Pac-10 Baseball Coaches Pick Oregon State to Capture Conference Crown

Jan. 18, 2006

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Defending Conference champion OREGON STATE has been chosen as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 baseball title, according to a vote of the league's coaches.

The Beavers received seven of nine first-place votes, earning 62 points overall. Second-place USC received one first place vote and 51 points overall, while STANFORD and ARIZONA STATE tied for third with 46 points. The Cardinal, who were chosen as the favorite to win the 2005 Pac-10 baseball title, collected the remaining first-place nod in this year's poll.

Oregon State, ranked third in Collegiate Baseball's preseason Top-25 and eighth in Baseball America's preseason Top-40, finished last season with a league-best 46-12 record, including a 19-5 mark in Conference play. The Beavers earned their first Pac-10 title in a unified Conference, since winning the 1952 league championship series. Oregon State traveled to the College World Series for only the second time in school history, and its first appearance in 53 years. OSU lost two close ball games in Omaha, falling to top-seeded Tulane 3-1, and losing to No. 4 Baylor in 10 innings (4-3). The Beavers were picked to finish sixth in last year's preseason poll.

Arizona State finished third in the 2005 College World Series, making its 19th trip to Omaha. ASU ended the season just shy of the CWS championship series, as the Sun Devils fell to Florida in an elimination game for both teams, 6-3. ASU and OSU were joined in postseason play by Arizona, Stanford and USC, making it the second straight year and fourth time overall that five Pac-10 teams have made the NCAA Tournament. The Pacific-10 Conference has produced a College World Series participant each year since 1996 and has made the CWS 24 times overall since the league became known as the Pac-10 in 1979.

The 2006 baseball season gets underway Fri., Jan. 27, when Arizona State hosts non-conference foe, Cal State Northridge. The Conference season begins on Fri., Mar. 17, when USC hosts Oregon State in a three game series.

Results of the poll are as follows. Eight points are awarded for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

1. Oregon State (7) 62
2. USC (1) 51
3. Stanford (1) 46
Arizona State 46
5. Arizona 36
California 36
7. Washington 22
8. UCLA 17
9. Washington State 8
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