Three nationally ranked teams lead Pac-12 Baseball
WEEKLY RECAP: After the first week of Pac-12 play, No. 2 Oregon State and Washington went undefeated against Arizona State and Utah, respectively. No. 2 Oregon State currently has a 12-game winning streak and Washington is on a five-game winning streak. Arizona played UCLA (2-1), Oregon played California (2-1), and USC played Washington State (2-1).
PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: Utah (vs. Utah Valley) and Washington (at Gonzaga) play Wednesday. Washington State plays the only non-conference game of Friday at home against CSUN, the first game of a four-game series. Arizona State at USC, California at UCLA, Utah at #13 Stanford, Washington at Oregon, and #6 Arizona at #2 Oregon State play three-game series starting Friday. California plays Long Beach State on Monday at home. Long Beach State then crosses the bay to play #13 Stanford. #2 Oregon State (at Saint Mary’s (Cal.), Utah (vs. BYU), Arizona State (vs. UNLV), Oregon (at Portland), UCLA (vs. #10 Cal State Fullerton), and USC (vs. San Diego State) play Tuesday.
NUMBERS GAME: No. 6 Arizona currently sits atop the national rankings in batting average (.352), doubles per game (2.95), on base percentage (.441), and scoring (10.2). The Wildcats also appear second in doubles (59), third in hitting (259), second in runs (203), eighth in slugging percentage (.512), and fourth in triples (13). No. 2 Oregon State is first in ERA (1.06), hits allowed per nine innings (5.28), and WHIP (0.81), as well as second in shutouts (6), third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.22), and fourth in WL percentage (.944). California is 12 in double plays (23) and seventh in double plays per game (1.28). Oregon is eighth in ERA (1.06) and ninth in shutouts (9). Stanford is 10 in fielding percentage (.985) and 11 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.28). USC is third in sacrificed flies (15).
INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL STATS LEADERS: Washington’s Joe DeMars and California’s Joey Matulovich are tied for ninth in complete games (1). Arizona’s JJ Matijevic and teammate Jared Oliva are tied in doubles (12). Oliva is also sixth in runs batted in (31). Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich is fifth in ERA (.250). Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Oregon State’s Jake Thompson is ninth in hits allowed per nine innings (4.05). Arizona’s Alfonso Rivas is second in on base percentage (.593) and teammate Cal Stevenson is ninth in runs (9). USC’s Lars Nootbaar is seventh in sacrifice flies (4). Oregon’s Kenyon Yovan is seventh in saves (6). Oregon’s David Peterson is seventh in strikeouts (48). His teammate Nick Madrigal is second in toughest to strike out (68.0). Pac-12 Player of the Week Cadyn Grenier is third in triples (4). Arizona’s JC Cloney, Washington’s Alex Hardy, and Oregon State’s Jake Thompson are tied for first in victories (5).
IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, three teams are ranked. Oregon State leads the way at No. 2, Arizona is No. 6, and Stanford is No. 13. The NCBWA also has three teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 2, Arizona is No. 6, and Stanford is No. 19. Baseball America has four teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 2, Arizona is No. 9, Stanford is No. 17, and Washington is No. 22. Collegiate Baseball has five teams ranked: Oregon State is No. 1, Arizona is No. 7, Stanford is No. 20, Oregon is No. 28, and Washington is No. 30.
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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