Pac-12 baseball on TV viewer guide: April 24-28
This is rivalry week in Pac-12 baseball, and that means that it's the busiest weekend of the year for conference baseball on television. Between the Pac-12 Networks' national and regional channels plus ESPNU, all the conference's action on the diamond is blanketed in HD. Here is a rundown of what you can expect to see on the Pac-12 Networks and ESPNU this weekend:
This hasn't been the case all too often recently, but the Santa Monica Freeway rivalry in Los Angeles has significant implications in the standings this year. Defending national champion UCLA (9-6) is hanging around the top of the Pac-12 race. Since they're two losses behind league leader Washington, the Bruins cannot afford to drop this set. However, neither can the Trojans. USC has improved this year and they're at a 9-9 crossroads, which is good for sixth place. This is a chance for Troy to leap into the upper half of the conference standings, a place they haven't been too often recently.
[Related: Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder]
The Huskies continue to surge in the first year of their beautiful new ballpark. They're now trying to hold onto first place in the Pac-12 (14-4). Washington has added excellent offense (they lead the conference in several key offensive categories) to pitching and defense that was already solid this year. That means the 7-8 Cougars will likely have their hands full in their first visit to Seattle's new lakefront gem.
The baseball version of the Civil War is a match-up of Top 3 Pac-12 heavyweights. The Beavers (11-4) are right on Washington's tail in the conference standings, while the Ducks (10-5) are just one game behind them. In years past, Oregon State has held the advantage on paper entering this matchup because they've been better than their rivals offensively. This season though, the Quack Attack has awoken with the bats: They're near the top of the Pac-12 in many categories, including doubles.
[Related: Pac-12 baseball standings]
It's been a rough year for Arizona (6-12), but Arizona State still has a legitimate shot to do cause havoc in the Pac-12 standings. They're sitting in fifth place. A series win (or sweep) here would solidify the Sun Devils' spot in the top half of the conference, but Hi Corbett Field is a notoriously difficult place for visitors to play.
The Bears (5-10) and the Cardinal (6-9) are both in the midst of down seasons, but Stanford is showing some signs of life as of late. They took two of three from Arizona State this weekend and their young pitching staff is improving as the season progresses. And before you dismiss this series as being solely about bragging rights, keep in mind that – despite their record – the Cardinal RPI ranking still sits at a lofty 28.