No. 1 OSU, No. 3 Stanford top Pac-12 Baseball as league play begins

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WEEKLY RECAP: Oregon State ranks No. 1 in the country in Collegiate Baseball’s weekly poll for the third-straight week and STANFORD jumped to the No. 3 spot. The Beavers are 15-1 overall after defeating Cal State Fullerton, 5-4, on Sunday for their 16th consecutive regular-season series win. The Cardinal won a 3-1 series against No. 20 Texas, capping the week with an 11-1 victory on Sunday.

CALIFORNIA swept Brown last week with a doubleheader on Friday (11-6, 10-9) followed by a 12-inning victory on Saturday (4-3), and finished the four-game series with a close game on Sunday (7-6). The Bears won their sixth-straight game, topping San Francisco, 5-4, on Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON rallied in Sunday’s back-and-forth game, but fell to Illinois State 13-6. Levi Jordan hit his third homer of the weekend to bring the score within one run in the fifth inning before the Redbirds scored six runs in the final two innings as Illinois State took the series 3-1. OREGON wrapped up a 10-game homestand with a 3-1 series win over UC Davis and marked the team’s first loss of the season coming on Sunday.

ARIZONA is looking to continue its momentum after sweeping North Dakota State in a four-game series last week. The Wildcats bested in-state rival ARIZONA STATE, 6-2, on Tuesday.

Lars Nootbaar hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn USC’s a 3-2 victory over No. 11 UCLA at Dodger Stadium on Sunday in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. UTAH picked up its first win in the second game of a doubleheader against UC Riverside, 7-4, after dropping game one, 3-2, on Sunday. The Utes then dropped a 3-1 decision to UNLV on Monday.

WASHINGTON STATE split a four-game series with Saint Mary’s (Calif.) after weather conditions cancelled all four games against Sacramento State. The Cougars collected a 2-1 victory on Saturday and dropped the series finale, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon. Senior starter Cody Anderson pitched well into the eighth inning, allowing just a two-out, two-run single in the third inning and struck out four batters in seven innings.

PREVIEWING THE WEEKEND: Conference action starts this week as Oregon State hits the road for a three-game series starting on Friday night at California. The WSU Cougars prepare for a long trip on the road as they head to Long Beach State on Wednesday then make their way up the coast to play UCLA to start league play. Oregon heads to Arizona State for a three-day series and Stanford will take on USC.

NUMBERS GAME: California continues to top the conference putting up impressive stats as it leads several categories, including slugging percentage (.517), on base percentage (.414), runs scored (142), hits (186) runs batted in (127), home runs (24), and total bases (296). The Bears boast a .327 batting average to top the league and rank ninth in the nation followed by Oregon State’s .309 clip that is 21st in the country. The Conference has five teams ranked in the nation's top-25 hits allowed per nine innings, led by UCLA’s 6.31. USC continues to hold the best fielding percentage in the nation at .996.

STARS DELIVERING: Oregon’s Parker Kelly has been named a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week and the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week. Kelly was dominant in three appearances out of the bullpen fanning 14 hitters in seven innings last week. He recorded a career-high seven strikeouts in a 5-4 win over UC Davis on Friday night. He came into a tie ball game and pro-ceeded to strike out seven-of-10 batters faced to earn his fourth win of the season. Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Andrew Vaughn helped California secure a four-game sweep against Brown at home featuring a double header on Friday, 11-6, 10-9. On Saturday, the Bears won 4-3 in 12 innings and then posted a 7-6 victory in the last game on Sunday.

THE RANKINGS: Oregon State climbed to No. 1 and Stanford jumped to No. 3 in both the USA Today Coaches and NCBWA polls this week. UCLA dropped to No. 15 in the Coaches and No. 13 in the NCBWA rankings.

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 confer-ences. 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 Colle-giate 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
 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
#1 Oregon State 0-0 15-1
#3 Stanford 0-0 12-2
California  0-0 12-4
Oregon  0-0 12-4
#15 UCLA  0-0 10-4
USC 0-0 9-4
Arizona 0-0 10-6
Arizona State 0-0 8-9
Washington  0-0 7-8
Washington State 0-0 4-9
Utah 0-0 1-14

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, March 14    
#15 UCLA 3, at CSUN 2 (susp. in 8th inning, to resume May 15)    
at Long Beach State 5, WASHINGTON STATE 1    
Thursday, March 15    
UTAH at USC P12N 6 p.m.
Friday, March 16    
WASHINGTON STATE at #15 UCLA   6 p.m.
ARIZONA at WASHINGTON   6:05 p.m.
OREGON at ARIZONA STATE ASU1 6:30 p.m.
UTAH at USC P12N 7 p.m.
#1 OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA   7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 17    
WASHINGTON STATE at #15 UCLA   2 p.m.
UTAH at USC P12N 2 p.m.
ARIZONA at WASHINGTON   2:05 p.m.
#1 OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA   3:05 p.m.
OREGON at ARIZONA STATE ASU1 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 18    
OREGON at ARIZONA STATE  ASU1 12:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at #15 UCLA    1 p.m.
ARIZONA at WASHINGTON   1:05 p.m.
#1 OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA   1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 20    
UTAH at BYU BYUtv 5 p.m.
New Mexico State at ARIZONA   6 p.m.
USC at UC Irvine   6:30 p.m.
#24 UNLV at ARIZONA STATE ASU1 6:30 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 DeMers, WASH
March 6 Spencer Torkelson, ASU Tristan Beck, STAN
March 12 Andrew Vaughn, CAL Parker Kelly, ORE
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