Arizona State, Oregon State undefeated as Pac-12 baseball heats up

COMPLETE RELEASE

PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
No. 5 Oregon State and Arizona State are two of just 15 teams in the country that are still undefeated. OSU and ASU are two of only three teams with eight victories and no losses. This is the second year in a row the Beavers start the season 8-0. The Sun Devils are off to their best start to a season since 2010 when they won 24-consecutive games. Both the Beavers and the Sun Devils will put their perfect records to the test this week against Power 5 opponents. The Sun Devils play host to Michigan State for a three-game series and the Beavers have their first home series of the season for a three-game tilt against West Virginia. Utah heads to the east coast for the LeClair Classic in Greenvile, N.C. to face No. 14 East Carolina, Western Carolina and Wright State. No. 9 Stanford faces a tough opponent on the road in No. 24 CS Fullerton for three games. 

WEEKLY RECAP:
Pac-12 baseball is off to a strong start this season, currently holding a 55-25 (.688) record against non-conference opponents. Oregon State represented the Pac-12 well with a four-game sweep of Nebraska at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Surprise, Ariz. Brandon Eisert claimed three of the Beavers’ five wins over the past week, picking up a victory in each of his relief appearances. His four wins on the year currently leads the country.

Washington’s offense came alive in a three-game sweep of Northern Colorado on the road, erupting for 25 runs in the series opener. It was the most runs scored by a Husky team since 2003, and their 24 hits and 25 runs set a new Pac-12 team season high.

USC has been no stranger to dramatic victories this year. After a walk-off single to beat Omaha in its season-opener, CJ Stubbs hit a walk-off two-run homer to beat No. 12 Arkansas, 6-4, on Saturday night. Oregon freshman Tanner Smith also showed off his clutch gene, driving in Jakob Goldfarb with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to give Oregon a 3-2 win over Saint Mary’s and sweep the series.

BY THE NUMBERS:
No. 7 UCLA’s pitching staff has led the Bruins to a 7-1 start to the 2019 campaign and have put up some of the best numbers in the nation. They rank third nationally in ERA (1.11), after not allowing a single earned run over their first four games, second in shutouts with three and fourth in WHIP (0.81). UCLA also leads the league in all three of these categories.

There’s no doubt the Arizona schools have had hot bats to start the season. Arizona has already knocked in 102 runs and Arizona State has tallied 95 runs, good for second- and third-best in the nation, respectively. All those runs have come from such high on-base percentages, as the Wildcats rank fourth at .467 and the Sun Devils rank sixth at .461. Individually, Arizona’s Cameron Cannon is tied for the lead in the nation with seven doubles already. ASU’s Lyle Lin has 17 RBI, the fourth-most in the country.   

Pac-12 teams have been particularly speedy on the base paths, as three teams rank in the top 10 in the country for triples. UCLA lands at third with five three-baggers, and Arizona and Washington are tied at 10th with four each. The Bruins’ Jake Pries and the Huskies’ Braiden Ward have each contributed two triples, good for second-most in the country and best in the league.

STAR POWER:
California went 4-0 last week behind the stellar play of first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who reached base 15 times in 20 plate appearances and knocked in six RBI and two home runs to earn Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. The reigning Golden Spikes Award winner is hitting .524 with three homers, nine RBI and a .714 on-base percentage that leads the Pac-12 and ranks second in the country through seven games.

Washington State’s freshman Brandon White had quite the first career start against Santa Clara, earning the win after throwing six no-hit innings, striking out nine and allowing no walks. He retired the first 15 batters and needed just 75 pitches to face the minimum to record his first-career win and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honor. White was a 14th-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Arizona State’s Trevor Hauver has been a spark for the Sun Devils’ hot start. The sophomore helped pick up their eighth victory with a seventh-inning two-run home run to beat Pepperdine, 4-3. Just two days before, he helped dominate UC Davis in a 17-2 win with his first-career home run, four runs scored, a diving catch in left field and seven RBI, a single game high in the Pac-12 this season and the most for a Sun Devil since 2011.

IN THE RANKINGS: 
At least three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 11 in five national rankings. In the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll, Oregon State takes the fifth spot, UCLA ranks seventh and Stanford lands at ninth. Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and WASHINGTON received votes in the poll.

PRESEASON NODS:
The Pac-12 has 20 total preseason All-America selections from seven different schools. Six student-athletes were named to all five preseason All-America lists and 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner Cal’s Andrew Vaughn, 2018 CWS Most Outstanding Player OSU’s Adley Rutschman and All-Pac-12 selection UCLA’s Chase Strumpf were named to the first team by five national outlets. Rutschman was also tabbed the Projected Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America highlighted several league student-athletes as All-American Best Tools with Vaughn earning best hitter, Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson selected as the best power hitter and Rutschman tabbed as the best defensive catcher.

GOLDEN SPIKES:
The Pac-12 is home to eight Golden Spikes Award winners after Andrew Vaughn claimed the award last season, tying the ACC and SEC for most of any conference. This year, ten student-athletes from seven different league schools were named to the preseason Watch List, including Vaughn. He is just one of four Golden Spikes Award recipients all-time to return to school after winning the award. Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford each boast a pair of student-athletes on the prestigious list. The preseason watch list features 55 of the nation’s top amateur players. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 14, 2019.

STOPPER OF THE YEAR:
The Pac-12 has seven student-athletes from five different Pac-12 schools on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, the second-most selections of any conference. Stanford’s Jack Little is featured on the list after being named a finalist for the 2018 season. The NCBWA presents the Stopper of the Year Award to the top relief pitcher in Division I baseball for the 15th straight year at the College World Series on Saturday, June 15. 2019.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

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

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Wednesday, Feb. 27 TV/Stream Time
San Francisco at #9 STANFORD Live Stream 3 p.m.
New Mexico at ARIZONA Live Stream 5 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 28 TV/Stream Time
WASHINGTON STATE at Nevada   1 p.m.
St. Mary's (Calif.) at CALIFORNIA   7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 1 TV/Stream Time
WASHINGTON STATE at Nevada   1 p.m.
UTAH at #14 East Carolina (1)   1:30 p.m. 
LMU at OREGON Live Stream 3 p.m.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at ARIZONA Live Stream 5 p.m.
Michigan State at ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5:30 p.m.
West Virginia at #5 OREGON STATE Live Stream 5:35 p.m.
Grand Canyon at USC Live Stream 6 p.m.
Sacramento State at #7 UCLA   6 p.m.
Cal Poly at WASHINGTON Live Stream 6:05 p.m.
St. Mary's (Calif.) at CALIFORNIA   6:05 p.m.
#9 STANFORD at #24 CS Fullerton   7 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 TV/Stream Time
Western Carolina vs. UTAH (1)   9 a.m.
CALIFORNIA at St. Mary's (Calif.)   1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at Nevada   1 p.m.
West Virginia at #5 OREGON STATE Live Stream 1:35 p.m.
Grand Canyon at USC Live Stream 2 p.m.
LMU at OREGON Live Stream 2 p.m.
Sacramento State at #7 UCLA   2 p.m.
Cal Poly at WASHINGTON Live Stream 2:05 p.m.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at ARIZONA Live Stream 5 p.m.
Michigan State at ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5:30 p.m.
#9 STANFORD at #24 CS Fullerton   6 p.m.
Sunday, March 3 TV/Stream Time
UTAH vs. Wright State (1)   8 a.m.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee at ARIZONA Live Stream 10 a.m.
Michigan State at ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 11:30 a.m.
LMU at OREGON Live Stream 12 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at St. Mary's (Calif.)   1 p.m.
Grand Canyon at USC Live Stream 1 p.m.
Sacramento State at #7 UCLA   1 p.m.
#9 STANFORD at #24 CS Fullerton   1 p.m.
Cal Poly at WASHINGTON Live Stream 1:05 p.m.
West Virginia at #5 OREGON STATE Live Stream 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26 TV/Stream Time
ARIZONA STATE at #24 CS Fullerton   TBD
WASHINGTON at Seattle   4 p.m.
Michigan State at ARIZONA   5 p.m.
OREGON at Portland   5 p.m.
LMU at USC Live Stream 6 p.m.
Pepperdine at #7 UCLA   6 p.m.

1 - LeClair Classic, Greenville, N.C.

Rankings listed are USA Today Coaches Poll


2019 PAC-12 BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 Week of Player Pitcher
Feb. 19 Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State Bryce Fehmel, Oregon State
Feb. 26 Andrew Vaughn, California Brandon White, Washington State

NATIONAL HONORS 

College Sports Madness National Baseball Players of the Week:
Feb. 18 - Ryan Holgate, OF, ARIZ (Field Player)

Collegiate Baseball’s National Players Of The Week:

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List:
Kevin Abel, RHP, OSU
Jack Little, RHP, STAB
Nick Quintana, IF, ARIZ
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Kyle Stowers, OF, STAN
Chase Strumpf, IF, UCLA
Michael Toglia, IF, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, IF, ASU
Andrew Vaughn, IF, CAL
Kenyon Yovan, RHP, ORE

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List: 
Brandon Eisert, Jr., OSU
Jack Little, Jr., STAN
Connor Lunn, Jr., USC
Jake Mulholland, Jr., OSU
Ryne Nelson, Jr., ORE
Jacob Palisch, So., STAN
Holden Powell, So., UCLA

Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-Americans:
First Team 
Kevin Abel, RHP, OSU
Jack Little, RHP, STAN
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA

Second Team
Bryce Fehmel, RHP, OSU
Kenyon Yovan, RHP, ORE
Jeremy Ydens, OF, UCLA

Third Team
Brendan Beck, RHP, STAN
Jake Mulholland, LHP, OSU
Nic Kahle, C, WASH
Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
Nick Quintana, 3B, ARIZ

Collegiate Baseball Projected  Player of the Year:
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU

D1Baseball.com Preseason All-Americans:
First Team
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, DH, ASU
Kevin Abel, SP, OSU
Jack Little, RP, STAN

Second Team
Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
Cameron Cannon, 2B, ARIZ
Kenyon Yovan, SP, ORE

Third Team
Nick Quintana, 3B, ARIZ
Brandon Eisert, RP, OSU

Perfect Game Preseason All-Americans:
First Team
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Kevin Abel, SP, OSU
Jack Little, RP, STAN

Second Team
Bryce Fehmel, SP, OSU
Third Team 
Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
Nick Quintana, 3B, ARIZ
Jake Mulholland, RP, OSU 

Baseball America Preseason All-Americans:
First Team
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Kyle Stowers, OF, STAN

Second Team
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Erik Miller, SP, STAN
Jack Little, RP, STAN

Third Team
Nick Quintana, 3B, ARIZ
Ryne Nelson, SP, ORE

Baseball America Preseason All-American Best Tools:
Best Hitter

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Best Power
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Best Defensive Catcher
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU

NCBWA Preseason All-Americans:
First Team 
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Chase Strumpf, 2B, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Kevin Abel, SP, OSU
Bryce Fehmel, SP, OSU
Jack Little, RP, STAN
Jake Mulholland, RP, OSU

Second Team
Nick Quintana, 3B, ARIZ
Joe Wainhouse, DH, WASH

Third Team
Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA
Kenyon Yovan, UT, ORE
Brendan Beck, SP, STAN
Brandon Eisert, RP, OSU

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