This Week in Pac-10 Baseball

May 13, 2008

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BEGINNING OF THE END FOR PAC-10 REGULAR SEASON

Entering the final two weeks of the regular schedule, the Pac-10 currently features eight of its nine teams with overall winning records. ARIZONA STATE currently holds the top spot, but second place STANFORD is following closely. WASHINGTON occupies third place, while CALIFORNIA and OREGON STATE are tied at 11-10 for fourth place. UCLA and ARIZONA have both compiled 8-10 Pac-10 records, tied for sixth place while USC rests one game ahead of ninth-place WASHINGTON STATE. With the Conference title still up for grabs and anticipation for a post-season run grows stronger, each match-up proves to be indespensible, especially a Pac-10 match up. Eight of the nine Conference teams will take on one another this weekend while California takes on UC Davis in mid-week action and resumes play on May 23. This week, the Pac-10 boasts three teams among the nation's leaders, including (Baseball America): Arizona State (3), California (13) and Stanford (14).

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tue.,  May 13No. 13 CALIFORNIA at UC Davis, 2:30 p.m.OREGON STATE vs. Utah Valley State, 2 p.m.UCLA at No. 12 UC Irvine, 6 p.m.WASHINGTON STATE at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.

Wed. May 14USC at UC Riverside, 5 p.m.

Fri., May 16OREGON STATE at USC*, 7 p.m.WASHINGTON at No. 3 ARIZONA STATE*, 7 p.m.WASHINGTON STATE at UCLA*, 6 p.m.

Sat., May 17OREGON STATE at USC*, 1:30 p.m.No. 14 STANFORD at ARIZONA*, 7 p.m.WASHINGTON at No. 3 ARIZONA STATE*, 6 p.m.WASHINGTON STATE at UCLA*, 2 p.m. FSN

Sun., May 18WASHINGTON STATE at UCLA*, 1 p.m.OREGON STATE at USC*, 1 p.m.WASHINGTON at No. 3 ARIZONA STATE*, 1 p.m.No. 14 STANFORD at ARIZONA*, 6 p.m.

Mon., May 19OREGON STATE at Long Beach State, 6:30 p.m.STANFORD at ARIZONA*, 12 p.m.

* - Pacific-10 Conference game

All times are local to site and subject to change.

PAC-10 NOTES

ARIZONA (34-15, 8-10): The ARIZONA baseball team had a perfect weekend as it swept Utah Valley in Tucson. First baseman C.J. Ziegler hit four of Arizona's nine home runs for the weekend. The senior tied the school single game record by hitting three homers in the series opener on Friday and launched his team-leading 16th home run of the season in the series finale on Sunday to move into a tie for ninth on the single season list at UA. Ziegler wrapped up the weekend hitting .500 (6 for 12) with five RBI and four runs scored. He posted a 1.500 slugging percentage and a .571 on base percentage in the three games. Senior David Coulon allowed just three hits over seven scoreless innings in Arizona's 7-0 shutout win over Utah Valley on Saturday. Coulon (7-3), who has taken part in three of UA's seven shutouts this season and five total in his four-year career, worked quickly to keep the UVU offense off balance all night. The left-hander retired the first eight batters he faced to start the contest, struck out five and did not allow a runner to get past second base. Aided by some timely defense behind him and on his own, he was able to work around four walks to pick up his team-leading seventh win of the year. Arizona's seven shutouts this season are the most for any UA pitching staff in a single year since 1976 (11).

ARIZONA STATE (40-9, 12-6): Filling in for the injured Ike Davis in the lineup, ARIZONA STATE's Mike Leake has done it all, playing first, second and shortstop in addition to his normal pitching duties. Leake has batted .467 (7-15) with five RBI over the past week, and also picked up a save and a win on the mound. He has homered, scored five runs, doubled twice and made some great plays at virtually every position. Left-handed pitcher Matt Newman went out and threw a gem at No. 10 Wichita State which marked his first career start and only his third career appearance on the mound eventually leading the Sun Devils to a 6-1 win on Wednesday. Newman earned his first career victory by going 6.2 innings, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out two. After he finished pitching, he went in to right field.

CALIFORNIA (32-16-2, 11-10): CALIFORNIA junior left fielder Charlie Cutler was 9-for-17 (.529) last week versus UC Davis and the three-game series at No. 6 Stanford. He also finished with two doubles and four RBI. On Tuesday versus UC Davis, Cutler was a career-high 5-for-5 with two doubles, four runs scored and an RBI. He then was 4-for-12 with three RBI at Stanford, including knocking in the game-winning RBI single in the top of the 10th inning in the Bears 4-3 win. Cutler is now third on the Cal squad with a .336 average. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Gorgen earned Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades for his performance against the Cardinal. For the weekend, he threw 2.1 innings with three hits, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts. Gorgen's ninth save this season is second on Cal's all-time single-season save list, and his 20th career save is second on the Bears' all-time career save list. On the year, he has 39 strikeouts in 35.0 innings with a 2.06 ERA.

OREGON STATE (24-19, 11-10): OREGON STATE catcher Ryan Ortiz had a big five-game week for the Beavers, going 8-for-20 with four runs, four doubles, one home run, 11 runs batted in and six walks. Ortiz had at least one hit and one RBI in four of the five games and at least one walk in all five as the Beavers went 4-1, including 3-1 in Pacific-10 Conference games. Ortiz posted a .750 slugging percentage and .538 on-base percentage during the week. He capped off his week with an eighth-inning grand slam in the series finale against UCLA. His third grand slam and fifth home run of the season gave Oregon State a comeback 8-7 victory over the visiting Bruins. He also had a run-scoring double in the game and walked once. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a double in the second game of the series, and opened the three-gamer with a 1-for-4 effort in which he drove in two and walked once. The catcher opened the week by going 4-for-6 in Oregon State's 19-9 win at Washington State. He scored twice and drove in three runs to go along with two doubles in the win.

STANFORD (29-18-2, 11-7): STANFORD took on rival California and were able to salvaged a potential sweep by winning Sunday's match up. Junior first baseman Brent Milleville hit his second career grand slam in the fifth inning to give the Cardinal a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Sophomore Jeffrey Inman went 6 2/3 strong innings for the Cardinal and only allowed three earned runs. In the series opener on Friday, No. 6 Stanford gave the crowd a thriller, but its comeback in the ninth inning fell short when Charlie Cutler drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th inning. Milleville hit his sixth home run of the season for the Cardinal and Randy Molina finished 2-for-4 on the evening with an RBI. On Saturday, Stanford dropped its second game in a row, 5-2. Jeff Whitlow led the Cardinal, going 2-for-2 and threw out Jeff Kobernus at home to end the seventh inning.

UCLA (25-23, 8-10): UCLA remains in the hunt for a third consecutive postseason berth, needing to win at least both remaining Pac-10 series. With just two non-conference games to play, the Bruins take to the freeway for a Tuesday evening contest at No. 12 UC Irvine. Senior Alden Carrithers has emerged as a legitimate All-America candidate, having registered a .379 batting average in 47 games. Carrithers leads UCLA in numerous offensive categories, including on-base percentage (.468), hits (69) and stolen bases (17). Carrithers has tallied hit streaks of 11 and 10 games this season. Carrithers' .379 batting average is the fifth-highest mark in the Pac-10. He is also among league leaders in hits (fourth), on-base percentage (sixth) and stolen bases (third).

USC (23-26, 7-11): The USC baseball team travels to UC Riverside for a non-conference game on Wednesday, May 14 at 5 p.m. before playing its final three home games of the season against two-time defending national champion Oregon State, Friday-Sunday, May 16-18. Junior left-hander Tommy Milone is putting together a strong season for the Trojans. He is 5-5 this season with a 3.01 ERA (80 2/3 IP, 75 H, 27 ER, 18 BB, 83 SO, .244 OBA). He has yet to allow a home run this season. Sophomore shortstop Grant Green earned Rivals.com and Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors last year. This season, he is batting .386 (68-for-176) with 14 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 10 stolen bases and 42 RBI. He recorded a career-high 19-game hitting streak which was snapped on May 3.

WASHINGTON (27-22, 6-12): WASHINGTON's Nick Haughian went the distance in Sunday's 5-1 win over Washington State. In his nine innings, he allowed just four hits (all singles) and one run. He walked just three and struck out 11. Haughian now has 99 strikeouts, one short of becoming only the fourth different Husky ever to strike out 100 batters or more in a season. To earn his second consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week award, Kyle Conley notched four homers and nine RBI last week.

WASHINGTON STATE (27-22, 6-12): WASHINGTON STATE's Jayson Miller came within a strike of giving Washington State its first shutout of Washington in Seattle since 1989 during a 5-1, complete game victory, May 10. Miller tied his career high with nine strikeouts in raising his record to 7-1, the most wins by a Cougar pitcher since 2005. Miller lowered his ERA to 4.30 and increased his team-leading strikeout total to 66.

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