This week in Pac-12 Baseball

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WEEKLY RECAP: No.5 Oregon State played a three-game series against UC Davis, going 3-0 after the second game of the series was postponed due to weather, ending in a double-header on Saturday. No. 6 Arizona played three games at the Frisco Classic in Frisco, Texas, beating Arkansas and Oklahoma State, but falling short to Nebraska. No. 12 Stanford played a three-game series against Texas at home, going 3-0 for the week. Arizona State played a three-game series against LMU at home and hosted Cal State Fullerton, ending the week 1-3. California played a four-game series against Gonzaga (2-2). Oregon played a three-game series against Mississippi and a game against UC Davis at home, winning three of four games. UCLA went 2-0 at the Dodgertown Classic, while USC went 1-2. Utah played a three-game series at UTSA (2-1). Washington played a four-game series at Sacramento State (4-0) and Washington State won a three-game series against Stephen F. Austin at home.

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: Arizona State will kick off Pac-12 play this week, hosting a single game against No. 17 ranked Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday. The No. 4 ranked Oregon State will play host to Ball State for a three game series beginning on Thursday. Washington State (versus Utah Valley), Oregon (versus Santa Clara), New Mexico (versus Utah), Arizona (versus Hartford), Arizona State (versus Long Beach), USC (versus Holy Cross), and Washington (versus Indiana State) all have upcoming weekend home stands. Stanford (at Rice), Cal. (at Pepperdine), and UCLA (at Texas) all hit the road for away weekend series’. In Tuesday action, USC will play a single game at Loyola Marymount, while UCLA (versus UC Irvine), and Cal. (versus Minnesota) will play at home.

IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, three Pac-12 teams are ranked. Oregon State leads the way at No. 4, followed by Arizona at No. 6,  and Stanford is ranked No. 14.

ALL AMERICANS: The Pac-12 had eight different student-athletes from four different Pac-12 teams featured on Baseball America, NCBWA, and Collegiate Baseball preseason All-America teams.

GOLDEN SPIKES: The USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List features 50 amateurs, seven of which are student-athletes from four different Pac-12 teams. With seven, the Pac-12 has the third-most representatives among all conferences. Stanford leads the way for most representatives by one team, with three Cardinal student-athletes featured, tying Florida and TCU. 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 nine student-athletes from nine different universities on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, the most among all conferences. 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 13th straight year in 2017. 

DRAFT: Every Pac-12 school had at least one student-athlete drafted in the 2016 MLB Draft: Arizona (6), Arizona State (5), California (7), Oregon (5), Oregon State (5), Stanford (4), UCLA (12), Utah (1), Washington (3) and Washington State (3). ASU leads all NCAA schools with 414 total MLB draft picks, and at least one Sun Devil has been drafted every year since the draft’s inception in 1965.

FAMILIAR FACES IN THE DUGOUT: After welcoming three new coaches last season, all 11 coaches return for the 2017 season. Second year Arizona head coach Jay Johnson looks to match or beat his performance last season. The Wildcats made it all the way to Game 3 of the NCAA College World Series before falling to Coastal Carolina. Three other Pac-12 teams also made it to the postseason- Arizona State, Utah, and Washington.

One of the premier coaches in college baseball history and a man whose name is synonymous with the Stanford baseball program, head coach Mark Marquess enters his 41st and final season with the Stanford Cardinal. Under his tutelage, Stanford has captured two NCAA titles, advanced to the CWS 14 times, appeared in the NCAA Regionals 29 and won at least a share of nine Pac-12 titles. A member of the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Marquess opens the 2017 season as the second-winningest active coach in the nation with a career record of 1,585-862-7 (.647). Coach Marquess and the Cardinal look to end a legendary union with a bang.

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