This Week In Pac-10 Baseball

May 8, 2007

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ARIZONA STATE AND UCLA BATTLE FOR THE CONFERENCE TOP SPOT

For the last three weeks, UCLA has led the Conference since ARIZONA fell from the top spot since losing a series, 2-1, to WASHINGTON STATE. The Bruins, who lost the final game of last week's series to CALIFORNIA, hope they can knock ARIZONA STATE out of the running as they travel to the desert to take on the Sun Devils ... The Wildcats remain just two games back as they host USC, who returns to action after a week of rest ... WASHINGTON shocked OREGON STATE last week taking the series, 2-1, claiming the No. 4 spot in the Conference standings. The Huskies look to continue their climb up the charts as they travel to the Bay Area to take on STANFORD ... California hosts San Jose State before taking a break from the action ... Washington State, who has won two of their last three Conference series, travels to Corvallis to take on Oregon State ... The Pac-10 boasts four teams among the nation's leaders, here's where they rank this week (Baseball America): Arizona State (10), Arizona (14), Oregon State (15) and UCLA (21).

Pac-10 Player of the Week: T.J. Steele, Arizona
Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Preston Guilmet, Arizona

THIS WEEK IN PAC-10 BASEBALL

Tues., May 8
San Jose State at CALIFORNIA, 2:30 p.m.
UCLA at Pepperdine, 3 p.m.
Portland at WASHINGTON, 6:30 p.m.
Lewis-Clark State at WASHINGTON STATE, 5:30 p.m.

Wed., May 9
Portland at WASHINGTON, 3 p.m.

Fri., May 11
No. 21 UCLA at No. 10 ARIZONA STATE *, 7 p.m.
WASHINGTON at STANFORD *, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at No. 15 OREGON STATE *, 5 p.m.

Sat., May 12
USC at No. 14 ARIZONA *, 7 p.m.
No. 21 UCLA at No. 10 ARIZONA STATE *, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON at STANFORD *, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at No. 15 OREGON STATE *, 1 p.m.

Sun., May 13
USC at No. 14 ARIZONA *, 6 p.m.
No. 21 UCLA at No. 10 ARIZONA STATE *, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON at STANFORD *, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at No. 15 OREGON STATE *, 1 p.m.

Mon., May 14
USC at No. 14 ARIZONA *, 12 p.m.

* Pacific-10 Conference game.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Tues., May 1
San Francisco 13, CALIFORNIA 4
Santa Clara 16, STANFORD 8
No. 22 UCLA 4, No. 12 UC Irvine 2

Fri., May 4
No. 15 ARIZONA 16, Liberty 2
No. 22 UCLA 16, CALIFORNIA 3 *
WASHINGTON 6, No .8 OREGON STATE 2 *

Sat., May 5
No. 15 ARIZONA 16, Liberty 3
No. 22 UCLA 7, CALIFORNIA 2 *
WASHINGTON 9, No .8 OREGON STATE 6 *
STANFORD 6, WASHINGTON STATE 4 *

Sun., May 6
No. 15 ARIZONA 7, Liberty 6 (10 Innings)
CALIFORNIA 16, No. 22 UCLA 0 *
No. 8 OREGON STATE 8, WASHINGTON 2 *
WASHINGTON STATE 8, STANFORD 6 *

Mon., May 7
WASHINGTON STATE 4, STANFORD 2 *

* Pacific-10 Conference game.

PAC-10 NOTES

• ARIZONA (35-11, 10-5): The Wildcats closed out their non-conference slate with a three-game series sweep of visiting Liberty ... The sweep capped off Arizona's non-conference record in the regular season at 25-6 ... The Cats opened the series with a bang, winning 16-2 on Friday and 16-3 on Saturday, before outlasting the Flames 7-6 in 10 innings on Sunday ... The three-game sweep improved Arizona's home record to 24-2 at Kindall Field this season... Arizona has now won 14-straight games at home dating back to March 20 ... The win on Sunday bumped UA's record to 4-0 in extra innings for the year and to 10-1 in one-run games ... After struggling at the plate the last two weeks (UA had hit .192 in the seven games leading up to the Liberty series), Arizona busted out with a .419 team average (52 for 124) in the series with the Flames ... The weekend raised UA's team average 10 points (from .298 to .308) ... The Cats finished the series with 12 doubles and a season series-high seven home runs ... The Arizona pitching staff went 3-0 with a 3.54 team ERA in 28 innings of work ... The hurlers struck out 25 Liberty batters while issuing only five walks ... Ace Preston Guilmet (9-1, 1.68 ERA, 110 K) tossed seven shutout innings in a one-hit start on Friday ... He did not issue a walk while striking out six to raise his season total to 110 in 102 IP.

• ARIZONA STATE (34-12, 11-4): Last week the Sun Devils took a week off for final exams, but return to action this week for a three-game series against Pac-10 leader UCLA ... Sophomore first baseman Brett Wallace and junior second baseman Eric Sogard have been named semi-finalists for the 30th Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to nation's premier amateur baseball player ... Wallace currently leads the Pac-10 in nine offensive categories, including batting average (.435), home runs (13) and runs batted in (66) ... Sogard is also among the Pac-10 leaders in eleven offensive categories, including trailing only Wallace for most hits in the conference ... Junior Matt Spencer is also on the Howser Trophy Watch List ... Sophomore Petey Paramore has been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, awarded to the top collegiate catcher ... Four Sun Devils are on the Wallace Award Watch List, headlined by Wallace. Joining Wallace on the list are Spencer, Paramore and junior LHP Josh Satow. The Wallace Award is handed out in July to coincide with the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

• CALIFORNIA (24-24, 8-10): With Cal's shut out of UCLA, the Bears have now shut out five opponents this season - UC Irvine 6-0 Feb. 4, Kent State 8-0 Mar. 9, No. 8 Oregon State 4-0 Apr. 14, Stanford 3-0 Apr. 20 and No. 11 UCLA 16-0 May 6 ... On May 6 against UCLA, Cal had a season-high 20 hits and 16 runs ... Last week, freshman Blake Smith went 6-for-15 (.400) with three doubles, a home run (fourth of the year) and five RBI. He is now hitting .322 with 10 doubles, a triple, four home runs and 25 RBI ... In his fifth start of the season, sophomore Craig Bennigson shut out No. 11 UCLA, 16-0, Sunday in Los Angeles, throwing a career-high 8.0 innings with five hits, no runs, two walks and tied a career-high with six strikeouts. He is now 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA, making 24 appearances with five starts. ... Sophomore first baseman David Cooper, who finished last week 5-for-13 (.385) with a home run and four RBI, still leads Cal in nearly every offensive category. Cooper is batting .369 with 36 runs, 66 hits, 12 doubles, 11 home runs, 111 total bases, a .620 slugging percentage, 28 walks and a .446 on-base percentage ... Sophomore Tyson Ross, despite a 5-6 record, has one complete game victory versus Stanford, and has 102 strikeouts in 98.1 innings.

• OREGON STATE (35-11, 7-8): Oregon State's Jason Ogata hit the first inside-the-park home run in the history of Washington's cozy Husky Ballpark on May 5 in the Beavers' 9-6 loss to Washington; the facility opened in 1998. It was OSU's first inside-the-park home run since Andy Jenkins turned the trick on Feb. 13, 2004 in an 8-6 win over Utah at Surprise, Ariz. Ogata hit a line drive to center that centerfielder Michael Burgher couldn't snag with a diving attempt and the ball rolled to the fence, with Ogata reaching the plate just ahead of the relay throw to score ... The Beavers have played errorless defense in 24 of their 46 games this season, and OSU has committed 1 or fewer errors in 37 of 46 games ... OSU has held opponents to 3 or fewer runs in 25 of 46 games this season, and the Beavers have recorded 5 shutouts ... The Beavers are 10-3 in games decided by 2 or fewer runs this spring ... OSU has won 9 of its 11 weekend series this season.

• STANFORD (19-26, 4-14): Stanford's next opponent Washington is the last team the Cardinal has beaten in a Pac-10 series from May 12-14, 2006, in Seattle ... Stanford has dropped two straight games to Washington State, as well as four of the last six and each of the last two series between the clubs ... Stanford has still won 26 of its last 30 games overall against Washington State and leads the all-time series 32-17 ... Stanford went its second straight game without recording double digits in hits after having previously strung together a season-best nine consecutive double digit hit contests ... Erik Davis' 7.0 inning outing was the longest of his career in his second career Pac-10 start ... Sean Ratliff (CF) has now played in and started all 45 games this season and is the only Stanford player to do so ... Ratliff extended his career-high hit streak to 11 games when he bunted for a single to start the top of the sixth and eventually came around to score ... Adam Sorgi had his 10-game hit streak snapped by going 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt and saw his average dip to .396 in his attempt to become just the seventh player in Stanford history to hit .400 or better in a single season (Sorgi is now just 1.5 at bats away from having the minimum number of at bats to qualify for Stanford, Pac-10 and NCAA stat leaders).• UCLA (27-19, 12-3): Last weekend, UCLA won its fifth-consecutive Pac-10 series to improve to 12-3 in conference play. The Bruins earned victories on Friday night and Saturday afternoon before falling to California in Sunday's series finale ... In the three-game series against the Golden Bears, freshman Gabe Cohen belted three home runs in the Bruins two victories against California. Friday night, Cohen cranked two homers in the Bruins' 13-6 win. Saturday afternoon, he crushed a two-run blast in the eighth inning ... Cohen has ripped nine home runs and totaled 25 RBI this season. He boasts a .342 average with 26 runs and 27 RBI this season ... Sophomore Cody Decker has hit a team-leading 12 home runs this season, including two round-trippers in Saturday's 7-2 victory. Decker swatted two home runs in UCLA's 16-11 rout of Stanford on March 31. With his two blasts in Saturday's game, Decker became the first Bruin to eclipse the 10-home-run plateau since Ryan McCarthy totaled 15 home runs in 2004 ... UCLA has won 19 of its last 24 games, the program's best 24-game stretch since 1997...the Bruins have won 12 of 15 games, highlighted by series wins over USC, Arizona and California...at 12-3 in the Pac-10, UCLA has registered its best conference start since the 1924 season.

• USC (23-22, 6-9): The USC baseball team (23-22, 6-9) resumes its 2007 regular season after finals week with a Pac-10 Conference series at No. 15 Arizona ... Sophomore right-hander Ryan Cook is a valuable member of USC's starting rotation. He is 6-2 this season with a 4.34 ERA . He went eight innings and scattered eight hits while allowing just two runs for the win on April 21 at Washington. On March 2 at Georgia, Cook allowed three unearned runs on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. He recorded his first complete game as a Trojan on Feb. 16 against San Diego State, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. His first win came on Feb. 9 against No. 17 San Diego, going seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He did not figure in the decision on Feb. 2 in USC's 2-1 win against Long Beach State (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO).

• WASHINGTON (23-21, 8-7): The crowd of 10,421 that watched the Huskies beat Oregon State last Friday at Safeco Field was the largest crowd in Pac-10 history for a conference game ... The old record was 9,772 (Arizona State at Arizona, Tucson, 1980) ... The attendance was also the second-highest in Husky history for any sort of game (home, away, etc.), just short of the 10,688 who watched the Huskies play Mississippi State in the 1997 NCAA Regional final in Starkville, Miss. ... Matt Hague extended his hitting streak to 16 games, longest of the year for a Husky ... Over the 16 games, he's batting .433 (29-for-67) with 6 doubles, 8 homers, 19 runs and 22 runs batted in ... Hague is the only UW player to have started all 44 games this season. He's hit safely in 37 of 44.

• WASHINGTON STATE (23-21, 6-12): Sophomore second baseman Travis Coulter led the Cougars during the Stanford series, hitting .538 (7-for-13) with three runs scored and two RBIs. CoulterCoulter had multi-hit games in all three contests and raised his batting average from .280 to .302 ... WSU's series victory over Stanford marked the second straight season the Cougars have taken the series from the Cardinal. WSU snapped a 23-game skid to Stanford last season by winning the first two games of the 2006 series. Saturday's win over Stanford marked the first Cougar victory in Pullman over the Cardinal sinice the 1971 season, a span of 10 games ... Senior Jeff Miller is currently riding the team's longest hitting streak at eight games. Miller is hitting .448 (13-29) during that stretch with four doubles, one home run, nine RBIs and five runs scored. He has raised his average from .289 to .317 in that time ... With his three strikeouts in Friday's opener against Stanford, senior pitcher Wayne Daman Jr. moved into ninth place on the Cougars' all-time strikeouts list with 192. Daman is 14 shy of eighth place with three scheduled starts remaining.

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