This Week in Pac-10 Baseball
April 8, 2008
In a conference where as many as seven of the nine Pac-10 teams have been or are currently ranked prove that every match up is a battle. This past weekend, ARIZONA STATE who had been ranked No. 1 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls for the past three weeks took on No. 13 STANFORD winning only the series opener and dropping the last two games to the Cardinal. Crosstown rivals USC and then-ranked No. 23 UCLA battled it out at Jackie Robinson Stadium with the Trojans upsetting the Bruins winning two of three. The same story goes for the match up against then-ranked No. 18 ARIZONA and WASHINGTON. The Huskies were able to take two of three games from the Wildcats who were ranked as high as No. 1 in the polls earlier in the year. Although the two-time defending national champs OREGON STATE were not able to upset previously ranked No. 7 CALIFORNIA, they were able to take a game from them as the Golden Bears fell to the Beavers 9-2 in Sunday's game. With a new week underway and the upsets causing a stir in this week's poll, Pac-10 baseball proves again that in such a talented pool of athletes anything can happen. This week, three of nine teams are listed in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. Here is where they are ranked: Arizona State (2), California (5) and Stanford (10).
Tue., April 8ARIZONA at San Diego State, 6 p.m.UCLA vs. No. 7 UC Irvine, 6 p.m.USC vs. No. 16 Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m.WASHINGTON vs. Portland, 5 p.m.WASHINGTON STATE at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.
Wed., April 9ARIZONA at San Diego State, 1 p.m.CALIFORNIA vs. Santa Clara, 2:30 p.m.STANFORD vs. UC Davis, 6 p.m.
Thu., April 10WASHINGTON vs. BYU, 6:30 p.m.
Fri., April 11ARIZONA vs. Indiana State, 7 p.m.ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE*, 5:30 p.m.CALIFORNIA at USC*, 7 p.m.STANFORD at OREGON STATE*, 5 p.m.UCLA vs. UC Riverside, 6 p.m.WASHINGTON vs. BYU, 6:30 p.m.
Sat., April 12ARIZONA vs. Indiana State, 6 p.m.ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE*, 2 p.m.CALIFORNIA at USC*, 1:30 p.m.UCLA vs. UC Riverside, 2 p.m.STANFORD at OREGON STATE*, 1 p.m. XM Ch. 193WASHINGTON vs. BYU, 1 p.m.
Sun., April 13ARIZONA vs. Indiana State, 12 p.m.ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE*, 12 p.m.CALIFORNIA at USC*, 1 p.m.STANFORD at OREGON STATE*, 1 p.m.UCLA vs. UC Riverside, 1 p.m.
Mon., April 14STANFORD vs. Santa Clara, 6 p.m.WASHINGTON at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.
ARIZONA (15-11, 3-6): The ARIZONA Wildcats took on Washington this past weekend in Conference play. On Friday, the Huskies took the first game of the series with a 1-0 victory. On Saturday, left-hander David Coulon and the Arizona baseball team returned the favor with a series-tying 5-0 win. Coulon (5-2) was in complete control in his second career complete game shutout, scattering seven singles on the afternoon and not allowing a Husky base runner to reach second until there were two outs in the ninth. He finished the contest with five strikeouts against just one walk for this team-leading fifth win of the year. In the rubber game of the series, A pair of defensive miscues on bunts led to three runs while a fundamental error on the base paths erased the only momentum Arizona had on the day as the Huskies handed UA its third straight conference series loss, 5-1. Next the Wildcats will travel to San Diego to take on the San Diego State Aztecs beginning April 8.
ARIZONA STATE (28-3, 4-2): ARIZONA STATE looks to get back in the win column when they head to Pullman, Washington for a three-game Pac-10 series with Washington State. The Devils dropped two of three at Stanford last weekend, their first road trip of the year. ASU needed ten innings on Friday night at Sunken Diamond, but they pulled out a 6-4 win against the Cardinal. Ike Davis homered and picked up the victory on the mound. Davis, Tommy Rafferty and Reyes Dorado did not allow a hit in 3.2 innings of relief work. On Saturday and Sunday, things did not go as well for ASU, as they fell 12-2 and 10-2. Arizona State garnered only four hits in the loss on Saturday, then stranded 12 runners on Sunday. Arizona State has not won a series at Stanford since 1997. Davis is climbing up the school's all-time doubles list. Davis now has 61 doubles in his career, leaving him three shy of Casey Myers (1998-2000) for fifth all-time. Petey Paramore led the Pac-10 in bases on balls last season, totaling 53 in 64 games. His good eye has continued so far in 2008, as he has already drawn 32 walks. Paramore now has 119 walks in his career and is only the 22nd Sun Devil to ever draw over 100. The 119 walks is tied with Willie Bloomquist (1997-99) and Rick Peters (1974-77) for 8th most in school history.
CALIFORNIA (21-7-1, 4-2): CALIFORNIA sophomore right fielder/pitch Blake Smith went 6-for-16 (.375) last week against San Francisco, Fresno State, and the three-game series versus the two-time defending national champs Oregon State. He added a home run and a team-high five RBI and nine total bases. Smith had three consecutive games with two hits apiece, including hitting his first career grand slam Wednesday versus Fresno State. Freshman right-hander Kevin Miller also had a remarkable week as he improved his record to 5-0 with a 0.00 ERA on the season with two wins in relief last week. He picked up a win on Wednesday versus Fresno State, pitching 2.0 innings with no hits, no runs, one walk and two strike outs. On Saturday against OSU, he threw a career-high seven strikeouts. For the week, Miller pitched 8.2 innings, allowing only one hit with no runs, four walks and nine strikeouts. On the year, he has not given up an earned run in 38.2 innings and has 38 strikeouts in those 38 innings. Opponents are batting .125 against him.
OREGON STATE (15-10, 3-3): Ryan Ortiz of OREGON STATE batted .500 in four games last week as the Beavers went 2-2. He played in all four games, starting three, and was an offensive catalyst for OSU, collecting seven hits in 14 at bats. He hit safely in each of the four games, and drew three walks during the week. He started off against Portland on Monday in a reserve role, and went 2-for-3 and posted six putouts against the Pilots in an extra-innings win. He then proceeded to go 5-for-11 over the next three games against No. 7 California, collecting one walk in each game. The catcher was 3-for-4 with a run scored while making nine putouts and an assist in the first game. In Pac-10 games this season, opponents are 0-for-4 in stolen bases attempted against Ortiz. He is batting .381 in six conference games, which is good for second on the club, while posting two doubles and six walks. Also against the Golden Bears, Jorge Reyes threw 6 2/3 innings in his seventh start of the season on Sunday. Reyes struck out five and walked just one while allowing five hits.
STANFORD (15-9, 4-2): STANFORD's baseball team did not let Arizona State's No. 1 Baseball America ranking intimidate them as they took two-of-three games in the series this past weekend. Sean Ratliff, who garnered Pac-10 Player of the Week honors finished with a .381 batting average, three homers and nine RBI to lead the Cardinal to two victories against the Sun Devils. Senior right-hand pitcher Erik Davis pitched his second complete game in a row to stifle Arizona State in the second game of a three-game set against ASU on Saturday. Davis allowed just two runs and four hits while striking out five.
UCLA (14-12, 3-3): Alden Carrithers, UCLA's senior second baseman, hit a .429 clip (6-for-14) with two home runs and six RBI last week, as the Bruins posted a 2-2 mark in four games. Carrithers went 2-for-4 in a victory against San Diego State and in UCLA's series opening, 6-1 loss to USC. In the Tuesday night win, Carrithers registered three RBI and one stolen base with one attempt. In each of the Bruins' contests on Saturday and Sunday, Carrithers went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. He reached base twice in four plate appearances on Saturday and tied the game 2-2 with a solo home run in the third inning on Sunday. Currently, Carrithers leads all Bruins with a .394 batting average, 41 hits, eight doubles, three triples, 25 RBI, a .615 slugging percentage and 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts.
USC (15-15, 4-5): The USC baseball team hosts No. 16 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. before a Pac-10 Conference series against No. 5 Cal, Friday-Sunday, April 11-13 at Dedeaux Field. Junior left-hander Tommy Milone is putting together All-America numbers for the Trojans. He is 4-2 this season with a 2.44 ERA (44 1/3 IP, 40 H, 12 ER, 10 BB, 52 SO, .235 OBA). On April 4 at No. 23 UCLA, he struck out a career-high 14 batters for the win. He allowed just one run on five hits (with the run coming in the ninth) with one walk and struck out the side twice against the Bruins. Senior outfielder/third baseman Roberto Lopez has played three seasons with the Trojans and is making the most of his final season. He is batting a team-leading .393 (46-for-117) this season with 13 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 20 RBI and five stolen bases. He had a career-high 13-game hitting streak earlier this season.
WASHINGTON (20-9, 3-3): WASHINGTON starter Nick Haughian (3-2) tossed a two-hitter and struck out a career-high 15 batters in complete-game 1-0 victory over No. 18 Arizona at Safeco Field on Friday which garnered him national pitching accolades from Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Washington scored the game's only run on an Andy Lentz double in the seventh inning, getting away with a 1-0 win against the No. 18 ranked Wildcats. The nest day, the Wildcats returned the favor and handed the Huskies a 5-0 loss. Husky sophomore Cam Nobles (2-1) suffered the loss despite a solid starting outing. In his six and two-thirds innings, Nobles allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits while striking out six. In the rubber game of the series, starting pitcher Jorden Merry allowed just one run over seven and one-third innings to lead the Washington baseball team to a 5-1 win over Arizona on Sunday.
WASHINGTON STATE (18-12, 2-4): WASHINGTON STATE took on UC Davis this past weekend in non-conference action losing two out of the three-game series. Jim Murphy batted .417 with three extra-base hits and 12 RBI during the week. He belted a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs against UC Davis on Sunday. Next the Cougars will take on Gonzaga for a 6 p.m. game, Tuesday, April 8. Earlier in the year, the Cougars defeated Gonzaga 6-2 on March 25 in Pullman behind Chad Arnold who gave up two runs on six hits, struck out three and walked one. Murphy currently leads the Cougars in batting average (.358), home runs (nine) and RBI (36). He is tied for 10th on the WSU all-time home run list with 27.