Top 25 matchups highlight exciting week ahead in Pac-12 baseball

Karl Maasdam

COMPLETE RELEASE

PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
A thrilling week of Pac-12 baseball is ahead filled with top-25 matchups, competitive tournaments and the start of Pac-12 Networks extensive coverage of the 2019 season, which includes over 95 broadcast games. The week kicks off with No. 5 Stanford hosting No. 11 Texas for a three-game series starting on Thursday, March 7. No. 2 Oregon State and Washington compete in Seattle this week at the Seattle Baseball Showcase, as they take on Minnesota, Indiana and No. 16 Coastal Carolina. A top-20 showdown between Coastal Carolina and the Beavers will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network, as well as the matchup between Minnesota and Washington.

USC and UCLA play in the annual Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. The Bruins and the Trojans both host a game against No. 19 Michigan and Oklahoma State on Friday and Saturday, before the crosstown rivals head to Dodger Stadium on Sunday for a matchup broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

WEEKLY RECAP:
Three weeks into the season, the Pac-12 boasts a 82-38 (.683) non-conference record. Arizona State is one of just four teams still undefeated in the nation at 12-0. After sweeping Michigan State in a three-game home series last week, ASU’s 12-0 start is the longest winning streak for the Sun Devils (and longest streak to start the season) since ASU went 24-0 to start the 2010 campaign.

Oregon is yet to lose a game at PK park this season, defeating LMU in three-straight games last week. Junior shortstop Spencer Steer had a productive series, batting .455 with two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. Utah has picked up the pace in the last week, winning three of its last four and scoring at least 12 runs in each of those wins. Junior catcher Zack Moeller was instrumental to those wins, racking up 13 RBI in four games.

IN THE RANKINGS:
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, including three in the top five, the most of any conference in the top five. Oregon State moved up in the rankings to No. 2, UCLA is No. 4 and Stanford is No. 5. Entering the rankings is undefeated Arizona State at No. 23. Also receiving votes is Oregon and Washington. The Bruins, Beavers and Cardinal rank in the top-11 in all five national rankings.

BY THE NUMBERS:
The Sun Devil’s offense has put up big numbers during its start, ranking second nationally in runs (141), hits (157) and batting average (.357). In Tucson, the Wildcats have also had hot bats. Arizona ranks fifth in the country with 149 hits, the fourth-best on base percentage (.452) and the second-most runs (141). The Wildcats have racked up the extra base hits as well, ranking fifth nationally with 31 doubles and seventh nationally with six triples.

Pac-12 pitchers have dominated on the mound as four teams rank in the top 20 in ERA. UCLA has the second-best ERA in the nation at 1.08 and has held its opponents to seven hits or fewer in every game this season, the only program in the country that can boast that fact. Oregon State’s pitching staff has an ERA of 2.18 that’s good for ninth-best, Arizona State is 10th-best at 2.21 and Stanford comes in at 16th with a 2.46 ERA.

Pac-12 student-athletes have knocked it out of the park this year, as six student-athletes rank in the top 26 for home runs this year. Cal’s Andrew Vaughn has already smashed seven homers, third-best in the nation. ASU’s Hunter Bishop and OSU’s Adley Rutschman are tied for 10th with five homers each while Arizona State’s Trevor Hauver, UW’s Joe Wainhouse and Stanford’s Brandon Wulff are all tied for 26th with four a piece.

STAR POWER:
A year after winning the Golden Spikes Award, Cal’s Andrew Vaughn has started his junior season hitting .529 (18-for-34) with seven homers, 18 RBI and 15 walks through 10 games, contributing to a 1.176 slugging percentage. He leads the league in batting average, homers, walks, slugging percentage and on base percentage (.680).

Oregon State’s reliever and NCBWA Stopper of the Year preseason watch list selection Brandon Eisert leads the nation with four victories and is one just 19 pitchers in the country that have pitched more than 10 innings this year and still hold a 0.00 ERA. On top of that, he’s given up only five hits and has struck out eight.

Washington is on a seven-game win streak, its longest since 2014, largely behind the play of Pac-12 Player of the Week Braiden Ward and Pitcher of the Week Josh Burgmann. Ward is batting .361 with a Pac-12 leading 11 stolen bases and 14 runs scored, while Burgmann currently leads the Pac-12 in strikeouts with 26 and is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA.

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 12-0
Oregon State 0-0 10-1
Stanford 0-0 9-2
UCLA 0-0 9-2
Washington 0-0 8-2
Oregon 0-0 7-3
Arizona 0-0 8-5
California 0-0 6-4
Utah 0-0 5-5
Washington State 0-0 5-7
USC 0-0 4-7

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Wednesday, March 6 TV/Stream Time
#23 ARIZONA State at CS Fullerton Live Stream 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 7 TV/Stream Time
#11 Texas at #5 STANFORD   6:05 p.m.
OREGON at Hawaii   8:35 p.m.
Friday, March 8 TV/Stream Time
CSUN at WASHINGTON STATE   1:05 p.m.
Niagra at UTAH Live Stream 2 p.m.
Minnesota vs. #2 OREGON STATE (1)   3 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at #9 LSU   5 p.m.
College of Charleston at ARIZONA Live Stream 5 p.m.
Xavier at #23 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5:30 p.m.
#19 Michigan at #4 UCLA (2)   6 p.m.
Oklahoma State at USC Live Stream 6 p.m.
#11 Texas at #5 STANFORD Live Stream 6:05 p.m.
Indiana vs. WASHINGTON (1)   7 p.m.
OREGON at Hawaii   8:35 p.m.
Saturday, March 9 TV/Stream Time
Niagra at UTAH Live Stream 12 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at #9 LSU   1 p.m.
CSUN at WASHINGTON STATE   1:05 p.m.
Oklahoma State at #4 UCLA   2 p.m.
#11 Texas at #5 STANFORD  Live Stream 2:05 p.m.
Indiana vs. #2 OREGON STATE   3 p.m.
College of Charleston at ARIZONA Live Stream 5 p.m.
Xavier at #23 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5:30 p.m.
#19 Michigan at UCLA (2) Live Stream 6 p.m.
#16 Coastal Carolina at WASHINGTON (1) Live Stream 7 p.m.
OREGON at Hawaii   8:35 p.m.
Sunday, March 10 TV/Stream Time
CALIFORNIA at #9 LSU   10 a.m.
Niagra at UTAH Live Stream 12 p.m.
CSUN at WASHINGTON STATE   12:05 p.m.
Xavier at ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 12:30 p.m.
College of Charleston at ARIZONA Live Stream 1 p.m.
#11 Texas at #5 STANFORD Live Stream 1:05 p.m.
#16 Coastal Carolina vs. #2 OREGON STATE (1) Pac-12 Networks 3 p.m.
USC vs. #4 UCLA (2) Pac-12 Los Angeles 3 p.m.
OREGON at Hawaii   4:05 p.m.
Minnesota at WASHINGTON (1) Pac-12 Networks 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 TV/Stream Time
Gonzaga at UTAH Pac-12 Networks 1 p.m.
OREGON at OREGON STATE Pac-12 Networks 6 p.m.
#4 UCLA at Long Beach State   6 p.m.
USC at CS Fullerton   6 p.m.
Xavier at ARIZONA   6 p.m.
San Jose State at CALIFORNIA   6:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at UNLV   6:05 p.m.

1 - Seattle Baseball Showcase, Seattle, Wash.; 2 - Dodger Stadium Classic, Los Angeles, Calif.

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
March 5 Braiden Ward, Washington Josh Burgmann, Washington 

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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