Five Pac-12 baseball squads ready for NCAA Regionals

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PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
Five Pac-12 baseball teams are set to compete in the Regional round of the 2019 NCAA Championship, including Pac-12 Champion and No. 1 overall seed UCLA. Five NCAA bids is the most for the Conference since 2015 when six teams were selected. The Bruins, No. 11 seed Stanford and No. 16 seed Oregon State were selected to host an NCAA Regional round. Arizona State and California also earned at-large bids.

All five teams play the first game of the Regionals on Friday, May 31. Regionals are played from May 31-June 3 at 16 campus sites, in a four-team, double-elimination format with the 16 winning teams advancing to the Super Regionals. No. 1 UCLA opens versus Omaha and hosts LMU and Baylor in its Los Angeles regional. No. 11 Stanford hosts Sacramento State along with Fresno State and UC Santa Barbara, while No. 16 OSU welcomes Cincinnati as well as Michigan and Creighton. Arizona State travels to No. 13 LSU for the Baton Rouge Regional and plays Southern Mississippi on Friday. California also heads south to the No. 5 Arkansas hosted Fayetteville Regional and faces TCU in its first matchup. Arizona State and California’s Friday games are on ESPN3, Oregon State’s will be on ESPNU and UCLA’s game will be available on WatchESPN. Television and streaming information throughout the NCAA Championship will be available on www.ncaa.com.

In the final USA Today Coaches poll of the regular season, UCLA is the No. 1 team in the nation for the school-record 11th-straight week. With Stanford at No. 3, Pac-12 baseball claims two of the top five teams in the poll for the 12th time in 14 weeks this season.

PAC-12 CHAMPION BRUINS:
UCLA (47-8, 24-5) won its 10th all-time Pac-12 title and fourth since Pac-12 Coach of the Year John Savage took over in 2005. The Bruins set new program records for regular season wins with 47 and conference wins with 24. This is just the sixth team in UCLA history to reach 45 wins, and five of those squads have come during the Savage era. The team also broke the school record with an .855 regular-season win percentage, which leads the country.

PAC-12 HONORS:
In a vote by the league’s coaches, Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year and crowned the Pac-12 Batting Champion with a league-leading .419 batting average. Rutschman also shared Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year with Stanford catcher Maverick Handley. UCLA’s Ryan Garcia was tabbed Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and Arizona’s Austin Wells was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, the first Wildcat to ever win the award. UCLA head coach John Savage earns his second career Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor.

PAC-12 IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP:
Pac-12 baseball is far and away the most successful conference in terms of NCAA titles and postseason success. With Oregon State’s 2018 NCAA title, the Pac-12 has won 29 NCAA titles all-time, including three of the last seven. Pac-12 baseball teams have reached the CWS title series in four of the last seven years (Oregon State 2018; Arizona 2016, 2012; UCLA 2013); eight of the last 15; and 12 of the last 20. The Pac-12’s 29 NCAA titles nearly triple the amount of all other conferences with the Big 12 being next closest at 10. With Washington’s first program appearance in the 2018 NCAA College World Series, all 11 league programs have now reached the CWS. The only other league to have all of their baseball programs reach the CWS is the SEC.

GOLDEN SPIKES FINALISTS:
Two of the four finalists for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award are Pac-12 student-athletes, including last year’s winner Cal’s Andrew Vaughn and Pac-12 Player of the Year Adley Rutschman of Oregon State.

Vaughn is only the third student-athlete to be named a finalist the year after winning the Golden Spikes Award (Jim Abbot 1987-88, Mark Kotsay 1995-96). There has never been a repeat winner, but the junior first baseman has a great chance to be the first. He was selected to the All-Pac-12 team for the second-straight season after hitting .387 with the third-best on-base percentage in the nation (.549), second-best walks per game average (1.16) along with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.

Rutschman earned Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Pac-12 Batting Champion (.419) honors after his impressive junior campaign. The projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft leads the country in OBP (.580) and walks with 73, which already broke the OSU single season record. He has reached base safely via a hit, walk or hit by pitch in 54 of OSU’s 55 games this season. He is just the second Beaver to be named a Golden Spikes Award finalist (Michael Conforto, 2014) and looks to become the first from OSU to be honored as the top amateur baseball player in the nation.

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 winner of the 42nd Golden Spikes Award will be named on Friday, June 14.

NOTABLES:
Stanford and Oregon State are two of only four teams in the nation to be named a NCAA Regional host the last three years. OSU set a new program record after it secured its third-straight national seed.

Arizona State led the nation in home runs during the regular season with 92, the most since the 1993 Sun Devils recorded 97 homers. Three Sun Devils have reached double-digit homers this season in Hunter Bishop (22), Spencer Torkelson (21) and Trevor Hauver (13). ASU is the only school in the country with two players to reach the 20 home run tally.

California is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. Led by defending Golden Spikes Award winner first baseman Andrew Vaughn, the Golden Bears look to reach their first NCAA College World Series since 2011 and claim their first NCAA title since 1957. Cal is one of only 14 schools in the nation with multiple NCAA titles (1947, 1957). 

The Bruins enter the postseason on a 10-game winning streak, a season-best and the longest since the Bruins reeled off 11 straight to close the 2013 season en route to the program's first-ever National Championship. They also endED the regular season with the nation’s best ERA (2.59), hits allowed per nine innings average (6.16), WHIP (1.06) and shutouts (11). They claim the second-best fielding percentage at .982 and are the only team in the country to rank in the top 10 in both ERA and fielding percentage.

Four Pac-12 student-athletes currently lead in four NCAA Division I active career leader categories. Oregon State pitcher and Senior CLASS Award finalist Bryce Fehmel has the most career victories with 33. NCBWA Stopper of the Year candidate junior Jake Mulholland of OSU is tied for the most career saves (30) and has the second-best career ERA (1.71). Additionally, Oregon’s junior right-handed pitcher Ryne Nelson leads all active players with a 13.99 strikeouts per nine innings average. Golden Spikes Award candidate junior Andrew Vaughn holds the active lead with a .498 career on-base percentage.

IN THE RANKINGS:
Three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 20 in the latest USA Today coaches poll, including No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 Stanford, No. 14 Oregon State. It is UCLA’s 11th-consecutive week at the top spot and a Pac-12 squad has claimed the top spot in 12-of-14 weeks this season.

For the eighth-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 16 in all five polls. California and Arizona State earned a spot in the D1Baseball, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball polls.

At the end of the regular season, the Pac-12 boasted the fourth-best conference RPI. Nine of 11 Pac-12 programs ranked in the top 71 in NCAA RPI rankings, including UCLA at No. 2. Stanford (10th), Oregon State (20th), California (30th), Arizona State (33rd) and Arizona (49th) also ranked in the top 50.

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: 
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. 


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
UCLA 24-5 47-8
Stanford 22-7 41-11
Oregon State 21-8 36-18-1
California 17-11 32-18
Arizona State 16-13 37-17
Arizona 15-14 32-24
USC 13-15 25-29-1
Washington 12-17 28-24
Oregon 10-19 27-29
Utah 6-24 16-33
Washington State 3-26-1 11-42-1

NCAA REGIONALS SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Friday, May 31 TV/Stream Time
Southern Mississippi vs. ARIZONA STATE ESPN3 10 a.m.
Sacramento State at #11 STANFORD   1 p.m.
TCU vs. CALIFORNIA ESPN3 4 p.m.
Cincinnati at #16 OREGON STATE ESPNU 7 p.m.
Omaha at #1 UCLA WatchESPN 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 1 TV/Stream Time
#13 LSU*/Stony Brook vs. ARIZONA STATE TBD TBD
#5 Arkansas*/Central Connecticut St. vs. CALIFORNIA TBD TBD
Michigan/Creighton at #16 OREGON STATE* TBD TBD
Fresno State/UC Santa Barbara at #11 STANFORD* TBD TBD
LMU/Baylor at #1 UCLA* TBD TBD

* Host institution 

National Top Sixteen Seeds listed


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
May 13 Garrett Mitchell, UCLA Jared Horn, California
May 20 Andrew Daschbach, Stanford Jack Ralston, UCLA
May 27 Justin Wylie, Arizona John Beller, USC

NATIONAL HONORS 

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Finalists
Adley Rutschman, Jr., C, OSU
Andrew Vaughn, Jr., IF, CAL

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Semifinalists
Hunter Bishop, Jr., OF, ASU
Ryan Garcia, Jr., P, UCLA
Adley Rutschman, Jr., C, OSU
Spencer Torkelson, So., IF, ASU
Andrew Vaughn, Jr., IF, CAL

NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalists
Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State
Ryan Garcia, SP, UCLA
Jack Ralston, SP, UCLA
Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award Semifinalists
Nick Kahle, Jr., WASH
Korey Lee, Jr., CAL
Adley Rutschman, Jr., OSU

College Baseball Foundation Olerud Award Semifinalists
Will Matthiesen, Jr., STAN

College Baseball Foundation Pitcher of the Year Watch List
Brandon Eisert, Jr., OSU
Ryan Garcia, Jr., UCLA

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
May 21 - Andrew Daschbach, 1B, STAN

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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