Baseball finishes off 2015 season: Year in Review
UCLA won its third regular-season title in five years and were the No. 1 overall seed at the 64-team NCAA Regional field. Oregon State, USC, California, Arizona State and Oregon each earned an at-large bid as well into the NCAA field. The Trojans, Bruins and Bears each reached the NCAA Regional finals. Oregon was the last one into the NCAA’s after winning five-straight weekend series to close out the year. UCLA had won every weekend series until the final one, against Oregon. Stanford posted its first losing record since 1993.
NATIONAL POLLS: UCLA was ranked No. 7 by Baseball America in its final poll, one of three Pac-12 teams in the Durham publication’s top-25, joining No. 20 USC and No. 22 California. Collegiate Baseball featured four in its final top-30, UCLA (No. 17), OSU (No. 18), Cal (No. 23) and USC (No. 24). Eight teams at one point or another were ranked in the top-25 this year.
CONFERENCE HONORS: ARIZONA Scott Kingery, the first two-time Conference batting champion (.392) since Brett Wallace in 2007-08, was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. UCLA closer David Berg was the Pitcher of the Year while his coach John Savage was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. RBI champion KJ Harrison from OREGON STATE was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, while USC catcher Garrett Stubbs was the Defensive Player of the Year. ARIZONA’s Kevin Newman, and ASU’s Ryan Kellogg were both three-time first team picks, Berg was named to the first team all four seasons. WASHINGTON starter Tyler Davis was named baseball’s Scholar Athlete of the Year.
ALL-AMERICANS: UCLA closer David Berg was named a first team All-American in four of five publications while Scott Kingery was a first teamer on three teams. Berg, Kingery and ARIZONA shortstop Kevin Newman were all named on all five teams.
NATIONAL HONORS: David Berg was named the NCBWA Stopper of the Year for the second-straight year, setting the NCAA record for appearances (175) and leading the Pac-12 in ERA (0.68). USC catcher Garrett Stubbs was named the Johnny Bench Award winner for the nation’s top catcher and along with OREGON third baseman Mitchell Tolman were both named to the nine-man ABCA Gold Glove team.
DRAFT: During this year’s draft, the Pac-12 saw 53 players drafted headlined by first-round picks UCLA starter James Kaprielian (16th overall) and ARIZONA second baseman Scott Kingery (19th). Twenty-four players were drafted over the first 10 rounds. The Pac-12 also saw a first round pick for the 19th-straight year (1997-2015).
COACHING CHANGES: Arizona Coach Andy Lopez, after 33 years, announced his retirement on Memorial Day. He led the Wildcats for the past 14 years, including two CWS appearances and the 2012 national title. A three-time National Coach of the Year, Lopez also led Pepperdine to the 1992 title. He finished with a career record of 1177-742-7 (.613). Arizona hired Nevada Head Coach Jay Johnson to replace Lopez. WSU’s Donnie Marbut was not retained after 11 years and a 314-304 record he was replaced by long-time Oregon State assistant and former Oklahoma State assistant Marty Lees in his first head coaching assignment.