This Week In Pac-10 Baseball

April 10, 2007

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ARIZONA LEADS THE WAY AT SEASON'S MIDPOINT

Despite nearing the midpoint of the season, the Pac-10 standings have yet to resemble this season's preseason coaches poll ... ARIZONA, who was picked fifth earlier this season, leads the Conference with a perfect record in Pac-10 play and look to continue their winning streak when it travels to STANFORD ... UCLA may have been slated for a fourth place finish during the preseason, but the Bruins hold tight to the Conference's No. 2 spot heading into their battle against cross-town rival, USC ... ARIZONA STATE will look to take a run for the Pac-10's top spot when they host WASHINGTON STATE after the Cougars had a week off ... WASHINGTON travels to Utah to take on BYU before heading to California to face UC Riverside for a break in Conference play ... OREGON STATE finds itself in the midst of a three-way tie at fifth, but look to sweep CALIFORNIA to move up the Conference charts ... The Pac-10 boasts three teams among the nation's leaders, here's where they rank this week (Baseball America): Oregon State (8), Arizona State (12) and Arizona (13).

Pac-10 Player of the Week: Kiel Roling, Arizona State

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Brad Boxberger, USC

THIS WEEK IN PAC-10 BASEBALL

Tues., April 10
OREGON STATE at Portland State. 4 p.m.
STANFORD at Nevada, 2 p.m.
UCLA vs. UC Irvine, 6 p.m.
USC vs. Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON at BYU, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. Gonzaga, 5:30 p.m.

Wed., April 11
WASHINGTON at BYU, 2 p.m.

Fri,. April 13
ARIZONA at STANFORD*. 6 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE vs. WASHINGTON STATE*, 7 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at OREGON STATE*, 5 p.m.
UCLA at USC*, 7 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. UC Riverside, 6:30 p.m.

Sat., April 14
ARIZONA at STANFORD*, 1 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE vs. WASHINGTON STATE*, 6 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at OREGON STATE*, 1 p.m.
UCLA at USC*, 1:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. UC Riverside, 2 p.m.

Sun., April 15
ARIZONA at STANFORD*, 1 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE vs. WASHINGTON STATE*, 12 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at OREGON STATE*, 1 p.m.
UCLA at USC*, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. UC Riverside, 1 p.m.

* Pacific-10 Conference game.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Thurs., April 5
No. 17 ARIZONA 1, CALIFORNIA 0 *
No. 15 ARIZONA STATE 5, STANFORD 4 *
UCLA 6, WASHINGTON 5 *
No. 9 OREGON STATE 9, No. 25 USC 5 *

Fri., April 6
No. 17 ARIZONA 15, CALIFORNIA 12 *
No. 15 ARIZONA STATE 12, STANFORD 8 *
UCLA 11, WASHINGTON 2 *
No. 25 USC 4, No. 9 OREGON STATE 1 *

Sat., April 7
No. 17 ARIZONA 5, CALIFORNIA 3 *
No. 15 ARIZONA STATE 14, STANFORD 1 *
WASHINGTON 9, UCLA 4 *
No. 25 USC 9, No. 9 OREGON STATE 8 *

* Pacific-10 Conference game.

PAC-10 NOTES

• ARIZONA (28-6, 6-0): The Wildcats swept a three-game series against Cal last weekend in Tucson ... The series sweep was the third-straight for the Wildcats dating back to a three-game set against Northern Colorado on March 24-25 and its fifth weekend sweep overall for the year ... The three victories extended Arizona's winning streak to 14-straight games, the longest such streak since the Cats opened the 1998 season 16-0 ... Arizona is 6-0 to open a Pac-10 season for the first time since joining the conference in 1978-79 ... Dating back to the 2006 season, Arizona has won 11-straight Pac-10 Conference games (five to end '06 and all six in '07) ... Dating back to last year, the Wildcats have swept their last three Pac-10 series (at USC in '06, vs... Oregon State and Cal this season) ... The last time Arizona had a 28-6 overall record 34 games into a season was 1978. The '78 Cats went 30-6 before losing their seventh game of the year ... The Wildcats won the series opener against Cal 1-0 in 11 innings. The victory improved Arizona to 9-0 in one-run games for the year and to 3-0 in extra-inning contests ... The series sweep over Cal was Arizona's first over the Golden Bears since 1998 and halted a two-year slide of series losses to them.

• ARIZONA STATE (26-10, 7-2): Freshman righty Mike Leake threw his first career complete game against the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday night, shaking off an early 4-0 deficit to shut down the Cardinal, allowing the ASU offense to come back for the win. Leake allowed two earned runs on eight hits, fanning eight in the Sun Devils' 5-4 win that would be the catalyst for a series sweep. Leake got stronger as the game progressed, striking out five of the final six hitters to pick up his seventh win of the year. Leake allowed only three hits over the final seven innings.

• CALIFORNIA (17-17, 2-4): With the Bears' 1-0 loss in 11 innings Apr. 5 at Arizona, Cal has now lost nine, one-run games this season, and 21, one-run games carrying over from the 2006 campaign ... Freshman right fielder Blake Smith was 6-for-11 (.545) against the Wildcats with three doubles and two RBI. On the year he is hitting .320 with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBI. Smith has a .350 average against conference foes ... Bear sophomore first baseman David Cooper leads Cal in nearly every offensive category - .366 average, 26 runs, 48 hits, 10 doubles, eight home runs, 35 RBI, .626 slugging percentage, 20 walks and a .439 on-base percentage ... Freshman outfielder Jeff Kobernus is hitting .344 and leads the Bears with 12 stolen bases, and senior third baseman Stephen Carlson leads the team with two triples ... Sophomore right-hander Matt Gorgen leads the Bears with a 1.91 ERA, 20 appearances, six saves, and has 52 strikeouts and only nine walks in 37.2 innings. Opponents are batting .211.

• OREGON STATE (25-6, 2-4): Last week the Beavers took the series against the USC Trojans, 2-1, with the help of junior Eddie Kunz. Kunz won in relief against USC on Saturday as the closer pitched a career-high 5 1/3 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 ... Oregon State added screens to the foul poles at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field for the start of the 2002 season. The extra width didn't come into play for the first 4 seasons after their installation, but they've been hit twice in key situations in 2007 ... Jordan Lennerton's walk-off home run that concluded a 9-8, 11-inning win over Southern California on April 7 banged off the screen of the leftfield pole; Mitch Canham's grand slam that was pivotal in a 6-2 win over Evansville on March 9 had connected with the screen of the rightfield pole.

• STANFORD (13-15, 0-6): Stanford has been swept in its last two three-game series at home by UCLA (March 30 - April 1) and then on the road at Arizona State (April 5-7), marking the first time the Cardinal has been swept in back-to-back series since 1984 when Stanford dropped three in a row at USC (March 30 - April 1) and at home versus Arizona State (April 6-8) ... The Cardinal have dropped a season-high six straight games overall to mark its longest losing streak since dropping eight straight from March 24 - April 7, 1982 ... The 1982 squad came back to win an NCAA Regional and eventually finish fifth at the College World Series as the first team taken to Omaha by head coach Mark Marquess ... Sean Ratliff is having a big season and has been the team's most consistent hitter for most of the season. Ratliff is leading the Cardinal in several offensive categories, including batting average among regulars (.313), runs scored (31), hits (35), stolen bases (8), total bases (57), slugging percentage among regulars (.509), on-base percentage among regulars (.379), at bats (112), games played (28) and games started (28).

• UCLA (15-15, 5-1): The Bruins improved to 5-1 in the Pac-10 after winning two of three over the weekend against Washington ... UCLA has now won its last five home Pac-10 series ... The Bruins have won seven of their last eight contests and have outscored their opponents 78-44 during that stretch ... Against the Huskies, UCLA was led offensively by Brandon Crawford, who tallied a .692 on-base percentage and a .556 batting average ... Crawford collected five hits (including his fifth home run), five RBI, four runs, one double, two walks, and two hit-by-pitches ... Tyson Brummett recorded his team-leading fifth victory of the year in Thursday night's series-opener ... Freshman outfielder Gabe Cohen has registered a .447 average (17-for-38) with nine runs, nine RBI, three home runs and three walks in UCLA's last nine games ... In his last two starts, sophomore left-hander Tim Murphy has tallied two victories, a 1.54 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11.2 innings ... The Bruins host UC Irvine on Tuesday evening before opening a three-game series at crosstown rival USC on Friday night.

• USC (19-14, 2-4): The USC baseball team travels to No. 18 Cal State Fullerton (19-12) on Tuesday (April 10) at 6 p.m. before hosting UCLA in a Pac-10 Conference series from Friday through Sunday (April 13-15) ... Junior outfielder Lucas Duda has a current eight-game hitting streak where he is hitting .484 (15-for-31) with 10 RBI ... Freshman right-hander Brad Boxberger is 2-2 with a 2.13 ERA and has produced five quality starts, all five on the road ... Freshman shortstop Grant Green has a six-game hitting streak ... With six triples on the season, Green has recorded the highest number of triples since Mark Smith had seven triples in 1991 ... Green is just two triples away from tying the school record of eight, held by Ed Simpson (1953), Gerald Mason (1954) and Steve Kemp (1975) ... After bypassing his senior year in high school to enroll at USC in the fall of 2006, catcher/right-handed pitcher Robert Stock is one of the most interesting stories in college baseball as a 2007 freshman, having turned 17 years old last November. He is one of the team's starting catchers, but also has the ability to be one of the team's closers on the mound. Stock is currently batting .279 (24-for-86) with three home runs and 12 RBI. On the mound, Stock is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and two saves (12 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 8 SO, .162 opponents' batting average).

• WASHINGTON (16-13, 5-4): After nine straight Pac-10 games, the Huskies will take a break from conference play, playing six non-league games over the next week ... Junior LHP Nick Hagadone worked 5.1 innings of long relief for the win Sunday at UCLA ... Over 11 outings in relief this season, Hagadone is 3-0 with six saves and a 0.71 ERA ... In 25.1 innings out of the bullpen, he's allowed just 16 hits, five runs (only two earned) and five walks while striking out 29 ... Sophomore RHP Jason Erickson had his longest career outing last Friday at UCLA, going 6.1 innings in relief and allowing only one hit, one run and no walks ... In 24.1 innings this season, Erickson has walked only one batter ... Junior RHP Brandon McKerney continues to hold a 0.00 ERA this season ... In 7.2 innings over seven outings, he's allowed seven hits, no runs and two walks while striking out six ... He missed the first month of the season with an elbow injury ... Junior Joey Dunn had started every game this season at catcher before Sunday's game at UCLA, when sophomore Brett Wilcox got the start ... Wilcox, a transfer from Bellevue (Wash.) CC, joined the team March 26, the first day of the spring quarter at Washington.

• WASHINGTON STATE (16-13, 1-5): Coming in to the 2007 season, WSU head coach Donnie Marbut made finishing series a point of emphasis. Through the first eight series of the season, the point has been received. WSU is 7-1 in series-ending games, winning 6-1 at Northridge, 7-6 at Texas, 7-4 at San Jose State, 11-0 against Rider, 9-3 against Illinois-Chicago, 2-1 against BYU and 9-6 at California, while dropping its first series-ending game against Washington, 6-5. Equally impressive is the fact that all of the wins, excluding Texas and California, clinched series wins for WSU. Last season WSU was 5-7 in series-ending games ... Junior first baseman Jim Murphy needs 63 putouts to tied for the top spot all-time at WSU ... Junior outfielder Scott Suttmeier is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, the longest of his career and the longest by any Cougar this season. During that stretch Suttmeier is hitting. 333 (13-39) with 4 RBIs, 5 runs scored, and the first home run of his Cougar career ... Tuesday's game against Gonzaga marks the second of four meetings on the season between the two teams, and the first of three straight Tuesday meetings. Following this week's game, the venue switches back to Patter Baseball Complex for a 3 p.m. start April 17. That game was originally scheduled to begin at 6:30 but was moved up to 3 p.m. while the installation of lights continues at the complex. The final meeting of 2007 between the teams will be April 24 at Bailey-Brayton Field, with first pitch set for 5:30 p.m.

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