National leaders top Pac-12 Baseball standings

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WEEKLY RECAP: Oregon State leads the nation for the second-straight week with a 20 game winning-streak. The Beavers met with then-No. 14 Stanford for the top-15 matchup of the week and won all three games of the series. They also played Portland on Tuesday and beat them 4-3. No. 8 Arizona had an excellent week going 5-0, playing one game against Grand Canyon, three against USC, and one against Arizona State. USC played Long Beach State on Tuesday, but fell short (6-0). Washington went 2-2 on the week, going 2-1 against Baylor and losing to Seattle U. Oregon also went 2-2, going 1-2 against Utah and beating BYU. Arizona State and UCLA met for a three-game series with UCLA winning two of three games. UCLA played San Diego State on Tuesday, but fell short (5-4). California and Washington State met for a three-game series with California ending 3-0 for the series. Washington State turned around and played Pacific on Monday and California played then-No. 14 Stanford, but they both ending up losing their games.

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: No. 23 Stanford and USC play Thursday to open Pac-12 play for the week and to start their three game series. Arizona State plays at California, No. 8 Arizona plays at Washington State, Utah plays at No. 1 Oregon State, and Washington plays at UCLA to round out the Conference matchups. Oregon is playing a three game series at home against UC Irvine. After facing UCLA, Washington travels to Loyola Marymount on Monday.  On Tuesday, California plays St. Mary’s (Calif.), Oregon State hosts Gonzaga, Oregon hosts Portland, Arizona State hosts UNLV, Stanford plays at San Jose State, and Arizona plays at Grand Canyon.

NUMBERS GAME: No.1 Oregon State currently leads the nation in earned run average (1.73), hits allowed per nine innings (5.88), shutouts (7), WHIP (.91), and WL percentage (.962). The Beavers are also fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.64) and sixth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.35). No. 8 Arizona is fourth in batting average (0.328), eighth in doubles (70), seventh in doubles per game (2.50), third in on base percentage (0.425), fifth in runs (253), and first in scoring (9.0). California is fifth in doubles per game (1.15). Washington is sixth (0.983) and USC is seventh (0.983) in fielding percentage. Washington State is eighth in hit batters (40). UCLA is first in sacrifice flies (22). Oregon is fourth in shutouts (7), second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.09), and third in walks allowed per nine innings (2.27). 

INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL STATS LEADERS: Arizona’s JJ Matjevic is second in the nation in doubles (17) and second in doubles per game (0.61). Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich is fifth in ERA (0.52), fifth in hits allowed per nine innings (4.50), and fourth in WHIP (0.69). UCLA’s Justin Hooper is eighth in hit batters (9). Arizona’s Alfonso Rivas is eighth in on base percentage (0.530). UCLA’s Scott Burke is third in pitching appearances (19). UCLA’s Sean Bouchard is first in sacrifice flies (7). Oregon’s Kenyon Yovan is third in saves (10). Oregon’s David Peterson is third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (16.50) and eighth in strikeouts (66). Oregon State’s Nick Madrigal is fourth in toughest to strike out (26.0). Arizona’s JC Cloney, Oregon State’s Jake Thompson, and Oregon’s David Peterson are tied for first in victories (6). 

IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, three teams are ranked. Oregon State leads the way at No. 1 for the second-straight week, Arizona jumps up three places to No. 8, and Stanford fell to No. 23. The NCBWA also has three teams ranked: Oregon State is again No. 1, Arizona jumps to No. 8, and Stanford fell to No. 23. Baseball America has three teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 10, and Stanford is No. 20. Collegiate Baseball has three teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 13, and Oregon is No. 28. This is the second-straight week Oregon State is No. 1 in all four national rankings. Oregon State and Arizona have 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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