Washington makes history in Pac-12 baseball

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WEEKLY RECAP: The Pac-12 Conference holds a 55-29 (.655) combined record after three weeks of non-conference play, with No. 2 OREGON STATE and No. 16 STANFORD, in its first season under coach David Esquer, both still undefeated with 8-0 records. The Beavers and Cardinal are among 13 NCAA Division I teams with a perfect record, while UCLA and USC are both off to 7-1 starts. The top individual performance of the week came from WASHINGTON pitcher Joe DeMers, who tossed only the fifth perfect game in Pac-12 Conference history.

Oregon State capped the weekend a 6-1 win over Ohio State on Sunday to open with an eight-game win streak for the second time in the past four seasons. UCLA earned its second series win of the season, taking 2-of-3 games against Baylor. UCLA also hosted the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization in an exhibition game for the Pac-12’s second professional competition after Arizona State competed against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND:  OSU returns home for a four-game series versus Hartford. UCLA and Arizona will compete in the DQ Classic/Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Challenge this weekend against Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota. Arizona State will open up the week against Long Beach State and have a three-game series against Oklahoma State, which features a doubleheader on Saturday. ASU’s game on Sunday, March 4 at 11 a.m. PT will be first game of the season broadcast on Pac-12 Network. Stanford’s last game in the four-game series against Michigan will also be on Pac-12 Network at 2 p.m PT. on Sunday.  

NUMBERS GAME: In the national stats, USC leads the country with a .997 fielding percentage. Cal ranks seventh (10.4) and Oregon State is 13th (9.4) in runs scored. Stanford and Arizona are tied for sixth with five triples. UCLA leads the conference and is 18th nationally in doubles (20) as well as 10th in the country in earned run average (1.88). OSU leads the league in seven statistical categories while ranking fourth in the country in batting average (.365) and seventh in hits (105) and double plays (11).

STARS DELIVERING: Joe DeMers made Washington history last Saturday, throwing the program’s first-ever perfect game and ninth no-hitter in UW history. The perfect game was only the fifth-ever by a Pac-12 pitcher – just the second in the league since 1973 – and the 28th in NCAA Division I history. The junior was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and continued to collect national honors for his performance, selected as one of Collegiate Baseball's National Players of the Week and earned National Pitcher of the Week by NCBWA, Perfect Game and College Sports Madness. 

Outfielder Jonah Davis was named Pac-12 Player of the Week as he powered Cal to a four-game sweep over Cal State Bakersfield. He went 8-for-14 with a double, triple and two home runs for a .571 batting average. Davis leads the Pac-12 and ranks ninth in the country with 15 RBIs.

OSU’s Grant Gambrell struck out a career-best 12 in the win over Ohio State and is third in the Conference with a 6.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Teammate Trevor Larnach ranks second in the Pac-12 in hits (15), home runs (4) and on-base percentage (.676).

Four players rank in the top-15 in national batting average led by fifth-ranked Gage Canning, ASU (0.581), ninth-ranked Nick Madrigal, OSU (.560), 11th-ranked Trevor Larnach, OSU (.556) and 13th-ranked Andrew Vaughn, Cal (.542).

IN THE RANKINGS:  In the NCBWA poll on Feb. 26, Oregon State tops the nation with the No. 1 spot followed by No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 UCLA. The USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll has three Pac-12 teams ranked - Oregon State leads the way at No. 2, followed by UCLA at No. 14, and Stanford at No. 16.

ALL AMERICANS: The Pac-12 had 11 different student-athletes from six 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, six of which are student-athletes from four different Pac-12 teams. With six players, the Pac-12 is tied for the third-most representatives among all conferences. California and Stanford are 2-of-6 total schools with two players on the watch list. Now in its 40th 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.

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Watch List
Kris Bubic, STAN, SP
Tanner Dodson, CAL, UTL
Nico Hoerner, STAN, SS
Nick Madrigal, OSU, 2B
Alfonso Rivas, ARIZ, 1B
Andrew Vaughn, CAL, 1B

STOPPER OF THE YEAR: The Pac-12 has four student-athletes on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List. Arizona State’s Connor Higgins, California’s Erik Martinez, Oregon State’s Jake Mulholland and Oregon’s Kenyon Yovan. 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 14th straight year at the College World Series on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
Connor Higgins, ASU, LHP
Erik Martinez, CAL, P
Jake Mulholland, OSU, LHP
Kenyon Yovan, ORE, RHP

DRAFT: Every Pac-12 school had at least one student-athlete selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, with a total of 46 Pac-12 players drafted. Four Pac-12 baseball players were drafted among the top 75 draft picks with Oregon’s David Peterson as the first Pac-12 player to be drafted with the 20th overall pick to the New York Mets.

2017 MLB Draft pick by Pac-12 School 
10 – Stanford
6 – Arizona, UCLA
5 – Oregon State
4 - Utah, Washington
3 – Oregon, Washington State
2 – California, USC
1 – Arizona State

FACES IN THE DUGOUT: Stanford head coach Mark Marquess retired last year after 41 seasons with the most wins in Pac-12 history and fourth-most wins in Division I history. Marquess is one of only five NCAA coaches to reach 1,600 career wins and only three have done so at a single school. David Esquer will succeed coach Marquess’ legacy after spending 18 years as the head coach at California.

Former Golden Bears pitching coach and major league pitcher Mike Neu became the 11th baseball head coach in California program history on July 5, 2017. As Cal’s pitching coach from 2012-2015, he helped the Bears compile a team ERA of 3.03 his last year for the program’s second-best mark since 1976. Neu returns to Berkeley after two years as head coach at the University of the Pacific.

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Oregon State 0-0 8-0
Stanford 0-0 8-0
UCLA  0-0 7-1
USC 0-0 7-1
California  0-0 5-2
Oregon  0-0 5-2
Arizona 0-0 5-3
Washington  0-0 4-3
Arizona State 0-0 4-4
Washington State 0-0 2-6
Utah 0-0 0-7

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Feb. 28    
ARIZONA STATE vs Long Beach State   6 p.m.
Thursday, March 1    
Sacramento vs WASHINGTON STATE (Cancelled)   4 pm 
Friday, March 2    
Illinois vs UCLA    9 a.m.
USC vs Arkansas   SEC+
WASHINGTON vs Michigan State    1 p.m.
CALIFORNIA vs Baylor    1 p.m. 
Sacramento vs WASHINGTON STATE (Cancelled)   1 p.m.
Hartford vs OREGON STATE  OSU1 4:05 p.m.
ARIZONA vs Minnesota    5 p.m.
Oklahoma State vs ARIZONA STATE  ASU1 5:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic vs OREGON  ORE1 6 p.m.
UTAH vs Santa Clara WCC 6:05 p.m.
Michigan vs STANFORD  STAN1 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 3    
Michigan State vs UCLA    9 a.m
USC vs Arkansas  SEC+ 12 p.m.
Louisiana Tech vs CALIFORNIA  Live Stream 12 p.m. 
Illinois vs ARIZONA    1 p.m.
UTAH vs Santa Clara  WCC 1 p.m.
Michigan vs STANFORD  STAN1 1:05 p.m.
Hartford vs OREGON STATE OSU1  1:05 p.m.
Florida Atlantic vs OREGON  ORE1 2 p.m.
Sacramento vs WASHINGTON STATE (Cancelled)   2 p.m.
Hartford vs OREGON STATE OSU1  1:05 
WASHINGTON vs Minnesota    5 p.m.
Oklahoma State vs ARIZONA STATE ASU1  5:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 4    
CALIFORNIA vs Texas A&M   9 a.m.
USC vs Arkansas  SEC+ 10:30 a.m.
Oklahoma State vs ARIZONA STATE P12N 11 a.m.
WASHINGTON vs Illinois    12 p.m.
UTAH vs Santa Clara  WCC 12 p.m.
Hartford vs OREGON STATE OSU1 12:05
Sacramento vs WASHINGTON STATE (Cancelled)   1 p.m.
Michigan vs STANFORD  P12N 2 p.m.
Florida Atlantic vs OREGON ORE1 6 p.m.
UCLA vs Minnesota    4 p.m.
Monday, March 5    
UTAH vs San Jose State    1 p.m.
Florida Atlantic vs Oregon  ORE1 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 6    
ARIZONA STATE vs Pepperdine    2 p.m.
San Diego State vs ARIZONA ARIZ3 5 p.m.
Portland vs OREGON STATE OSU1 5:05 p.m.
Loyola Marymount vs UCLA    6 p.m.
Seattle vs WASHINGTON    6:05 p.m.
Xavier vs CALIFORNIA   7:05 p.m.

2018 PAC-12 PLAYER AND PITCHER OF THE WEEK

 Week of Player Pitcher
Feb. 20 Trevor Larnach, OSU Tristan Beck, Stan
Feb. 27  Jonah Davis, CAL Joe DeMars, WASH
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