003 season came to an end in the NCAA Super Regionals as it was defeated by No. 1 national seed, Cal State Fullerton on the Titan campus ... The Devils finished the year with a 54-14 overall record, 16-8 in Conference play and notched a 4-2 postseason record ... ASU was coming off a regional performance that included a 45-run explosion, while holding opponents to just three runs scored ... On Fri., June 6, while the Sun Devils were kept to a season-low five hits, freshman starting pitcher Erik Averill struck out a career-high eight batters, but it was not enough as Fullerton went on to claim the first game, 5-1 ... Facing elimination, junior Andre Ethier and sophomore Jeff Larish each put together two-run home runs to guide ASU to a slim 7-6 win ... In Sunday's finale, Cal State Fullerton recorded seven runs in the first three innings and never looked back en route to a 7-1 decision ... The three-run first inning was the second-biggest given up by the ASU pitching staff in 2003 ... Ethier recorded an eighth-inning double to extend his hitting streak to 23 games ... ASU has now been ranked in the national polls for 78 consecutive weeks, dating back to the start of the 2000 season ... The 54 wins were the most in school history since 1988 ... Arizona State's NCAA record for consecutive games without being shutout was extended to 501 games ... The Devils connected on 14 grand slams to break the NCAA record of 12 (Oklahoma State, 1996) ... Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia was named the District IX Player of the Year and was one of nine finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy ... With a .418 batting average to end the regular season, Pedroia was named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year and also garnered batting champion honors ... The Sun Devils saw 12 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including Ethier who went in the second round as the 62nd pick overall.
CALIFORNIA (10-14, 28-27 -- 7th Pac-10)
California finished off the regular season with an 8-5 win over San Francisco on Tues., May 13 at Evans Diamond ... The Golden Bears went 28-27 overall in 2003, with a 10-14 record in the Pac-10 for a seventh place finish ... Against the Dons, Cal had a 14-hit attack led by Brian Horwitz and Chris Grossman who had three hits apiece ... Grossman went 3-for-5 with a double and one RBI, while senior Nick Medrano, playing in the final game of his career, went 2-for-4 with a double ant two RBI ... Grossman has been named a Johnny Bench Award finalist ... Junior Conor Jackson had another solid season, moving up the school career charts as he is sixth in slugging percentage (.573), seventh in home runs (30) and 10th in walks (115) ... Cal's defense was solid all year long as the team finished fourth in the Conference in fielding percentage (.965) ... Jackson was named a first team All-Pac-10 selection for the second year in a row ... Jeff Dragicevich, Grossman and Horwitz were all named honorable mention selections ... The Bears also saw four players get drafted in this year's Major League Draft, Jackson going in the first round as the 19th overall pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks ... He was the second Pac-10 player selected, behind only UA's Brian Anderson.
OREGON STATE (7-17, 25-28 -- t8th Pac-10)
Oregon State concluded its 2003 season with three wins, including a 13-12 victory over Conference foe, Arizona ... The Beavers picked up two more wins over in-state rival Portland, as they finished up games that were suspended earlier this season ... On the final day of his career in a OSU uniform, senior Andy Jarvis broke the school record for hits in a career and tied the record for home runs with 232 and 34, respectively ... Junior Tony Calderon notched 24 doubles on the year, good enough to rank second in the Pac-10 charts, while his teammate Chris Biles finished fifth with 23 doubles ... Junior left-hander Jake Postlewait finished the season with a 3.43 ERA for fourth place on the Conference charts ... OSU's .305 team batting average was the fifth-best in the Conference, behind only the four postseason teams ... Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was named a second team Freshman All-American by Baseball America, while also garnering Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball ... The Beavers saw three players get selected in this year's MLB Draft: Seth Pietsch (8, 229, NY Mets), Ben Rowe (24, 706, Texas) and Levi Webber (26, 785, St. Louis).
STANFORD (18-6, 51-18 -- Pac-10 Champion)
The Stanford Cardinal has advanced to the CWS seven times in the last decade and has finished as the runner-up three of the last four years ... After rattling off six straight wins in postseason play, Stanford suffered its first loss in 2003 NCAA Tournament action at the hands of Cal State Fullerton, 6-5 ... After defeating South Carolina on Tues., June 17, Stanford came back through the loser's bracket to win two games in as many days against Fullerton to advance to the best-of-three CWS ... The team lost a heartbreaker, 4-3 in 10 innings, against Rice in the first game ... The CWS Most Outstanding Player, John Hudgins, came back for a superb performance on Sun., June 22 as he held the Owls to just three runs on 10 hits in seven-plus innings ... The series was tied one-apiece, but Rice came back and dominated on Monday with a 14-2 win ... Outfielder Sam Fuld set a new CWS record by smashing 24 career hits, moving him above Texas' Keith Moreland who hit 23 (1973-74) ... In Super Regional action, the Cardinal fashioned back-to-back wins over Big West conference champion, Long Beach State, to advance to the College World Series for the fifth consecutive year ... On Fri., June 6 against LBS, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Hudgins scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked two as he threw his seventh complete game of the season, good enough to pace the Conference ... He has amassed 143 strikeouts on the season ... Sophomore Danny Putnam added a three-run homer in the eighth inning to secure the Cardinal's first win in the best-of-three series ... Senior catcher Ryan Garko won the fourth annual Johnny Bench Award, recognizing the top catcher in the nation ... Garko was named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year, along with being only one of two players from the Pac-10 recognized as a first team Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American ... Stanford saw six of its players selected in this year's Major League Baseball Draft, including Carlos Quentin who went in the first round as the 29th overall pick.
UCLA (11-13, 28-31 -- t5th Pac-10)
The Bruins ended their 2003 season with an 18-7 victory and a series win over Washington State, 2-1 ... UCLA bettered its 2002 finish of 9-15 in league play and a tie for seventh by finishing 11-13 and in a tie for fifth place with Los Angeles counterpart, USC ... Junior third baseman Brandon Averill became the first Bruin since Garrett Atkins to hit for the cycle on Sun., May 25 against WSU ... He went 7-for-15 (.467) during the series and recorded a team-high 1.133 slugging percentage and seven RBI ... Junior Casey Janssen recorded 73 strikeouts on the year, good enough to rank seventh in the league, while fellow pitcher Mike Kunes recorded 24 strikeouts looking to rank eighth among the Pac-10's best ... Utility player Wes Whisler was named to the first team All-Pac-10 team, while Brett McMillan, Doug Silva, Billy Susdorf and Warren Trott garnered honorable mention honors ... Three Bruins were selected in this year's MLB Draft, including Kunes, Janssen and Chris Cordeiro ... UCLA had a team ERA of 5.95 to finish the season, good enough to rank seventh in the Pac-10, while its .287 batting average also was seventh in the league.
USC (11-13, 28-28 -- t5th Pac-10)
For the first time in 11 years, the USC Trojans did not receive a postseason berth ... Southern California dropped its last four games, including a Conference battle against Washington, with the winner receiving an NCAA bid ... The Trojans finished at an even .500 with a 28-28 record, 11-13 in the Pac-10 to tie for fifth place with UCLA ... Freshman Jeff Clement was second in the league with 21 homers belted, the most by any USC freshman in history ... He also ranks ninth in slugging percentage (.649) and tied for tenth in walks (32) ... Clement also earned a roster spot on the 2003 USA Baseball National Team this summer ... Clement was one of the players to be named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman National Player of the Year ... Shortstop Anthony Lunetta finished his senior season with a .349 batting average and 73 hits, both of which were team highs ...Lunetta also earned postseason honors, a third team Collegiate Baseball All-America selection ... The Trojans had six players selected in this year's Major League Draft including, Brian Bannister, Lunetta, Fraser Dizard, Anthony Reyes, Travis McAndrews and Jordan Olson ... USC had a strong team defense, ranking fifth in the Conference with a .961 fielding percentage.
WASHINGTON (15-9, 42-18 -- 3rd Pac-10)
Washington advanced to the regional title game for the second time in as many years, but was unable to pull off the upset of No. 1 regional seed, Long Beach State ... The Huskies notched a 5-3 win in the opener over Minnesota to advance to the winner's bracket on Sat., May 31 ... UW used a one-run, two-out single by senior Tila Reynolds to break a three-all tie in the eighth inning and never looked back ... After dropping a 7-2 decision against Long Beach State, Washington rallied for yet another win over the Gophers late Saturday night ... In his first start of the season, sophomore David Dowling allowed only one unearned run on six hits over six and two-thirds innings to guide the Huskies to a 4-1 win ... Closer Will Fenton picked up his league-leading 12th save of the year as he struck out two Minnesota batters ... Three Washington players were named to the regional All-Tournament Team - Aaron Hathaway, Brent Lillibridge and John Otness ... Picking up Pac-10 first team All-Conference honors were Chad Boudon, Fenton and Lillibridge ... Fenton garnered third team Baseball America All-American honors ... The Huskies saw six players selected in this year's Major League Draft including Mike Wagner, Sean White, Jeff Petersen, Reynolds, Brian Carter and Boudon ... Washington's 42 wins are the third-most in Ken Knutson's tenure, as both the 1994 and 1997 squads picked up 46 victories ... UW concludes the 2003 season with a 42-18 overall record, 15-9 in the Conference, good enough for an outright third-place finish.
WASHINGTON STATE (7-17, 19-37 -- t8th Pac-10)
Washington State finished the 2003 season with a 7-17 record in Pac-10 play, 19-37 overall ... The Cougars picked up one game against UCLA over the final weekend, a 15-2 decision on Sat., May 24 ... Junior transfer Aaron MacKenzie went the distance for the second time this season and struck out a career-high 10 batters ... The Cougars also had a 14-hit attack led by Grant Richardson and Derek Bruce, who each had three hits ... Freshman Jay Miller led all WSU batters in 2003 with a .341 average, while also pacing the team with 73 hits ... Miller also racked up 21 doubles, good enough to rank seventh in the Pac-10 ... He finished the season ranked 48th in the nation in doubles per game with a 0.38 clip ... Miller garnered Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American honors ... Washington State finishes eighth in the Conference in fielding percentage with a .958 clip ... The Cougars were fifth in the Conference in fielding double plays with 51 and amassed 593 assists for seventh place.