This Week in Pac-10 Baseball

April 15, 2008

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PAC-10 BASEBALL MIDSEASON REPORT

With each school's regular season more than half way over, Pac-10 baseball has continued to keep fans entertained by the unpredictability of every match up. All Pac-10 teams currently boast an overall winning percentage higher than .500 and against other conferences, the Pac-10 has been able to outplay their opponents, 141-59-1. But within the Conference, winning is proving to be more difficult. ARIZONA STATE experienced it's first consecutive pair of losses this season at the hands of STANFORD. WASHINGTON's 10-game winning streak earlier in the year was snapped by OREGON STATE, who handed them two consecutive losses as well. With the Top 3 Pac-10 teams in the standings only separated by a game, it becomes apparent how crucial it is to win now more than ever. After mid-week non-conference action, ARIZONA will host WASHINGTON STATE, the Beavers will travel to Arizona to take on the Sun Devils, the Cardinal will take on UCLA, and the Huskies will travel to the Bay Area for a match up with CALIFORNIA. USC will continue non-conference action this weekend as UC Santa Barbara hosts the Trojans. This week, three of nine teams are listed in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. Here is where they are ranked: Arizona State (2), California (8) and Stanford (10).

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tues., April 15
ARIZONA at New Mexico, 6 p.m.
No. 8 CALIFORNIA at Pacific, 6 p.m.
OREGON STATE vs. Portland, 6:30 p.m.
UCLA at Cal State Northridge, 3 p.m.
USC at No. 15 Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON at Gonzaga, 3 p.m.

Wed., April 16
ARIZONA at New Mexico, 12 p.m.
No. 10 STANFORD vs. San Francisco, 6 p.m.

Fri., April 18
OREGON STATE at No. 2 ARIZONA STATE*, 7 p.m.
No. 10 STANFORD at UCLA*, 6 p.m.
USC at UC Santa Barbara, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON at No. 8 CALIFORNIA*, 2:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA*, 7 p.m.

Sat., April 19
OREGON STATE at No. 2 ARIZONA STATE*, 6 p.m. XM: Ch. 193
No. 10 STANFORD at UCLA*, 2 p.m.
USC vs. UC Santa Barbara, 2 p.m.
WASHINGTON at No. 8 CALIFORNIA*, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA*, 6 p.m.

Sun., April 20
OREGON STATE at No. 2 ARIZONA STATE*, 1 p.m
No. 10 STANFORD at UCLA*, 1 p.m.
USC at UC Santa Barbara, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON at No. 8 CALIFORNIA*, 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA*, 12 p.m.

Mon., April 21
STANFORD at Santa Clara, 6 p.m. TV: CBS College Sports

* - Pacific-10 Conference game
All times are local to site and subject to change.

PAC-10 NOTES

• ARIZONA (20-11, 3-6): The ARIZONA baseball team, off an impressive 5-0 week, tries to keep its winning streak alive as it takes on New Mexico for some mid-week action starting April 15. Last week, senior C.J. Ziegler powered the UA baseball team to sweep a two-game series at San Diego State and a three-game set against Indiana State at home. Ziegler batted .364 (8-for-22) for the week and finished with two doubles, his team leading 11th homer of the season, five RBI and four runs scored. In the series finale at SDSU, he clubbed a three-run homer to provide the difference in UA's 5-3 win and started a come-from-behind rally in UA's five-run fifth inning against ISU on Sunday with a leadoff double.

• ARIZONA STATE (30-4, 6-3): The ARIZONA STATE Sun Devils took two games of three against Washington State last weekend. Junior Ike Davis went 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, three homers and 10 RBI. He slugged 1.267 for the weekend and also scored five runs. Davis had an impressive Sunday as he hit a grand slam and a three-run blast, the latter bringing ASU all the way back from a five-run deficit in the ninth to give them a 16-13 win. It was his fourth career grand slam and his fifth multi-homer game of the season. He also was the winning pitcher on Sunday, going 2.2 innings and improving his record to 4-0 on the year. He was a triple shy of the cycle on Sunday and tied his career-high with seven RBI.

• CALIFORNIA (23-9-2, 5-4): Last week, CALIFORNIA had a busy schedule as it took on rival Stanford in some mid-week non-conference action, Santa Clara and USC to round out the weekend. Junior David Cooper went 10-for-22 (.455) last week against all opponents. He added two doubles, a home run and a team-high six RBI. Cooper had the game-winning two-run single in the top of the ninth inning Sunday in Cal's 13-11 come-from-behind victory at USC. He was 6-for-13 (.462) in the series versus the Trojans. On the year, Cooper is batting .385 and leads the team with nine doubles, 14 home runs and 39 RBI. Right-handed pitcher Blake Smith also had an impressive weekend as he picked up the relief win on Sunday versus USC, pitching the final 2.0 innings with one hit, no runs, one walk and two strikeouts. For the week, Smith pitched 5.0 innings with two hits, no runs, two walks and eight strikeouts.

• OREGON STATE (16-12, 4-5): In the last game of the three-game series against the Stanford Cardinal, OREGON STATE's Jorge Reyes scattered two hits and a run over 5 2/3 innings, but the Beavers could not hold on to a 1-0 lead and lost, 4-2, Sunday in the series finale against No. 10 Stanford. Joey Wong and Jordan Lennerton each collected two hits for the Beavers in the loss. Next the Beavers will take on Portland on Tuesday. This meeting between Oregon State and Portland is the third of the season, with the Beavers holding a 2-0 advantage after winning 16-0 on March 4 and 5-4 in 13 innings on March 31. The teams have met at least twice in every season since 1982.

• STANFORD (17-11-1, 6-3): STANFORD took two of three games from the two-time defending national champs this past weekend. Junior Cord Phelps hit a .400 (10-of-25) with three homers, 13 RBI, a .760 slugging percentage and one stolen base. He hit .357 with two homers and seven RBI in the three-game series and, in a 6-4 win on Saturday, drove in a run in each of his final three at bats, including the game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth inning to snap a 4-4 tie. Right-handed pitcher Erik Davis pitched his third consecutive complete game to start the Pac-10 season and picked up the victory in a 6-4 win over Oregon State on Saturday. He struck out nine players and walked just two.

• UCLA (17-13, 3-3): UCLA's Casey Haerther went 11-for-20 (.550) with three home runs, nine RBI and six runs last week, leading the Bruins to a 3-1 mark. Haerther belted a solo home run in an extra-inning loss to UC Irvine on Tuesday. In three games against UC Riverside over the weekend, Haerther went 10-for-15. He was 3-for-4 with one double in a 5-3 win on Friday and was 4-for-6 with a career-high two home runs, four runs and three RBI in the Bruins' 18-7 win on Saturday. In the latter game, Haerther became the first Bruin this season to belt two home runs or more in a game. On Sunday, he went 3-for-5 with one double, two singles and four RBI. Haerther raised his batting average 52 points in three weekend games and currently boasts a .322 average, a team-leading 10 doubles, five home runs (tied for the team lead), 25 RBI, 24 runs and a .557 slugging percentage.

• USC (18-16, 6-6): USC's schedule was jam-packed with ranked opponents, but the Trojans were able to win three of four against No. 16 Fullerton and two of three from No. 5 California. Pac-10 Baseball Player of the Week Grant Green currently has a nine-game hitting streak, is batting .605 (23-for-38) and is hitting .720 (18-for-25) in his last six games. Teammate left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone went seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts against California on Friday in the 17-1 victory. Milone is 5-2 on the season with a 2.28 ERA and has yet to allow a homerun this season.

• WASHINGTON (23-10, 3-3): In non-conference action this week, WASHINGTON's Kyle Conley hit four homers and drove in 10 runs in four games last week, during which the Huskies went 3-1, with a win over Portland and two of three versus BYU. On Tuesday versus Portland, he hit a two-out, pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth in a 3-0 win. On Thursday against BYU, he hit a two-run homer in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. On Friday, he hit two homer. The first homer gave UW a 1-0 lead and the second one, in the eighth, increased the Husky lead from 6-4 to 8-4. Last week's Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, Nick Haughian, again had an impressive week as he threw the first eighth innings against BYU, allowing only one run on five hits and two walks while striking out 14. He missed his career-high of 15 strikeouts (set only last week) by only one. All five of BYU's hits against him were singles.

• WASHINGTON STATE (19-15, 3-6): WASHINGTON STATE took on the highest-ranked Pac-10 team this past weekend, Arizona State, and was able to take one of three games from the Sun Devils. In the 10-4 victory on Saturday, Paul Gran collected three hits, including a home run, and Jayson Miller pitched seven strong innings. The Cougars broke the 4-4 tie with a four-run seventh. With one out, Scott Suttmeier and Gran singled to put runners at first and second base. Murphy followed with a single up the middle to score Suttmeier and ASU centerfielder committed two errors on the play allowing Gran to score as Murphy took second. After Jared Prince walked, Sun Devil reliever Reyes Dorado gave up run-scoring singles to Reynolds and Greg Lagreid to put WSU on top 8-4.

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