This week in Pac-12 baseball
By the Pac-12 Conference
A pair of Pac-12 teams has reached the College World Series for the second straight year, as Oregon State and UCLA have punched their tickets to Omaha. As the season draws to a close, the Beavers and Bruins are among eight squads still standing. OSU was tested in the Corvallis Super Regional by Big 12 Champion Kansas State, who took the opening game, 6-2, after erupting for five runs over the final two innings. But Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Andrew Moore and the resilient Beavers bounced back with a 12-4 victory on Sunday, and outlasted the Wildcats in the rubber match on Monday to earn their first College World Series berth since 2007. Up first for the Pac-12 champs is Mississippi State, which has won nine of its last 11 games and is coming off a sweep of sixth-seeded Virginia. UCLA advanced by way of a road sweep of Cal State Fullerton, who had topped the Bruins in both of their regular season meetings. Nick Vander Tuig and Adam Plutko powered UCLA to its second undefeated weekend of the postseason with dominant performances on the mound, and the Bruins relied on timely hitting to upend the tournament's fifth-seeded team and advance to the College World Series for the third time in four years. The Bruins open the CWS against second-seeded LSU, which has also been perfect this postseason (5-0). The Pac-12 lays claim to 27 national baseball titles, 17 more than its closest competitor (SEC, 10).
2013 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
TD Ameritrade Park Omaha - Omaha, Neb.
Saturday, June 15
Game 1 - Mississippi State vs. No. 3 Oregon State, 2 p.m. CT (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Sunday, June 16
Game 4 - UCLA vs. No. 4 LSU, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Monday, June 17
Game 5 - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. CT (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Game 6 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Tuesday, June 18
Game 7 - Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 8 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Wednesday, June 19
Game 9 - Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Thursday, June 20
Game 10 - Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Friday, June 21
Game 11 - Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 6, 2 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 12 - Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 8, 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Saturday, June 22
Game 13* - Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 11 (if first loss), 2 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3) or 8 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 14* - Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12 (if first loss), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3)
*Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins Game 11. If it is the only game scheduled for that day, the game will start at 7:30 p.m. CT. Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12.
Bracket One winner vs. Bracket Two winner - Best of three
Game 1 - Monday, June 24; 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 2 - Tuesday, June 25; 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 3 (if necessary) - Wednesday, June 26; 7 p.m. CT (ESPN/ESPN3)
PAC-12 BASEBALL NOTES
• UCLA and Oregon State will represent the Pac-12 in Omaha as the College World Series kicks off this weekend. The ACC and the SEC also have two representatives in the field, and Louisville (Big East) and Indiana (Big 10) round out the group. The Pac-12 has two teams in the CWS for the third time in the last four seasons (2012-Arizona and UCLA; 2010-Arizona State and UCLA).
•The Conference has been represented in each of the last 17 College World Series. Since 1996, at least one Conference squad has made the trip to Omaha every year.
•The Pac-12 has produced at least three 40-win teams in five of the last seven seasons. Oregon State (50) has reached the plateau four times during that stretch, while UCLA (44) has accomplished the feat three times. Oregon (48) has won at least 40 games three times since the program was reinstated in 2009.
• UCLA is making its second straight appearance in the College World Series and its third in the last four years. The Bruins, who tied for fifth in 2012, were the NCAA runners-up in 2010. The Beavers are returning to Omaha for the first time since 2007. They won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007.
•UCLA Head Coach John Savage, who earned postseason victory No. 27 on Saturday, overtook legendary Gary Adams (1974-2004) to sit atop UCLA's all-time postseason wins list. An eight-time NCAA Championship participant, Savage is one of just 10 Pac-12 coaches all-time to guide their teams to consecutive College World Series. Among them is OSU head coach Pat Casey, who led the Beavers to three straight CWS appearances from 2005-07.
•Oregon State is making its fifth trip to the College World Series and its fourth since 2005. All three of OSU's regular weekend starters carry sub-2.15 ERAs. Andrew Moore (1.36), Ben Wetzler (2.11) and Matt Boyd (2.13) rank among the top five in the league in ERA. The trio carries 33-5 record and has combined for 257 strikeouts and just 86 walks. Moore, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, is the only Conference hurler with 14 wins this season (tied for the national lead). He has tossed three complete-game shutouts, the most by an OSU pitcher in a single season in more than a decade.
•UCLA, which reached its fifth College World Series, has earned consecutive CWS berths for the first time in program history. Sophomore closer David Berg notched his 22nd career save in a 3-0 shutout of Cal State Fullerton on Saturday to become the Bruins' all-time leader in saves. His 21 saves this year stand as a UCLA single-season record. The shutout was UCLA's school record-setting second of the postseason. Berg, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, owns a 0.81 ERA (2nd in the NCAA). He pitched an NCAA-high 37.0 consecutive scoreless innings over 24 appearances in the second half of the season.
•Nine Pac-12 freshmen made the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team:
Arizona's Kevin Newman, Arizona State's Ryan Kellogg, Ryan Burr and RJ Ybarra, Oregon's Cole Irvin and Garrett Cleavinger, Oregon State's Andrew Moore and UCLA's James Kaprielian. Moore, Burr, Kellogg, Cleavinger and Irvin were also named to the NCBWA Division I Freshmen All-America team. The Pac-12's five NCBWA All-Americans were the most of any conference.
•Oregon State and UCLA figure prominently in a number of Pac-12 and national defensive statistical rankings. OSU leads the Pac-12 and ranks second in the nation with a 2.27 team ERA, and Beaver pitchers boast a Conference-best .209 opposing batting average. UCLA, which ranks second in the Pac-12 and ninth in the nation with a 2.69 ERA, also ranks second in the league with 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings. Oregon State, which averages 6.9 K's per nine, ranks third in the Conference. The Beavers lead the Pac-12 and rank third in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (6.88), while the Bruins rank second in the league and 12th in the NCAA (7.35). UCLA has issued 2.49 walks per nine innings, a figure that ranks 12th in the nation. Meanwhile, OSU averages 2.72 walks per nine to rank 21st nationally. UCLA's fielding .980 team fielding percentage ranks second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation. OSU (1.07) and UCLA (1.09) rank third and fourth in the NCAA in WHIP, respectively.
•Fifty-two Pac-12 baseball players were selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, and all 11 Conference schools had a player chosen. Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA each had seven players taken in the draft, while Oregon and Arizona each had six selected. Washington State had four players chosen, Washington had three, California and USC each had two and Utah had one player drafted. Stanford's Mark Appel became the sixth Pac-12 player to be taken first overall. A complete list can be found on page eight of this release.