This Week In Pac-10 Baseball
May 22, 2007
Last week ARIZONA STATE topped the Conference charts after sweeping a three-game series against No. 21 UCLA. This week, the Sun Devils proved yet again why they reside at the No. 1 spot as they swept No. 22 OREGON STATE, becoming the first Pac-10 team to record back-to-back series sweeps against ranked teams. This week, the Sun Devils face No. 13 ARIZONA, where a single win against the Wildcats will clench them the Pac-10 title ... The Bruins look to close out the regular season when they host the Beavers for their final series of the season ... CALIFORNIA looks to continue their winning streak as the Bears travel north to take on WASHINGTON ... USC will face UC Santa Barbara before hosting STANFORD ... WASHINGTON STATE finished Conference play last week taking the series 2-1 against UCLA. The Cougars travel to UC Davis to close out the season ... The 16 regional sites and hosts will be announced on ESPNews and at www.ncaasports.com at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, May 27 ... The Pac-10 boasts two teams among the nation's leaders, here's where they rank this week (Baseball America): Arizona State (7) and Arizona (13).
Tues., May 22
UC Davis at STANFORD, 6 p.m.
Wed., May 23
No. 13 ARIZONA at No. 7 ARIZONA STATE*, 7 p.m.
USC at UC Santa Barbara, 2:30 p.m.
Thurs., May 24
No. 13 ARIZONA at No. 7 ARIZONA STATE*, 7 p.m.
Fri., May 25
No. 13 ARIZONA at No. 7 ARIZONA STATE*, 1 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON*, 6:30 p.m.
STANFORD at USC*, 7 p.m.
OREGON STATE at UCLA *, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at UC Davis, 2:30 p.m.
Sat., May 26
CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON*, 2 p.m.
STANFORD at USC*, 1:30 p.m.
OREGON STATE at UCLA *, 2 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at UC Davis, 1 p.m.
Sun., May 27
CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON*, 1 p.m.
STANFORD at USC*, 1 p.m.
OREGON STATE at UCLA *, 12 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at UC Davis, 1 p.m.
Wed., May 16
No. 8 ARIZONA STATE 11, Utah Valley State 3
USC 7, UC Santa Barbara 5
Fri., May 18
No. 14 ARIZONA 7, WASHINGTON 0 *
No. 8 ARIZONA STATE 4, No. 22 OREGON STATE 3 *
Pacific 13, STANFORD 7
WASHINGTON STATE 5, UCLA 1 *
Sat., May 19
No. 14 ARIZONA 13, WASHINGTON 4 *
No. 8 ARIZONA STATE 3, No. 22 OREGON STATE 0 *
CALIFORNIA 4, USC 3 *
STANFORD 11, Pacific 2
WASHINGTON STATE 10, UCLA 5 *
Sun., May 20
No. 14 ARIZONA 17, WASHINGTON 8 *
No. 8 ARIZONA STATE 8, No. 22 OREGON STATE 1 *
CALIFORNIA 6, USC 1 *
STANFORD 10, Pacific 5
UCLA 7, WASHINGTON STATE 5 *
Mon., May 21
CALIFORNIA 6, USC 3 *
* Pacific-10 Conference game.
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - ARIZONA senior outfielder Bill Rhinehart has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Baseball Player of the Week and ARIZONA STATE junior left-handed pitcher Brian Flores has been named Pitcher of the Week for May 15-22, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Rhinehart, of Citrus Heights, Calif., made his final three regular season home games memorable ones, as he led Arizona to a Pac-10 series sweep over Washington at Jerry Kindall Field in Tucson. The senior became just the 12th player at Arizona since 1950 to hit for the cycle in UA's series sweeping win on Sunday. He finished the contest 4-for-6 with his 14th double of the year, his third triple, his team-high-tying 10th home run, four RBI and a pair of runs scored. He collected the last remaining hit needed for the cycle, a double, with two outs in Arizona's final at bat of the game in the eighth. For the weekend Rhinehart batted .600 (9-for-15) with four doubles, the triple and the homer. He collected five RBI and scored five runs while posting a .625 on-base percentage. With six of his nine hits on the weekend going for two or more bases, Rhinehart slugged at an impressive 1.200 clip.
Flores, of Carlsbad, N.M., was magnificent in his two starts this week, going 2-0, helping lead Arizona State to a sweep of the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. Flores threw 13 innings, allowed only 7 hits and 2 runs while striking out 14 in his victories over Utah Valley State and Oregon State. His performance on Sunday was masterful, as he threw a complete game one-hitter against the Beavers, securing the series sweep and a share of the Pac-10 title.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Rhinehart's career, while it is the 50th such honor for Arizona. The Pitcher of the Week honor is the second for Flores, the second of the season as well, and marks marks the 51st selection all-time for Arizona State.
Also nominated for Player of the Week: Eric Sogard, ASU; David Cooper, CAL; Michael Taylor, STAN; Gabe Cohen, UCLA.
Also nominated for Pitcher of the Week: Preston Guilmet, ARIZ; Matt Gorgen, CAL; Jeremy Bleich, STAN; Wayne Daman Jr., WSU.
ARIZONA (39-13, 14-7): Arizona will need to win all three games this week against ASU to earn a split of the Pac-10 title. The red-hot Sun Devils deservedly already own at least a share of the conference championship with back-to-back weekend sweeps of UCLA and Oregon State. Arizona last won a Pac-10 title in 1992 ... Arizona posted its third Pac-10 series sweep of the season in its final regular season home stand of the year ... The Wildcats defeated Washington 7-0 on Friday, 13-4 on Saturday and completed the three-game sweep with a 17-8 win on Sunday ... The three victories improved Arizona's record at Kindall Field this season to an impressive 28-4 overall and 10-2 in league contests ... The three-game sweep improved Arizona's win total to 39 for the year, the most victories in a regular season for the Wildcats since the 1989 team went 42-16-1 before the playoffs ... Highlighted by senior Bill Rhinehart's cycle on Sunday, the Arizona offense awoke from its slumber in a big way against the Huskies ... Sophomore Jon Gaston (..329, 3 HR, 25 RBI), who was fitted for corrective eyeglasses prior to Saturday's contest, used his new vision to hit .667 (4 for 6) with two triples (Nos. 7 and 8 for the year), his third home run, five RBI and four runs scored. He also went 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts.
ARIZONA STATE (41-12, 17-4): After a rainstorm delayed the start of the series finale with Oregon State by 45 minutes, the Sun Devils broke out the brooms on Oregon State, sweeping the series with an 8-1 victory. The win clinches at least a tie for the Pac-10 championship, the first conference title for ASU since 2000. The win improves ASU to 41-12, 17-4 in Pac-10 play ... With the sweep of the defending national champions in Corvallis, ASU records their first road sweep of a Pac-10 team since 2003. It is also the first time Oregon State has been swept at home since 2003 ... After traveling to the Northwest last week, the Sun Devils now return home for a huge three-game series with the Arizona ... The Sun Devils need to win one game against Arizona to clinch the outright Pac-10 championship ... Sophomore first baseman Brett Wallace was one of 11 student-athletes named to the 2007 USA Baseball National Team. Wallace is one of two players from the Pac-10, joining Cal's Tyson Ross. The final nine players and two alternates will be named in June.
CALIFORNIA (28-24, 11-10): Sophomore right-hander Tyson Ross (5-6) got no decision Saturday versus USC, but with his nine strikeouts versus the Trojans, Ross now has 117 strikeouts in 109.2 innings this season. His 117 strikeouts are second on the Cal all-time single-season strikeout list and his 202 career strikeouts is ninth on the Bears' career list. Ross also has a 2.46 ERA and opponents are batting .238 against him ... Ross was selected as one of the first 11 members of the 2007 USA Baseball National Team. The USA National Team will open its season in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in preparation for four international series and two international events this summer ... Ross was a member of USA Baseball's Junior National Team in 2004 and 2005 ... Sophomore shortstop Michael Brady had a lead-off, walk-off home run in the ninth inning against USC May 19. Brady finished the series 4-for-10 with another home run May 20. Junior right-hander Alex Rollin earned his eighth victory of the season May 20 versus USC. Cal hit .370 as a team against USC, and had a team ERA of 2.00.
OREGON STATE (36-16, 8-13): Oregon State held Arizona State to 15 runs during a 3-game series; the average of 5.0 runs per game was less than half of what ASU - the nation's highest-scoring team - had been averaging coming into the game, 10.02 runs per game ... Oregon State's Joe Paterson managed one of baseball's rare feats during the Beavers' 3-0 loss to Arizona State on May 19. In the top of the second inning, Paterson retired the Sun Devils on 3 pitches, getting 3 groundouts.
STANFORD (24-28, 6-15): Stanford's series sweep over Pacific last week guarantees the Cardinal will avoid the first losing season at home in the school's recorded history as Stanford improves to 16-15 at Sunken Diamond with one home game remaining and can avoid equaling the worst winning percentage ever in recorded history at home (13-13, 1964) with a victory over UC Davis in its final home game of the regular season on May 22 ... Stanford now has 37 homers on the season and needs just three more to extend its string of 40-homer seasons to 20 in a row ... Stanford kept its hopes alive of avoiding its first losing season since 1993 as the Cardinal can still finish with an even .500 (28-28) record with wins in each of its last four regular season games ... The Cardinal won both its second straight series and second straight rubber game after having previously lost seven straight series and three consecutive rubber games ... Stanford improved to 6-5 in the month of May and is trying to record its first winning month since the club was 7-5 in February ... In the final game of the series against Pacific, the Cardinal recorded double digit hits for the seventh straight game and the 16th time in the last 18 games, while improving its team batting average to a new season-high .299 as the Cardinal is making a late run to hit .300 or better as a club for the first time since 2004.
UCLA (29-24, 13-8): Tyson Brummett's total of seven complete games this season ranks second in school history; six other Bruins have thrown seven complete games in a single season; former major leaguer Tim Leary tossed 10 complete games in 1979 ... Brandon Crawford's 10-game hit streak ended; Crawford has collected two 10-game hit streaks this season ... Eddie Murray made his first career start as the designated hitter ... Brummett retired the final eight batters he faced, striking out three of those hitters looking ... Tim Murphy made his 10th start of the season and absorbed his first loss in Pac-10 play (4-1 in conference action) ... Charles Brewer made his third appearance of the season and allowed two runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief ... Gabe Cohen finished the weekend hitting 8-for-12 with three RBI ... Cohen extended his hitting streak to six games when he singled to left in the third inning ... UCLA witnessed a 60-degree swing between last weekend's series at Arizona State and Sunday's game in Pullman, Wash. - after playing in 105-degree weather in Tempe, Ariz., the Bruins played in 45-degree temperatures Sunday.
USC (26-26, 8-13): USC opened last week on the right foot as freshman catcher Robert Stock went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI Wednesday as the Trojans beat the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 7-5, in a nonconference game at Dedeaux Field. The Trojans, who possess the toughest schedule in the nation according to Boyd's World, recorded their fifth win in their last six games with the win over UCSB ... After their big win over the Gauchos, the Trojans traveled to the Bay Area to take on California. In the final game of the series against California, David Cooper and Josh Satin had two RBI each as the Golden Bears completed the Pac-10 Conference series sweep in a 6-3 win over the USC Trojans at Evans Diamond ... USC travels to UC Santa Barbara for a nonconference game on Wednesday before concluding the 2007 regular season with a Pac-10 home series against Stanford, Friday-Sunday. All four games will be broadcast live on usctrojans.com with a live video webcast for the Stanford series.
WASHINGTON (27-26, 9-12): he Washington baseball team (27-26 overall, 9-12 in the Pac-10), which enters the week fifth in the conference standings, wraps up the 2007 regular season this weekend in a three-game series at Husky Ballpark vs. fourth-place California (28-24, 11-10). The series has postseason implications as, with a sweep, the Huskies would guarantee themselves fourth place. Depending on other series' outcomes, Cal could finish as high as a tie for second-place with a sweep while just one win would ensure the Bears sole possession of fourth place. While the NCAA doesn't necessarily go by standings to determine the field for the NCAA tournament, it's worth noting that no fewer than four Pac-10 teams have made it into the 64-team field each of the last 10 seasons and in only one season has an eligible team been 'skipped' in the standings in favor of a lower team (coincidentally, it was fifth- and sixth-place (tied) Cal and UW that were bypassed in favor of sixth-place (tied) Stanford in 2005).
WASHINGTON STATE (27-24, 10-14): Washington State University concluded Pac-10 play by taking two of three against UCLA this past weekend at Bailey-Brayton Field. The series victory marked the fourth for WSU in its last five series, including two series wins over ranked teams (No.12 Arizona and No. 15 Oregon State). WSU began conference play with a 1-9 record before winning nine of its final 14 games to finish 10-14, matching last season's conference mark ... Junior third baseman Paul Gran continues to swing the hottest bat in the Cougar lineup. Over his last 19 games, Gran is hitting .408 (33-81) with five home runs, 17 RBIs and 20 runs scored, while slugging at a .642 rate. He has also been successful in all three stolen base attempts ... In the final home start as a Cougar, senior right handed pitcher Wayne Daman Jr. fired the first complete game of his career in a 5-1 victory over UCLA. Daman held the Bruin bats in check as he allowed a first inning run then posted zero's the rest of the way. He retired six of the last seven batters he faced and 16 of the final 19. Daman finished his afternoon allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts. With the win he improved to 5-4 this season and lowered his ERA to 3.52.
Second baseman Eric Sogard went 10-18 (.555) with 4 RBI and 6 runs scored as ARIZONA STATE beat Utah Valley State then went to Corvallis and swept the defending National Champion Beavers.
In CALIFORNIA's sweep of USC, David Cooper was 7-for-10 with a double, home run and three RBI. On the season, he leads Cal with a .383 batting average, 38 runs, 74 hits, 13 doubles, 12 home runs, 52 RBI, 123 total bases, a .637 slugging percentage and 29 walks.
Michael Taylor stayed red hot by hitting .412 (7-17) with a double, two homers and five RBI to help lead Stanford to three wins in four games. He also scored eight runs, walked twice, was hit by a pitch and had an .824 slugging percentage as well as a .500 on-base percentage and fielded all five of his defensive chances successfully. Taylor has a current eight-game hit streak with multiple hits in six of those contests, while also scoring at least one run in each of his past five games. He has raised his batting average 32 points during the eight-game hit streak (17-35, .486) to its current .327.
UCLA freshman right fielder Gabe Cohen finished 8-for-12 (.667) with three RBI and one run in three games at Washington State over the weekend. Cohen hit 2-for-4 with one RBI on Friday, 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run on Saturday, and 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run on Sunday. With his eight hits in Pullman, Wash., Cohen overtook the team lead in batting average with a .360 mark. Through the Bruins' last 10 games, Cohen has hit at a .474 clip (18-for-38) with three home runs.
ARIZONA's sophomore right-hander Preston Guilmet showed why he was included among the 10 national semifinalists for the 2007 Roger Clemens Award last week with a complete game shutout of Washington in Arizona's Pac-10 series opener against the Huskies on Friday. Guilmet posted his fifth complete game win of the season by limiting UW to just three hits in his second shutout of the year. He finished the contest with seven strikeouts to improve his Pac-10-leading total to 126 for the year, while the scoreless nine innings of work dropped his conference-best ERA to 1.58. He surrendered only a two-out double in the first, a bloop single to right in sixth and an infield single to short in the seventh. His effort earned him his 11th win of the season, the most victories for an Arizona pitcher since future major-leaguer Scott Erickson won a school record 18 games in 1989.
CALIFORNIA's Matt Gorgen earned a win in Cal's 4-3 victory on May 19, and a save in the Bears' 6-3 victory May 21. He pitched a total of 5.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA and had four strikeouts. On the year, Gorgen (3-4) has nine saves, a 2.29 ERA in 30 appearances, and 73 strikeouts in 59.0 innings. Opponents are batting .234 against him. His nine saves are second on Cal's all-time single-season save list.
STANFORD's Jeremy Bleich pitched his first collegiate complete game and only the second by a Stanford pitcher in 2007 to lead Stanford to an 11-2 win at Pacific on Sunday. Bleich struck out six, while scattering two runs and seven hits. He retired the side in order on five different occasions.
WASHINGTON STATE's Wayne Daman Jr. closed out his home career by throwing a gem, a 5-1 victory over UCLA in the series opener against UCLA. Daman's complete game was the first of his career as he improved to 5-4 for the season. Daman held the Bruin bats in check as he allowed a first inning run then posted zero's the rest of the way. He retired six of the last seven batters he faced and 16 of the final 19. Daman finished his afternoon allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts.
TOMORROW | 12:00pm PTLive