Nationally ranked Pac-12 baseball matchups highlight schedule

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WEEKLY RECAP: The nation-leading Oregon State Beavers have gone undefeated in league play for the second-straight week, taking down No. 11 Arizona in a three-game series. UCLA also went 3-0 against Arizona State. Oregon (vs. Washington), USC (vs. Arizona State), and No. 14 Stanford (vs. Utah) finished the second weekend of league play 2-1. Washington State played a four-game series against CSUN, winning three of four games. Arizona State, Oregon, No. 1 Oregon State, No. 14 Stanford, UCLA, and USC won games against non-conference opponents on Tuesday, the only loss of the night was BYU beating Utah. The most notable win came from unranked UCLA beating No. 15 Cal State Fullerton. 

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: No. 11 Arizona hosts Grand Canyon on Wednesday. Oregon plays at Utah to open Conference play for the week on Thursday. The teams meet for a three-game series before Oregon travels to BYU Monday. UCLA heads to Arizona State for a three-game series, but then travels back to Southern California to face San Diego State on Tuesday. USC travels to No. 11 Arizona, No. 1 Oregon State travels to No. 14 Stanford, and Washington State travels to California to round out the three-game series’ of Conference play for the weekend. Washington hosts Baylor for a three-game series. Washington State travels to Pacific for a game Monday. Arizona State plays at No. 11 Arizona and California plays at No. 14 Stanford for the two rivalry games of the week on Tuesday. No. 1 Oregon State travels to Portland and Washington hosts Seattle to finish out the Tuesday games.

NUMBERS GAME: No.1 Oregon State currently leads the nation in earned run average (1.55), hits allowed per nine innings (5.68), WHIP (.900), and WL percentage (.955). The Beavers are also tied for second in shutouts with Oregon (6) and are seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.51). Oregon is second in the category (4.29). Oregon is fifth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.25) and Oregon State is sixth (2.41). No. 11 Arizona is third in batting average (.334), ninth in doubles (63), second in doubles per game (2.74), third in on base percentage (.427), sixth in runs (217), first in scoring (9.4), fourth in triples (13), and sixth in triples per game (.570). Stanford is sixth in fielding percentage (.983) and USC closely follows in 10th (.982). UCLA is third in sacrifice flies (18).

INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL STATS LEADERS: Arizona’s JJ Matjevic in second in the nation in doubles (14) with his teammate Jared Oliva closely following in 12th (12). Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich is third in earned run average (.420). UCLA’s Griffing Canning and Arizona’s Rio Gomez are tied for third in games started (7). UCLA’s Justin Hooper is seventh in hit batters (8). Oregon State’s Jake Thompson is seventh in hits allowed per nine innings (4.50). Arizona’s Alfonso Rivas is eighth in on base percentage (.537). UCLA’s Sean Bouchard is first in sacrifice flies (7). Oregon’s Kenyon Yovan is second in saves (9). Oregon’s David Peterson is fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (13.75). Oregon State’s Nick Madrigal is first in toughest to strike out (43.0). Arizona State’s Gage Canning and Oregon State’s Cadyn Grenier are tied for seventh in triples (4). Arizona’s JC Cloney, Washington’s Alex Hardy, Oregon State’s Jake Thompson, and Oregon’s David Peterson are all tied for second in victories (5). Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich is third in WHIP (.700).

IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, three teams are ranked. Oregon State leads the way at No. 1, Arizona is No. 11, and Stanford is No. 14. The NCBWA also has three teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 11, and Stanford is No. 17. Baseball America has three teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 13, and Stanford is No. 15. Collegiate Baseball has four teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 16, Stanford is No. 19, and Oregon is No. 24. This is the first week Oregon State is No. 1 in all four national rankings. Oregon State, Arizona, and Stanford have all appeared in every weekly ranking since the preseason polls.

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 (7), Arizona State (5), California (7), Oregon (5), Oregon State (5), Stanford (4), UCLA (5), USC (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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