This Week In Pac-10 Baseball

April 26, 2005

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The battle for the top position in the Pac-10 standings begins in earnest this week, as each of the Conference's top four teams, separated by just two games, will face another contender this week. No. 9 ARIZONA, the Pac-10 leader, loser of three non-conference games in a row, its longest losing streak on the season, will look to bounce back at home against the Conference's fourth-place team, No. 22 USC. Meanwhile, the Pac-10's highest-ranked squad, No. 6 OREGON STATE, will host its second-place cohabitant - the league's hottest team, No. 17 ARIZONA STATE. The Sun Devils have won six in a row and 12 of their last 14. Fifth-place STANFORD, ranked No. 20 by Baseball America, sits three games back of first, but will face only non-conference foes Santa Clara and UC Davis this week. In other league action, CALIFORNIA visits UCLA, while WASHINGTON heads east to take on WASHINGTON STATE. All three games of the Arizona-USC series will be televised, either by ESPN, ESPNU or FSN (see schedule below).

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tue., April 26

UC Davis at CALIFORNIA, 2:30 p.m.
#20 STANFORD at Santa Clara, 6 p.m.
UC Irvine at UCLA, 6 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at #22 USC, 7 p.m.

Wed., April 27

WASHINGTON STATE at Lewis-Clark State, 6:30 p.m.

Fri., April 29

#17 ARIZONA STATE at #6 OREGON STATE, 5 p.m.*
WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE, 6 p.m.*
CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 7 p.m.*
#22 USC at #9 ARIZONA, 7 p.m.* (ESPNU)

Sat., April 30

#17 ARIZONA STATE at #6 OREGON STATE, 1 p.m.*
#22 USC at #9 ARIZONA, 1 p.m. * (Fox Sports Net #)
WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE, 1 p.m.*
CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 6 p.m.*

Sun., May 1

#22 USC at #9 ARIZONA, Noon * (ESPN)
#17 ARIZONA STATE at #6 OREGON STATE, 1 p.m.*
CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 1 p.m.*
WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE, 1 p.m.*

Mon., May 2

#20 STANFORD at UC Davis, 2:30 p.m.


Game times local to site

# Live on FSN Arizona - In other areas, check local listings.

* Pacific-10 Conference Game

- Rankings from Baseball America

OREGON STATE'S ANDY JENKINS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CALIFORNIA'S ERIC DWORKIS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK


OREGON STATE senior first baseman Andy Jenkins and CALIFORNIA senior right-handed pitcher Eric Dworkis have been named Pac-10 Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 19-25, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced.

Jenkins, from Salem, Ore., twice had the game-winning hit in Oregon State's last at-bat as OSU swept a three game series from Washington State. Jenkins had at least two hits in each game and finished the series batting .615 (8-for-13) with one double, seven runs batted in, two runs scored, two walks, one stolen base and a .667 on-base percentage. On April 22, he ended OSU's 5-4 win by singling home Tyler Graham from second with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the second game on April 24, he drove a three-run double into the right-centerfield gap with one out in the eighth inning to take OSU from a 6-4 deficit to a 7-6 victory. He played errorless defense during the series.

Dworkis, from Bellevue, Wash., threw a complete-game shutout for the Bears in their 9-0 win over USC on April 24. In his second complete-game performance of the season, Dworkis limited the No. 25 Trojans to only four hits while walking one and striking out a career-high 11 batters. It was the first time USC had been shutout by Cal since an 11-0 Bear victory exactly 13 years before - April 24, 1992 - at Evans Diamond. Earlier this season, Dworkis had a complete-game victory at Saint Mary's, allowing six hits, one run and one walk while recording 10 strikeouts. He is 4-5 on the year with a 3.57 ERA and leads Cal with 55 strikeouts in a team-high 80.7 innings pitched.

The Player of the Week honor is the first of Jenkins' career, while it is the 50th such honor for Oregon State. The Pitcher of the Week honor is the first for Dworkis and the 25th selection all-time for California.


2005 PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
: Feb. 15 - Chris Errecart, CAL; Feb. 22 - Trevor Crowe, ARIZ; Mar. 1 - Travis Buck, ASU; Mar. 8 - Taylor Johnson, WASH; Mar. 15 - Brent Lillibridge, WASH; Mar. 22 - Jay Miller, WSU; Mar. 29 - Jordan Brown, ARIZ; Apr. 5 - Jed Lowrie, STAN; Apr. 12 - Jacoby Ellsbury, OSU; Apr. 19 - Travis Buck, ASU; Apr. 26 - Andy Jenkins, OSU.

2005 PAC-10 PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
: Feb. 15 - Brant Rustich , UCLA; Feb. 22 - Anton Maxwell, OSU; Mar. 1 - Tim Lincecum, WASH; Mar. 8 - Mark Romanczuk, STAN; Mar. 15 - Mark Melancon, ARIZ; Mar. 22 - John Meloan, ARIZ; Mar. 29 - Pat Bresnehan, ASU; Apr. 5 - Kevin Guyette, ARIZ; Apr. 12 - Ian Kennedy, USC; Apr. 19 - Tim Lincecum, WASH; Apr. 26 - Eric Dworkis, CAL.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Tue., April 19

#6 ARIZONA 14, New Mexico 3
San Diego State 9, UCLA 6
#24 STANFORD 8, San Jose State 2
#25 USC 8, UC Santa Barbara 2
WASHINGTON 15, Portland 7
WASHINGTON STATE 8, Gonzaga 4

Wed., April 20

CALIFORNIA 11, Hawaii 0
#2 Cal State Fullerton 5, #25 USC 3
#25 USC 11, #2 Cal State Fullerton 2

Fri., April 22

#21 ARIZONA STATE 12, UCLA 5
#9 OREGON STATE 5, WASHINGTON STATE 4
#24 STANFORD 2, WASHINGTON 1
UC Irvine 4, #6 ARIZONA 3 (11 inn.) (1)
#25 USC 7, CALIFORNIA 4

Sat., April 23

#21 ARIZONA STATE 16, UCLA 2
Sacramento State 7, #6 ARIZONA 4
#24 STANFORD 10, WASHINGTON 6
UC Irvine 12, #6 ARIZONA 1 (1)
#25 USC 5, CALIFORNIA 4

Sun., April 24

#21 ARIZONA STATE 10, UCLA 8
CALIFORNIA 9, #25 USC 0
#9 OREGON STATE 8, WASHINGTON STATE 1
#9 OREGON STATE 7, WASHINGTON STATE 6
#24 STANFORD 6, WASHINGTON 3

PAC-10 NOTES

GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH
- Eight Pac-10 players have been named to the Golden Spikes Award 'Watch List.' Those players are Trevor Crowe of ARIZONA, Travis Buck and Jeff Larish of ARIZONA STATE, Brennan Boesch of CALIFORNIA, Jacoby Ellsbury of OREGON STATE, Jed Lowrie of STANFORD, Jeff Clement of USC, and Tim Lincecum of WASHINGTON. The award given out by USA Baseball, recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the country and has been awarded since 1978. The five finalists for the award will be announced in June with the watch list subject to change based on weekly performance.

ARIZONA lost a season-high three straight games last weekend, marking the first time this season that the Wildcats have been held winless over a weekend series... Arizona has been powered by its offense, which leads the Pac-10 in batting average (.328), slugging percentage (.526), runs (343), RBI (308 - tie), doubles (107), triples (25), total bases (791) and walks (193). When it comes to pitching, the Wildcats have been commanders of the K, recording a league-leading 413 strikeouts, including 131 strikeouts looking - also tops in the Conference... Catcher Nick Hundley has heated up in Conference play, leading the Pac-10 in slugging percentage (.792), doubles (9) and total bases (38) in league games. Teammates Trevor Crowe and Jordan Brown lead the Conference in runs (18) and and RBI (23), respectively, in Pac-10 contests.

ARIZONA STATE junior Travis Buck has a current seven-game hitting streak in which he has two or more hits in each of the seven games. Buck is hitting .581 (18-for-31) during the streak and leads the Sun Devils with 24 multi-hit games this season and 68 in his career. Overall, Buck is second on the team hitting .387 (74-for-191) with 17 doubles, three home runs, 15 stolen bases and 35 RBI. He leads the team with 24 multi-hit games and is hitting .463 (25-for-54) in 12 Pac-10 games. In 168 career games, Buck is hitting .360 (236-for-655) with 46 doubles and 40 stolen bases... Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens continued his hot hitting by going 6-for-11 (.545) with three RBI and four stolen bases in the Stanford series and is now hitting .463 (31-for-67) over his last 21 games to raise his season batting average from .071 to .395 (324 points)... Dhaenens has a current 12-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .524 (22-for-42) with 11 RBI... The Sun Devils have swept four straight home series. ASU is in the midst of its second six-game win streak over the last month and have won 12 of the last 14 games.

CALIFORNIA junior outfielder Allen Craig went 8-for-12 (.667) last week versus Hawaii and in the three-game series versus USC with four runs scored, a home run and four RBI. He was 1-for-2 with a home run versus Hawaii Apr. 20, 3-for-3 with two RBI versus USC Apr. 22, and 4-for-4 with a RBI versus USC Apr. 24, raising his overall average from .252 to .280. Craig is hitting .370 versus Pac-10 competition... Senior third baseman Matt Einspahr had an impressive game Apr. 20 versus Hawaii, going 2-for-5 with a RBI double and a grand slam for a career-high five RBI - his second five-RBI game of the season. He leads the Bears with 33 RBI after entering the season with 18 career RBI. Senior relievers Matt Swanson and Travis Talbott are still having fine senior campaigns. Swanson is 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA, has a team-leading 23 appearances, two saves and 27 strikeouts in 36.7 innings. He has only given up five earned runs. Talbott is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA and a team-leading six saves. He has 24 strikeouts in 30.7 innings, opponents are only batting .216 against him and he has only given up five earned runs as well.

OREGON STATE sophomore LHP Anton Maxwell had a no-hitter through five and two thirds innings and finished with a one-hitter in the first game on April 24 as Oregon State took an 8-1 win over Washington State. Maxwell allowed only a homer with two out in the sixth, walking four and striking out seven. Aided by a pair of double plays, he faced just one hitter over the minimum after hitting a batter to start the third inning. His one-hitter was the Beavers' first individual one-hitter since B.R. Cook blanked Oklahoma State 1-0 in the San Diego Classic on Feb. 18, 1999. OSU pitched a team 1-hitter earlier in this season, as Dallas Buck, Kevin Joslyn and Kurt Steele combined their efforts in a 19-0 win over New Mexico State in a game called after 7 innings on Feb. 3.

STANFORD freshman OF Michael Taylor became the first Stanford player since 1998 to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat by going 4-for-4 with three RBI in an 8-2 win over San Jose State. Taylor went for the cycle in 'reverse order', blasting his first collegiate homer in the second, followed by a triple in the fourth, an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI single in the eighth. On the week, he ended up hitting .545 (6-11) with a double, triple, homer, six runs scored, three RBI and a 1.091 slugging percentage as the Cardinal posted a perfect 4-0 record. For the season, Taylor has brought his average up to .304... Junior RHP Jeff Gilmore outdueled Washington ace Tim Lincecum in the Cardinal's 2-1 win over the Huskies on April 22 that snapped a three-game conference losing skid for the Cardinal. Gilmore threw his first complete game of the season, allowing just one run and four hits. He struck out a career-high nine without walking a batter. Gilmore retired the final 10 batters in the game to close out the victory. For the season, he improved to 6-1 with a 3.67 ERA

UCLA begins an eight-game home stand on Tuesday against UC Irvine before returning to Pac-10 play this weekend against Conference foe California. Tuesday's non-conference matchup against the Anteaters will pit Head Coach John Savage against his former team for the first time. Savage was the head coach at UCI from 2002 to 2004 before taking over for the retired Gary Adams last July... Junior outfielder Chris Jensen, who had been sidelined since opening day with a hamstring injury, made his full time return to the UCLA lineup last week and broke out in a big way. Jensen batted .500 (7-for-14) with a three runs scored, a double, a home run and four RBI in his first four games back. Against San Diego State on April 19, Jensen hit two doubles and finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Last weekend against ASU, Jensen smashed two homers and hit a .412 over the three games. In his four games as a starter, Jensen is 10-for-18 (.550).

USC has won 12 of its last 16 contests and has recorded wins against five teams currently ranked ahead of it in the Baseball America poll. The Trojans have at least one win against #2 Cal State Fullerton, #8 Nebraska, #12 Long Beach State, #17 Arizona State, and #20 Stanford... Junior C Jeff Clement is batting .354 on the season with 10 home runs and 33 RBI. He has recorded 31 walks for a .491 OBP. Clement stole a career-high two bases on Saturday against Cal... Sophomore RHP Ian Kennedy is 7-1 with a 2.84 ERA, including a 4-0 mark with a 2.20 ERA in Pac-10 games, with eight walks and 44 SO. He recorded two victories in two days last week (one was the halted game against Cal State Fullerton started on Feb. 20 and resumed on April 20). In the resumed game, Kennedy outdueled Fullerton ace Ricky Romero, pitching eight innings and allowing two runs on eight hits with a walk and 10 K's. On April 22 at Cal he went seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

More so than any season in recent years, WASHINGTON has been hit by the injury bug in 2005. So far, five regular players have missed time due to injuries, with three of them requiring surgery. Senior Taylor Johnson missed four games (April 15-19) due to a relativel minor hamstring injury, but returned last weekend. Starting catcher Matt Lane has been out since injuring a knee April 8 at UC Riverside. The team hopes to get him back next week if all goes well. Center fielder Nick Burnham has missed the last four weeks with a knee injury that needed surgery, but could return this weekend at WSU. Freshman Matt Stevens, who had begun to work his way into a semi-regular spot in the outfield and DH, broke a bone in his hand (requiring surgery) and will likely miss several more weeks. Sophomore Richie Lentz slated as the Huskies' closer, had elbow surgery earlier this month after having thrown in only one game this season. He's out for the year. Finally, reserve infielder Josh Showers has been out nearly all of the season with a back injury.

WASHINGTON STATE OF Jason Freeman leads Cougar regulars at the plate hitting .289 in Pac-10 games and is tied for first with 13 hits. He is also second on team with seven runs scored in league play. Freeman leads the team with 12 stolen bases, 10 sacrifice hits and is second with 33 runs scored. The outfielder has 112 putouts this year with only one error for a .992 fielding percentage... Kaeo Rubin is ranked fourth among WSU regulars with a .305 overall batting average. He is second on team with 51 hits, is tied for second with eight doubles and tied for third with 31 runs scored... Wayne Daman Jr. leads WSU pitching staff with 4.06 overall ERA and a .253 opposing batting average. He has thrown 57.2 innings in 13 appearances, including nine starts. Daman Jr. (5-3) has fanned 32 batters, allowing 37 runs, 26 earned, and 57 hits this season.

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