Pac-12 baseball headlined by Bay Area, Civil War rivalry series this week

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Rob Moseley/GoDucks.com

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PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
Pac-12 baseball claims two of the top three teams in the USA Today coaches poll with UCLA at No. 1 and Stanford at No. 3. This is the ninth time in 11 weeks two Conference teams have been ranked in the top three. UCLA is the No. 1 team in the nation for the eighth-straight week, the longest stretch in program history. This week features a pair of pivotal league rivalry series with California (28-15, 13-8) hosting No. 3 Stanford (35-8, 17-4) and No. 11 Oregon State (31-14-1, 17-4) visiting Oregon (24-22, 8-13) for the Civil War series.

With the postseason quickly approaching, both the Bears and Cardinal have been on a recent surge. Cal is on a five-game win streak, has won 17 of its past 20 games and had claimed four of its past five conference series. The long ball continues to be a strength for the Bears, as their 66 home runs on the season is the second-most in the Pac-12 and eighth-most in the nation. The Cardinal remain on top of the Pac-12 standings, boasting the third-best win percentage in the nation (.814). Stanford continues to find success with its pitching staff, which ranks fifth in the country in ERA (3.05). The three-game weekend tilt will be broadcast on Pac-12 Bay Area

The Civil War series between OSU and Oregon is a critical conference series for both squads, with the Beavers looking to take over the top of the league standings and Oregon trying to boost its potential postseason resume. The Beavers and Ducks have already split a pair of games in Corvallis this season and the Ducks snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Beavers in the April 9 matchup. Oregon has already surpassed its offensive output of the last two seasons in home runs (28), RBI (255) and runs scored (276), largely due to the play of junior shortstop Spencer Steer. Steer broke two program records this year with an 18-game hitting streak and the most-career multi-RBI games with 33. Oregon State is led by NCBWA Hitter of the Month junior catcher Adley Rutschman. In April, he reached base safely in 17 of the team’s 18 games and hit .455 with seven homers and 23 RBI. All three games of the rivalry series will be on Pac-12 Networks.

WEEKLY RECAP:
With a series win over No. 20 Arizona State and a midweek walk-off win over Long Beach State, No. 1 UCLA 38-8 record is a program best through 45 games. They set a school record and Pac-12 game high for the season with seven home runs against ASU on May 4. The Bruins have played one of the toughest schedules in the country and have won five series against ranked teams, including three currently in the top-10. They are the only squad in the nation to have beaten four top-10 teams.

In its last four games, Arizona has scored 61 runs, including a Pac-12 game high this season with 28 runs scored against Oregon on May 5. The Wildcats have been one of the most productive offenses in the nation this year, ranking first in doubles (121) and second in scoring (9.1 runs a game) and on-base percentage (.423).

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 20 in the latest USA Today coaches poll, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Stanford, No. 11 Oregon State and No. 20 Arizona State. It is UCLA’s eighth-consecutive week at the top spot and a Pac-12 squad has claimed the top spot in 9-of-11 weeks this season.

For the sixth-straight week, the Bruins have been named the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation by five national rankings. Additionally, UCLA, Stanford and OSU rank in the top 12 in all five polls.

Nine of 11 Pac-12 programs rank in the top 85 in NCAA RPI rankings, including UCLA at No. 2. OSU (21st), Stanford (22nd), Cal (34th) and Arizona State (37th) also rank in the top 40.

BY THE NUMBERS:
Conference pitchers have brought the heat this season as three of the top five teams with the best national ERAs are Pac-12 squads. UCLA has the best ERA at 2.68, Oregon State’s pitching staff has an ERA of 3.03, good for fourth-best, and Stanford is right behind at fifth with a 3.05 average. Additionally, the Bruins are the only team in the country to rank in the top 10 in both ERA (2.68, 1st) and fielding percentage (.982, 3rd).

The Arizona schools remain two of the best run-producing programs in the country. Arizona ranks second in the nation with 9.1 runs a game and Arizona State is third with 8.7 runs a game. The team’s also rank high in slugging percentage, with ASU boasting the third-best percentage in the nation (.525) and the Wildcats with the eighth-best (.500). Additionally, UA’s Cameron Cannon has a nation-best 24 doubles and ASU’s Hunter Bishop has the second-most homers with 21 on the season.

Pac-12 batters know how to get on base just as much with their bats as with their discipline. Three student-athletes rank in the top six in walks per game, with OSU’s Adley Rutschman leading the way with 1.28 walks per game and a program season record 59 walks in total. Reigning Golden Spikes Award winner, Cal’s Andrew Vaughn ranks fifth with 1.09 base on balls per game and Washington’s Nick Kahle lands at sixth (1.07).

STAR POWER:
Arizona's Nick Quintana was named Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week after leading the Wildcats' hot bats to a 3-1 weekend, including a pivotal conference sweep over Oregon. Arizona scored 28 runs in the series finale, the most runs by a Pac-12 team this season, and the junior provided a season-high five RBIs. His 57 RBIs on the season is the second-most in the league and 17th-most in the nation. He was also named Perfect Game’s National Player of the Week for his impressive performance.

UCLA's Jack Ralston nabbed Pac-12 Baseball Pitcher of the Week after throwing seven shutout innings in an 18-3 UCLA win at Arizona State on Saturday. The redshirt junior permitted just three hits and retired 17 consecutive batters between the second and seventh innings, one-upping his previous team-best streak of 14 set last week against Utah.

BIG TIME RELIEF:
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced its midseason Stopper of the Year Award watch list, which includes 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. Joining him on the list is Oregon State junior Jake Mulholland and UCLA’s Holden Powell.

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. 

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 17-4 35-8
Oregon State 17-4 31-14-1
UCLA 16-5 38-8
California 13-8 28-15
Arizona State 14-10 34-12
USC 9-11-1 20-24-1
Washington 9-12 23-19
Arizona 10-14 22-24
Oregon 8-13 24-22
Utah 4-20 12-28
Washington State 2-18-1 10-33-1

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Wednesday, May 8 TV/Stream Time
Portland at WASHINGTON Pac-12 Now 6:05 p.m.
Friday, May 10 TV/Stream Time
#20 ARIZONA STATE at Nebraska   4:35 p.m.
#1 UCLA at Washington State* Pac-12 Now 5:05 p.m.
#11 Oregon State at Oregon* Pac-12 Networks 7 p.m.
USC at Arizona* Pac-12 Networks 7 p.m.
Utah at Washington* Pac-12 Networks 7 p.m.
#3 Stanford at California* Pac-12 Bay Area 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, May 11 TV/Stream Time
#20 ARIZONA STATE at Nebraska   12:05 p.m.
#11 Oregon State at Oregon* Pac-12 Networks 2 p.m.
Utah at Washington* Pac-12 Networks 2 p.m.
#3 Stanford at California* Pac-12 Bay Area 2:05 p.m.
#1 UCLA at Washington State* Pac-12 Now 2:05 p.m.
USC at Arizona* Pac-12 Now 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 12 TV/Stream Time
#20 ARIZONA STATE at Nebraska   11:05 a.m.
#11 Oregon State at Oregon* Pac-12 Networks 12 p.m.
USC at Arizona* Pac-12 Networks 12 p.m.
Utah at Washington* Pac-12 Networks 12 p.m.
#3 Stanford at California* Pac-12 Bay Area 12:05 p.m.
#1 UCLA at Washington State* Pac-12 Now 12:05 p.m.
Monday, May 13 TV/Stream Time
New Mexico State at WASHINGTON Pac-12 Now 6:05 p.m.
Sam Houston State at ARIZONA Pac-12 Now 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14 TV/Stream Time
BYU at UTAH Pac-12 Networks 5 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE at Utah Valley   5 p.m.
Portland at #11 OREGON STATE Pac-12 Now 5:35 p.m.
Gonzaga at OREGON Pac-12 Now 6 p.m.
#1 UCLA at UC Irvine   6 p.m.
USC at LMU TheW.tv 6 p.m.
Cal Poly at STANFORD 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
April 29 Will Matthiessen, Stanford Ryan Garcia, UCLA
May 6 Nick Quintana, Arizona Jack Ralston, UCLA

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
May 7 - Nick Quintana, INF, ARIZ

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
April - Adley Rutschman, C, OSU

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

NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week
April 29 - Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA

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)
April 29 - Ryan Garcia, P, UCLA (Pitcher)

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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