Pac-12 baseball holds top three spots in national poll

Karl Maasdam

COMPLETE RELEASE

PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
For the second time this season, Pac-12 baseball holds the top three rankings in the USA Today Coaches Poll. UCLA is the No. 1 team in the nation for the sixth-consecutive week, Oregon State is No. 2 and Stanford is No. 3. The Bruins are also the consensus No. 1 team in the nation for the third-straight week. The Cardinal look to stay on top of the Conference standings with a three-game tilt against a surging Arizona offense. No. 11 Arizona State also plays a critical league series this week as they visit Washington. Both of these series are available to stream via the Pac-12 Now app, Pac-12 Plus and Pac-12.com/now.

Stanford heads into the week with the second-best win percentage in the nation (.829) with an impressive 29-6 record. The Cardinal’s pitching staff, which boasts the eighth-best ERA in the country (3.05), has been a key asset and its bats have come alive in the two weeks, hitting multiple homers in nine of its last 11 games with 29 total home runs in that span. The Wildcats have an impressive offense of their own as they have the sixth-best national on-base percentage (.416), seventh-best scoring average with 8.7 runs a game and the sixth-most triples at 20.

ASU also has one of the best records in the nation, boasting the fourth-best win percentage (.795). The Sun Devils’ productive offense ranks third in the country in batting average at .322 and fourth in scoring with an average of nine runs a game. UW has a solid offensive front as well, led by catcher and Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list selection Nick Kahle. The junior has the nation’s 13th-best on-base percentage and the second-best batting average in Pac-12 play (.471).

WEEKLY RECAP:
Stanford made it 56 runs in four games with a 15-7 win over San Jose State on Tuesday night at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal (29-6-0) won its fifth-straight game, hitting five home runs for the second time in four games.

UCLA improved to 31-7 overall on the year and remained unbeaten at 8-0 in midweek games. UCLA's 31 wins through 38 games bested the previous program record of 30, set in 2010. John Savage has now led the Bruins to 30 wins in 40 games or less three times in his career.

Oregon has two student-athletes riding impressive streaks, including a record-breaker. Junior infielder Spencer Steer extended his school-record hitting streak to 18 games against Stanford last Saturday. Sam Novitske, the Ducks’ leadoff hitter, has now reached base in 36 of Oregon's 38 games.

BIG TIME RELIEF:
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced its midseason Stopper of the Year Award watch list, including three Pac-12 relief pitchers, tied for the most of any Conference. Stanford’s Jack Little is the only returner among last year’s five finalists and already has eight saves in 15 appearances this year. Joining him on the list is Oregon State’s junior Jake Mulholland, whose 27 career saves is the second-most among active NCAA Division I players, and UCLA’s Holden Powell who has the fourth-most saves in the nation with 11.

GOLDEN SPIKES:
Eight Pac-12 student-athletes were named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, including last year’s winner, Cal’s Andrew Vaughn. He is just one of four Golden Spikes Award recipients all-time to return to school after winning the award. Arizona State’s Hunter Bishop, Alec Marsh and Spencer Torkelson, Washington’s Josh Burgmann and Nick Kahle and Oregon State’s Brandon Eisert and Adley Rutschman also earned the nod. ASU’s three candidates on the midseason watch list is the most of any team in the country. The Pac-12 is home to eight Golden Spikes Award winners after Vaughn claimed the award last season, tying the ACC and SEC for most of any conference. The 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 14, 2019.

IN THE RANKINGS:
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 11 in the latest USA Today Coaches poll, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Oregon State and No. 3 Stanford. UCLA is the top-ranked team for the sixth-consecutive week. A Pac-12 squad has claimed the No. 1 ranking in seven of nine weeks this season. Arizona State is right outside of the top 10, landing at No. 11 this week.

For the third-straight week, the Bruins have been named the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation by five national rankings. Additionally, UCLA, Stanford, OSU and ASU rank in the top 15 in all five polls.

Nine of 11 Pac-12 programs rank in the top 100 in the NCAA RPI rankings, including UCLA at No. 1. OSU and Stanford also rank in the top 15, ranking sixth and 11th, respectively.

BY THE NUMBERS:
Pac-12 pitchers have brought the heat this season as three of the top eight teams with the best national ERAs are Pac-12 squads. UCLA has the fourth-best average at 2.71, Oregon State’s pitching staff has an ERA of 3.02, good for fourth-best, and Oregon State is sixth at 2.83. The league’s pitchers have also kept runners off the base paths with four ranked in the top 25 in national WHIP. The Bruins rank third at 1.09, the Beavers are 11th at 1.19, Stanford is 20th at 1.24 and Washington ranks 23rd at 1.25.

The Conference’s top hitters have found ways to get on base at exceptionally high rates this year. Four student-athletes rank among the nation’s top 15 in on-base percentage, including OSU’s Adley Rutschman with the best OBP (.577). Cal’s Andrew Vaughn has the fourth-best average at .539, ASU’s Hunter Bishop ranks eighth at .515 and Nick Kahle of Washington is 13th (.506).

A handful of Pac-12 student-athletes lead the country in a variety of categories. As well as leading in OBP, OSU’s Rutschman has the most walks (51) and walks per game (1.31). Arizona’s Cameron Cannon is leading the country in both doubles (21) and doubles per game (.55). On the pitcher’s mound, the Sun Devil’s Alec Marsh has the most victories this year with eight and UCLA’s Kyle Mora has a national-high 31 pitching appearances.

STAR POWER:
Stanford’s Brandon Wulff nabbed Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week honors after powering the Cardinal to a 3-1 weekend, including a series sweep at Oregon, by going 8-for-13 and contributing eight RBIs to keep No. 3 Stanford at the top of the Pac-12 standings. The senior hit two home runs in the 5-4 series opener win over Oregon on Thursday and added a double, matching a career-high of three hits.

California’s Jared Horn was named Pac-12 Baseball Pitcher of the Week as the driving force behind Cal’s 4-1 upset of UCLA on Saturday. He threw a career-high 8.1 innings, allowed just one unearned run on three hits and struck out a career-high 10. It was Horn’s third-straight outing of at least eight innings, lowering his ERA from 2.40 to 1.60 in that span (second-best in the Pac-12).

MIDSEASON AWARDS WATCH: 
Halfway through the 2019 season, Pac-12 baseball’s dominance is being recognized nationwide. D1Baseball announced its midseason awards and honored Arizona State’s Hunter Bishop as the midseason top player and Tracy Smith as the midseason co-top coach of the year. Four from the Pac-12 were also named midseason All-Americans.

Perfect Game also chose Bishop as its midseason Player of the Year, as he is batting .396 with 16 home runs and a .932 slugging percentage. UCLA skipper John Savage was named the midseason coach of the year and Arizona State was tabbed the team of the year. Five Pac-12 student-athletes were named midseason first team All-Americans by Perfect Game, the most of any conference on the first team. Bishop, OSU’s Adley Rutschman and Brandon Eisert, Cal’s Andrew Vaughn and ASU’s Alec Marsh all earned the nod.

Rutschman was also named to the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award watch list, along with four other league catchers. Seventy-nine catchers were nominated for the 2019 Buster Posey Award by their coaches, given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. The winner will be announced on June 27, 2019.

SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE:
OSU’s right-handed pitcher Bryce Fehmel has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award. The award is honored to an NCAA Division I senior that has notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. Fehmel is a marketing major who comes into this weekend’s series with Arizona State at 31 career wins, which ranks third all-time at Oregon State. He is 5-0 with a 3.20 ERA this season. The 2019 winner will be announced at the College World Series.

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.

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
Stanford 13-2 29-6
Oregon State 14-4 28-10-1
UCLA 11-4 31-7
Arizona State 12-6 31-8
California 8-7 21-14
USC 8-9-1 17-21-1
Oregon 7-8 22-16
Arizona 6-12 18-20
Washington 5-10 18-17
Utah 4-14 12-22
Washington State 1-13 8-28

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Friday, April 26 TV/Stream Time
Washington State at #2 Oregon State* Pac-12 Now 5:35 p.m.
USC at Cal Poly Big West TV 6 p.m.
Utah at #1 UCLA*   6 p.m.
#11 Arizona State at Washington* Pac-12 Now 6:05 p.m.
Arizona at #3 Stanford* Pac-12 Now 6:05 p.m.
Oregon at California*   7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 TV/Stream Time
Washington State at #2 Oregon State* Pac-12 Now 1:35 p.m.
Utah at #1 UCLA*   2 p.m.
#11 Arizona State at Washington* Pac-12 Now 2:05 p.m.
Oregon at California*   3:05 p.m.
USC at Cal Poly Big West TV 4 p.m.
Arizona at #3 Stanford* Pac-12 Now 5:05 p.m.
Sunday, April 28 TV/Stream Time
USC at Cal Poly Big West TV 1 p.m.
Utah at #1 UCLA*   1 p.m.
#11 Arizona State at Washington* Pac-12 Now 1:05 p.m.
Arizona at #3 Stanford* Pac-12 Now 1:05 p.m.
Oregon at California*   1:05 p.m.
Washington State at #2 Oregon State* Pac-12 Now 1:05 p.m.
Monday, April 29 TV/Stream Time
OREGON at San Jose State   1:30 p.m.
BYU at CALIFORNIA Pac-12 Networks 3:05 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30 TV/Stream Time
#1 UCLA at Pepperdine TheW.tv 3 p.m.
Gonzaga at #2 OREGON STATE Pac-12 Now 5:35 p.m.
New Mexico State at ARIZONA   6 p.m.
#3 STANFORD at Santa Clara   6 p.m.
Seattle at WASHINGTON Pac-12 Now 6:05 p.m.

* Pac-12 Conference game

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 
March 12 Hunter Bishop, Arizona State Erik Miller, Stanford
March 19 Adley Rutschman, Oregon State Zach Pettway, UCLA
March 25 Hunter Bishop, Arizona State Ryan Garcia, UCLA
April 1 Hunter Bishop, Arizona State Brandon Eisert, Oregon State
April 8 Adley Rutschman, Oregon State Brendan Beck, Stanford 
April 15 Spencer Steer, Oregon Ryan Garcia, UCLA
April 22 Brandon Wulff, Stanford Jared Horn, California

NATIONAL HONORS 

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List
Jack Little, Jr., STAN
Jake Mulholland, Jr., OSU
Holden Powell, So., UCLA

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List
Hunter Bishop, Jr., ASU
Josh Burgmann, RS So., WASH
Brandon Eisert, Jr., OSU
Nick Kahle, Jr., WASH
Alec Marsh, Jr., ASU
Adley Rutschman, Jr., OSU
Spencer Torkelson, So., ASU
Andrew Vaughn, Jr., CAL

D1Baseball.com Midseason Top Player
Hunter Bishop, OF, ASU

D1Baseball.com Midseason Co-Top Coach
Tracy Smith, ASU

D1Baseball.com Midseason All-Americans
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Hunter Bishop, OF, ASU
Brandon Eisert, RP, OSU

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week
March 5 - Andrew Vaughn, IF, CAL

Midseason Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Year
Hunter Bishop, OF, ASU

Midseason Perfect Game/Rawlings Coach of the Year
John Savage, UCLA

Midseason Perfect Game/Rawlings Team of the Year
Arizona State

Midseason Perfect Game/Rawlings College Baseball All-American Teams
First Team
Adley Rutschman, C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
Hunter Bishop, OF, ASU
Alec Marsh, SP, ASU
Brandon Eisert, RP, OSU

Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award Watch List
Matthew Dyer, Jr., ARIZ
Maverick Handley, Jr., STAN
Nick Kahle, Jr., WASH
Korey Lee, Jr., CAL
Adley Rutschman, Jr., OSU

NCBWA National Player of the Month
March - Hunter Bishop, OF, ASU

NCBWA National Hitter of the Week
April 16 - Spencer Steer, IF, ORE

Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Bryce Fehmel, P, OSU

College Sports Madness National Baseball Players of the Week:
Feb. 18 - Ryan Holgate, OF, ARIZ (Field Player)
April 15 - Spencer Steer, IF, ORE (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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