This Week In Pac-12 Baseball

Stanford Athletics

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WEEKLY RECAP: In the latest NCBWA poll, five Pac-12 teams are represented, including two in the top 10. No. 4 Oregon State, who swept (two games each) Kansas and Kansas State last week, is riding a six-game winning streak. No. 8 Oregon took three of four from Illinois State in Eugene. California swept Purdue while UCLA took two of three from Cal Poly. USC won two of three games against Wake Forest and Arizona won two games at the Tony Gwynn Classic. STANFORD won two games of four at Texas last weekend, including a 1-0 pitching dual that went 12 innings.

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: The premier matchup of the week takes place on The Farm when Stanford welcomes No. 2 Vanderbilt for a three-game series. Saturday and Sunday’s 1 p.m. games kick off the Pac-12 Network’s coverage of Conference baseball. Arizona opens up its home slate with a mid-week game against No. 22 Cal State Fullerton before they host the Wildcat Classic. California heads to Texas for a three-game series in Austin. Oregon State heads to San Diego for two games against the Toreros with a game in between against William and Mary. No. 20 UCLA and No. 30 USC will both compete in the Dodger Classic against Oklahoma and No. 19 Mississippi State and then against each other in a non-conference matchup. Utah heads to Houston Baptist for a three-game series. Arizona State (versus Eastern Michigan), Oregon (versus UC Santa Barbara) and Washington State (versus Utah Valley) will all host three-game series.

NUMBERS GAME: Oregon State is 21st in the country in hits through eight games with 93 and the 25th-best batting average at .333 ... Washington is third in the country in doubles per game with 3.71 and California is seventh with 3.13 ... Oregon (7 games), Oregon State (8 games) and UCLA (8 games) are tied for sixth in the country with five triples on the year ... Arizona is tied for 11th in the country in sacrifice bunts with 10 on the year while USC is tied for 14th with nine ... The league has three teams in the top 25 nationally for ERA with Stanford at No. 22 (2.20), Oregon at No. 23 (2.29) and Arizona State sitting at No. 26 (2.44) ... The Cardinal have the fourth-best fielding percentage in the country at 0.991 while Arizona is ninth at 0.988 ... Stanford has the second-best WHIP rating in the country at 0.87 and Oregon is 21st at 1.06 (WHIP is calculated by adding the number of walks and hits allowed and dividing this sum by the number of innings pitched).

STARS DELIVERING: Preseason All-American Colby Woodmansee of Arizona State is tied for fourth in the country with six doubles through eight games. Woodmansee also leads the league in runs batted in with 12. A fellow preseason All-American is tied with Woodmansee in KJ Harrison of Oregon State with six doubles through eight games. Oregon All-American LHP Cole Irvin is fifth in the country with 21 strikeouts and has only walked one batter in 14.0 innings of work.

IN THE RANKINGS: In the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll has five Pac-12 teams ranked. Oregon State leads the way at No. 8, followed by UCLA at No. 9, California at the No. 12 spot, Oregon is No. 15 and USC is tied for No. 20. Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the latest NCBWA Top 30 as well, with Oregon State at No. 4, Oregon sitting at No. 8, California holds the No. 13 spot, UCLA is No. 20 and USC is 30th.

STAR POWER: The Pac-12 had 10 different student-athletes from nine schools garner preseason All-America honors. Oregon and Stanford each two different players honored to lead the way while the rest of the teams just had one honoree.

GOLDEN SPIKES: The USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List features 50 amateurs, six of which are student-athletes from six different Pac-12 teams. With six, the Pac-12 has the third-most representatives among all conferences. Now in its 39th year recognizing the top amateur baseball player in the country, seven former Pac-12 baseball players have won the award, most recently pitcher Trevor Bauer of UCLA in 2011. 

STOPPER OF THE YEAR: The Pac-12 has eight student-athletes on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, tied for the second-most among all conferences. Washington is the only lone Pac-12 team with more than one student-athlete on the list. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association will be presenting the Stopper of the Year Award to the top relief pitcher in Division I baseball for the 12th straight year in 2016. UCLA’s David Berg won the honor two of the last three years.

DRAFT: The league is coming off a 2015 season that saw six teams earn berths to the NCAA Tournament and saw 53 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Arizona State led the way with nine draftees while UCLA and USC each had 8. Twenty-four players were selected in the first 10 rounds and 29 were selected on the final day. Since 1997, the Pac-12 has had at least one player drafted in the first round each season. During that time, the league has garnered 62 first-round picks.

NEW FACES IN THE DUGOUT: On June 8, 2015, Jay Johnson was named head coach at Arizona. In his second and final year at Nevada, Johnson was named the 2015 Mountain West Coach of the Year. He led the team to its first-ever Mountain West Conference championship. They tallied 41 wins on the year, second-most in program history. Johnson replaced Andy Lopez, who retired at the end of the 2015 season after 14 years at the helm. The three-time National Coach of the Year led the Wildcats to two College World Series Appearances and won the title in 2012.

Washington State’s Marty Lees became the 15th head coach in program history. Lees spent the last three seasons as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State and the previous 11 at Oregon State. Lees thrived as Oklahoma State’s recruiting coordinator. The Cowboys’ first class with Lees on board was ranked No. 4 nationally by Baseball America and No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball, and followed that with a 2014 class that was ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball for the second-consecutive year.

Pac-12 Players of the Week

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Alfonso Rivas III, Fr., OF, Arizona

Rivas went 9-15 with seven RBI at the Tony Gwynn Classic, including a 5-6, four RBI effort in a win against Nebraska on Saturday. He posted a batting average of .600 for the weekend and a slugging percentage of .867.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK - Colton Hock, So., RHP, Stanford

Hock played a key role in Stanford knocking off No.23 Texas, 1-0, in a 12-inning road shut out on Thursday. The extra-inning pitchers dual was highlighted by Hock, who pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief and struck out a career-high eight batters. He allowed just three hits, walked three batters and recorded an opponent’s batting average of .158.

Date Player Pitcher
February 23 Nick Madrigal, OSU Tristan Beck, STAN
March 1 Alfonso Rivas III, ARIZ Colton Hock, STAN

National Honors

Baseball America Preseason All-Americans 
First Team

KJ Harrison, OSU, 1B
Bobby Dalbec, ARIZ, 3B/RHP

Second Team
Daulton Jefferies, CAL, RHP

Third Team
Tommy Edman, STAN, 2B
Colby Woodmansee, ASU, SS
Cal Quantrill, STAN, RHP

NCBWA Preseason All-Americans
First Team

Bobby Dalbec, ARIZ, 3B/SP

Second Team
KJ Harrison, OSU, 1B
Stephen Nogosek, ORE, RP

Third Team
Daulton Jefferies, CAL, SP
Griffin Canning, UCLA, SP
Matt Krook, ORE, SP

Louisville Slugger Preseason All-Americans
Second Team

Daulton Jefferies, CAL, RHP
Ian Hamilton, WSU, RHP
KJ Harrison, OSU, 1B
Bobby Dalbec, ARIZ, 3B
Colby Woodmansee, ASU, SS

Third Team
Matt Krook, ORE, LHP
Cal Quantrill, STAN, RHP

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
Tucker Forbes, UCLA
Ian Hamilton, WSU
Mitch Hickey, OSU
Marc Huberman, USC
Spencer Jones, WASH
Erik Martinez, CAL
Stephen Nogosek, ORE
Troy Rallings, WASH

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Watch List
Bobby Dalbec, ARIZ
KJ Harrison, OSU
Daulton Jefferies, CAL
Matt Krook, ORE
Cal Quantrill, STAN
Colby Woodmansee, ASU

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