This Week in Pac-10 Baseball

March 4, 2008

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PAC-10 BASEBALL'S SPECTACULAR SECOND WEEK OF PLAY

The nine Pac-10 baseball teams combined for a total of 27 wins out of 35 completed games against non-conference teams in the second week of action. ARIZONA continued to top the Baseball America poll for the second consecutive week after the `Cats swept Sacramento State, making it one of five Conference teams to notch a series sweep last week. ARIZONA STATE continues its undefeated streak as it defeated all opponents at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. CALIFORNIA took on four ranked opponents at the University of San Diego Tournament and finished the weekend, 3-1. UCLA endured a 13-inning, 5 hour and 35 minute victory against UC Santa Barbara to begin its four-game winning streak of the week. The Bruins look to preserve the streak as they take on Cal State Fullerton March 4 and 5. All Conference teams have an overall winning percentage of .500 or better and five teams make an appearance in this week's Baseball America poll, including three in the Top-10. Here is where they are ranked: Arizona (1), UCLA (3), Arizona State (4), Oregon State (12) and California (18).

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tue., March 4
No. 1 ARIZONA vs. UNLV, 4 p.m.
No. 4 ARIZONA STATE vs. New Mexico, 6:30 p.m.
STANFORD at No. 18 CALIFORNIA, 1:30 p.m.
No. 12 OREGON STATE vs. Portland, 3 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA at Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m.
USC at Pepperdine, 2 p.m.

Wed., March 5
No. 1 ARIZONA vs. UNLV, 2 p.m.
No. 4 ARIZONA STATE vs. New Mexico, 6:30 p.m.
STANFORD at St. Mary's, 2 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m.
USC vs. Pepperdine, 7 p.m.

Fri., March 7
No. 1 ARIZONA vs. South Alabama, 7 p.m.
No. 4 ARIZONA STATE vs. Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
No. 18 CALIFORNIA vs. Northern Iowa (6), 1 p.m.
No. 12 OREGON STATE vs. Loyola Marymount (7), 2 p.m.
STANFORD at No. 16 Texas, 6 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. St. Mary's, 6 p.m.
USC at Winthrop, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. Cal Poly, 5 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. Kent State (DH), 12 p.m.

Sat., March 8
No. 1 ARIZONA at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 7 p.m.
No. 4 ARIZONA STATE vs. Massachusetts, 6 p.m.
No. 18 CALIFORNIA at Minnesota (6), 6:30 p.m.
No. 12 OREGON STATE vs. No. 17 Univ. of San Diego (7), 11 a.m.
STANFORD at No. 16 Texas, 2 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. St. Mary's, 2 p.m.
USC at Winthrop, 2 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. Cal Poly, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. Kent State, 12 p.m.

Sun., March 9
No. 1 ARIZONA vs. Notre Dame, 12 p.m.
No. 4 ARIZONA STATE vs. Massachusetts, 1 p.m.
No. 18 CALIFORNIA vs. New Mexico (6), 11 a.m.
No. 12 OREGON STATE vs. Santa Clara (7), 2 p.m.
STANFORD at No. 16 Texas, 1 p.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. St. Mary's, 1 p.m.
USC at Winthrop, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON vs. Cal Poly, 11 a.m.
WASHINGTON STATE vs. Kent State, 12 p.m.

Mon., March 10
OREGON STATE vs. San Diego State (7), 2 p.m.

Tournaments and neutral sites:
(6) - University of Minnesota Tournament
(7) - San Diego State Tournament
All times are local to site.

PAC-10 NOTES

• ARIZONA (5-1, 0-0): ARIZONA remains the top-ranked team in the Baseball America poll for the second consecutive week as the Wildcats went on to earn their first series sweep by beating the Sacramento State Hornets last week. In the opening game of the three-game series, Preston Guilmet had 11 strikeouts against zero walks and Dillon Baird hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to help the Wildcats win, 9-3. This win marked UA's head coach Andy Lopez's 900th career coaching victory. In game two of the series, Arizona's offense took charge of the game as they scored 15 runs on a season-high 16 hits to ultimately escape with the 15-7 win. In the final game of the series, the `Cats narrowly escaped with the 10-9 victory after being down 5-0 in the first three innings. As a team the Wildcats batted .384 (38 for 99) with eight doubles, five triples and eight home runs against the Hornet pitching staff. Arizona slugged .808 as a team and had a .470 on-base percentage.

• ARIZONA STATE (7-0, 0-0): Continuing its streak of being the only team left in the Conference with an unblemished record, ARIZONA STATE opened the Coca-Cola Classic with a 15-4 victory over No. 8 Michigan. An offensive attack from the Sun Devils, coupled with a pair of homers from Jason Kipnis including a grand slam, secured the win. In their next match-up against Hawaii, a total of five pitchers (Stephen Sauer, Jason Franzblau, Reyes Dorado, Tommy Rafferty and Jason Jarvis) contained the Rainbows to a five hit shutout as the Sun Devils went on to win, 3-0. Unlike its first victory over the ranked Wolverines, ASU fought hard for a come-from-behind win, to maintain its perfect overall record by beating Michigan, 8-4. To sweep the Coca-Cola Classic, Arizona State took on Portland in its final game and won, 5-2. A home run by Mike Jones, the first of his career, gave the Sun Devils their early 2-0 lead. The pitching action was superb as Seth Blair lasted five innings allowing only three hits and one run and Dorado pitched for 3.2 innings striking out nine of the first 15 batters he faced. Closer Jarvis struck out the only hitter he faced to pick up his 13th career saves, tied for seventh most in school history.

• CALIFORNIA (5-1-1, 0-0): The CALIFORNIA Golden Bears had an impressive weekend as it took on four ranked teams at the University of San Diego Tournament. In the opening game of the tournament, despite trailing 3-0 after the first inning, the Cal baseball team came back to upend No. 24 Fresno State, 14-4. Next the Bears took on No. 5 Missouri, and after giving up five runs in the bottom of the first inning, could not relinquish the lead and fell, 7-5. California faced No. 22-ranked San Diego State in its third match-up in tournament and behind the strong pitching of junior left-hander Craig Benningson and a clutch three-run homer by senior second baseman Josh Satin, the California baseball team upset No. 22-ranked and host San Diego State, 5-3. Benningson (2-0) picked up his second win of the season by throwing a career-high 8.0 innings with four hits, three runs, four walks and a career-high seven strikeouts. In the final day of the tournament, three Cal pitchers (Alex Rollin, Daniel Wolford, and Matt Gorgen) combined to shut-out the No. 17 University of San Diego, and upset their third ranked team of the week, 5-0. Satin finished the University of San Diego Tournament with impressive numbers, going 10-for-19 (.526) with eight RBI, including a key three-run homer Saturday versus San Diego State, and the clinching two-run homer again San Diego.

• OREGON STATE (3-3, 0-0): The two-time defending national champions OREGON STATE bounced back from a less than spectacular opening weekend to finish this past weekend, 2-1 at the Papé Grand Slam. The Beavers took the first game defeating Georgia, 6-4, in a hard fought lead changing match-up. Ultimately it was Jason Ogata's three-run inside the park home run that gave Oregon State its final lead of the game to take the win. In the second game against the Bulldogs, Oregon State starting pitcher Jorge Reyes struggled early and did not make it out of the first inning. He gave up seven runs in 2/3 of an inning, allowing 7 hits and giving up two walks. Kraig Sitton entered the game to finish out the inning and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and two runs while striking out four. The Beavers attempted rallies in both the fourth and sixth innings. Jordan Lennerton singled in the bottom of the fourth and two batters later, John Wallace hit a two-run home run but the effort was not enough as Georgia escaped with the 10-5 win. Oregon State took the final game of the Papé Grand Slam, 5-4, over Georgia with its first comeback win of the season. The winning run was set up by Wallace, who walked to start the eighth. Drew George moved him to third on a single, then came to the plate on a wild pitch by Dean Weaver with Ryan Ortiz at the plate.

• STANFORD (6-2, 0-0): Randy Molina hit his first collegiate home run and drove in a career-high five runs to lead STANFORD to a 12-5 victory against Cal State Fullerton in the opening game of the three-game series. Molina drove in all five of his runs in the first two innings as Stanford jumped out to an early 9-1 lead after two frames. The run support would be plenty for Stanford pitchers Jeremy Bleich (6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) and Austin Yount (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 SO) to pick up the win. In the second game, Cal State Fullerton looked to avenge their first loss by rallying late in the game, but the Cardinal held them off to secure an 11-7 victory over the Titans. Stanford led 9-2 before Cal State Fullerton scored five times in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 9-7 but Drew Storen (2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) came on and held Cal State Fullerton scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings to record his first collegiate save. To complete a three-game series sweep of the Titans, Zach Jones' RBI double to the rightcenter field gap with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Jeff Whitlow and lifted Stanford to a dramatic 6-5 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The three-game sweep of the Titans was the third time in a row Stanford has swept the national powerhouse at home dating back to 2004. Stanford has won a total of 10 straight home games against the Titans as well as 18 of the last 19.

• UCLA (5-1, 0-0): After two of UCLA's first four games were either cancelled or postponed, the Bruins went on to win all of their four games this past week. To start off the week long winning streak was the match up against UC Santa Barbara, a game that went for 13 innings and lasted five-hours, 35-minutes. The Bruins, playing in their second consecutive extra-inning game, trailed from the start before tying the contest, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth inning. The winning play came when second baseman Alden Carrithers' hit a single to middle field to bring Brady Dolan from second base in the bottom of the 13th inning. Next the Bruins took part in the inaugural Urban Invitational taking on Southern, Bethune-Cookman, and cross-town rival USC. In his first collegiate start against Southern, right-hander Charles Brewer limited the Jaguars to three hits in 7.2 scoreless innings as the UCLA baseball team won its first game of the invitational, 11-2. In the second game, left-hander Tim Murphy registered a season-high 10 strikeouts and did not issue a walk, pitching a complete-game shutout as the No. 3 UCLA baseball team defeated Bethune-Cookman, 2-0. Lastly, in the non-conference match-up against USC, the Bruins rallied from a 1-3 deficit to score two runs in the eighth inning to come out with the 4-3 victory. UCLA, capping a perfect 3-0 weekend.

• USC (5-3, 0-0): USC discovered that all good things must come to an end as its perfect 3-0 season start was snapped by No. 22 San Diego State. A wild pitch from Philip Urso was the costly play that helped the Aztecs score two come-from-behind runs in the seventh inning solidifying their 2-1 victory over the Trojans. In USC's last of five road games to open up the 2008 season, the Trojans took on UC Irvine, led by former Trojan head coach Mike Gillespie. Offensive struggles from Anthony Vasquez, who allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, was enough to cost the Trojans the win, losing to Irvine, 7-3. Junior left-hander Tommy Milone threw eight scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts as the USC Trojans shut out the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 2-0, in USC's home opener and the first game for both teams in the MLB Urban Invitational. USC broke the scoreless tie with both runs in the eighth. Vasquez doubled down the right field line and scored on an RBI single by senior Roberto Lopez. After Lopez stole second and reached third on a wild pitch, he scored on pinch hitter Keith Castillo's RBI single to left. The USC Trojans scored eight times in the eighth inning Saturday to defeat the Southern Jaguars, 13-9, in action at the MLB Urban Invitational. The Trojans took advantage of Jaguar pitching, which allowed seven walks in the USC eight, including three with the bases loaded. In the final game of the MLB Urban Invitational, the UCLA Bruins defeated the USC Trojans, 4-3, marking the sixth consecutive time the Bruins have beat USC.

• WASHINGTON (4-4, 0-0): WASHINGTON took on two-time defending NAIA champs Lewis-Clark State in their home opener and after leading twice in the game, the Huskies could not hold on and lost the match-up, 6-8. The Huskies looked to get back into the game in the bottom of the eighth. With Michael Burgher aboard at first, Brett Wilcox hit his second home run, cutting the Warriors lead to 8-6. In the ninth, the Huskies got two aboard with back-to-back, one-out walks, but LC reliever Blaine Hardy came on and got the final two outs to pick up the save. The Dawgs opened up game one in a three-game series with Pacific with a 10-1 win. Starter Nick Haughian threw six shutout innings and shortstop Pierce Rankin had a homer and three runs batted in. In the eighth, Tigers pinch hitter Noah St. Urbain was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to break up the UW's shutout bid. In the second game, The Washington baseball team erupted for eight runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-1 lead and then hung on for a 9-7 win over Pacific. The first 11 Husky hitters in the sixth inning reached base. After Bradley Boyer opened by reaching on an error, Ty Rasmussen, Kyle Conley and Wilcox followed with consecutive doubles. The big hit of the inning was a three-run homer from senior right fielder Andy Lentz, his first of the season. In the final game of the series, the Huskies were unable to complete a sweep of Pacific as the Tigers pulled ahead early and never lost the lead, ultimately beating UW, 7-4.

• WASHINGTON STATE (7-1, 0-0): The Cougars pounded out 31 hits and batted .383 as a team in their two-game sweep at UNLV, Feb. 26-27. Eight different hitters had a multi-hit game during the series with freshman John Desmarais (2-for-5 and 4-for-5) and junior Jared Prince (a pair of 2-for-5 nights) collecting multiple hits in each outing. Cougars drilled seven doubles and four triples in the two games. Next the Cougs took on Wright State in a three-game series where in the opening game, Washington State pounded out 21 hits and attained the 13-4 victory. Freshman Shea Vucinich was 5-for-5 for the second-straight game and his 10-consecutive hits tied Mike Kinkade's school record set in 1992. Desmarais, Prince, Jim Murphy and Simi Reynolds each added three hits for the Cougars who racked up their highest total as a team since 26 at Northern Colorado, April 21, 2006. Game two saw Desmarais collect three hits and three RBI to lead a 16-hit attack to lead Washington State to a 14-10 victory over Wright State. With the three-game series sweep ending with a 7-4 victory against Wright State, The Cougars won for the seventh-straight time and are off to their best start since 1993 when they were also victorious in seven of their first eight outings. WSU won its 15th-straight nonconference series in Pullman dating back to the 2002 season.

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