Four Pac-12 Baseball Teams Ranked in USA Today Coaches’ Poll
SAN FRANCISCO — Four Pac-12 baseball teams have been ranked in the USA Today Baseball Coaches’ Poll, USA Today announced last night. UCLA, OREGON, ARIZONA STATE and STANFORD all cracked the top 25 at No. 9, No. 16, No. 21 and No. 22, respectively. OREGON STATE topped the list of other schools receiving votes, just outside of the Top 25.
UCLA, No. 9 in the poll, returns 19 players who were members of the 2013 National Championship team, including six starting position players and all four starting pitchers from last season. On the mound, UCLA will be led by pre-season All-Americans David Berg and James Kaprielian.
Oregon, ranked No. 16 in the poll, is one of eight teams in the nation to win at least 40 games each of the last three seasons. The Ducks will be led by preseason All-American infielder Mitchell Tolman and school single-season home run record-holder Shaun Chase.
Arizona State, which led the Conference in team hitting last season, comes in at No. 21 in the poll. The Sun Devils are led by a new head coach this season, Tracy Smith, who earned National Coach of the Year honors after he led Indiana to the school’s only College World Series appearance in 2013.
Stanford, No. 22 in the poll, returns after advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals last year, falling to eventual national champion Vanderbilt. The Cardinal brings back last year’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and preseason All-American pitcher Cal Quantrill.
Oregon State won its second-consecutive Pac-12 Championship last year after going 23-7 in league play. After making a school-record sixth-straight NCAA postseason appearance last year, the Beavers will look to make it seven-straight this season.
With 28 College World Series national titles including two of the last three and four of the last nine, the Pac-12 looks to continue its dominance in the ranks of collegiate baseball in 2015. The Conference boasts some of the winningest coaches in college baseball history as the Pac-12 head coaches have combined for over 6,000 Division I wins, eight national champions and 34 College World Series appearances. Pac-12 baseball has enjoyed unprecedented exposure thanks to the creation of Pac-12 Networks and in just the third year of existence the Networks is set to air 109 games in 2015. Above all the Pac-12 Networks has provided the opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent Pac-12 Baseball has to offer and allowed the student-athletes to get the national and widespread exposure and attention they deserve.