Unbeaten UCLA early leader in Pac-12 Baseball

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PREVIEWING THE WEEK:
No. 8 UCLA is one of just 19 teams in the country that remain unbeaten after two weeks of non-conference competition. This week, the Bruins (7-0) are looking to continue their best season start since 2010 as they face two top-25 teams in No. 17 Oklahoma State and No. 21 Texas A&M.

For the third week in a row, Pac-12 Baseball will have multiple top-25 clashes and face at least one team that competed in the 2019 College World Series. UCLA faces Pepperdine Wednesday at home (6 p.m. PT) before heading down to Frisco, Texas to take on No. 17 Oklahoma State on Friday (1 p.m.), along with No. 21 Texas A&M Saturday (4 p.m. PT) and Illinois Sunday (9 a.m. PT) in the Frisco College Classic. No. 15 STANFORD is looking to build some momentum this weekend with a three-game home series against Grand Canyon before facing No. 11 Michigan on Tuesday (6 p.m. PT) at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.

NOTABLES:
• Four Pac-12 teams recorded sweeps last weekend. ARIZONA STATE took all three from Boston College (10-4, 8-4, 8-4), UCLA topped Saint Mary’s (5-0, 7-1, 2-0), WASHINGTON took down Fresno State (4-1, 8-1, 3-1), and OREGON recorded its first home series win over Nevada this season (3-2, 3-2, 9-1). 
• No. 25 OREGON STATE became the first team in the country to record a win against No. 6 Mississippi State after defeating the Bulldogs (7-2) in the series finale, posting the Conference’s first upset of the season.
• Five Pac-12 athletes hold top-10 spots nationally in five offensive categories. USC’s Ben Wanger is tied for the national lead in on base percentage (.750) while ranking second in batting average (.688). Arizona States Spencer Torkelson ranks seventh in home runs (4), California’s Quentin Selma ranks sixth in RBIs (15), and Kyle Manzardo of WASHINGTON STATE and Kyler McMahan of Oregon State are tied for seventh in doubles (5).

IN THE RANKINGS:
The USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll features four Pac-12 teams. 2019 Pac-12 Champion UCLA leads the way at No. 8, followed by Arizona State at No. 13, STANFORD at No. 15, and Oregon State at No. 25.The Bruins and Sun Devils are also in the top 12 of the Baseball America, D1Baseball, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball’s preseason polls. Arizona is receiving votes in the poll, while also earning  a No. 22 rank in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25, No. 26 in the NCBWA Top 40, and No. 28 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 40.

PRESEASON NODS:
The Pac-12 has nine total preseason All-America selections from three different schools. Four student-athletes were named to all five preseason All-America lists, including Arizona’s Austin Wells, Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson, and UCLA’s Holden Powell and Garrett Mitchell. Junior infielder Torkelson was selected first team for all five lists, and was also named the 2020 Collegiate Baseball Projected Player of the Year. Junior pitchers Erik Tolman of Arizona State and UCLA’s Powell were selected to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List.

GOLDEN SPIKES:
The Pac-12 is home to nine Golden Spikes Award winners, leading all other conferences, after former Beaver Adley Rutschman claimed the league’s second-consecutive award last season. Six Pac-12 student-athletes were named to the 2020 Golden Spikes Award watch list, including consensus preseason all-americans Arizona catcher Austin Wells and Arizona State infielder Spencer Torkelson. The list is further highlighted by fellow Sun Devil infielders Alika Williams and Gage Workman, and UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell and right-handed pitcher Holden Powell. Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the nation with this award, given each year to the player who best exhibits exceptional on-field ability and exemplary sportsmanship.

STOPPER OF THE YEAR:
The Pac-12 has two student-athletes on the 2020 NCBWA Preseason Watch List, including 2019 NCBWA Stopper of the Year UCLA’s Holden Powell and sophomore Erik Tolman of Arizona State. The NCBWA presents the Stopper of the Year Award to the top relief pitcher in Division I baseball for the 16th straight year at the College World Series on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

MLB DRAFT
Seventy Pac-12 student-athletes were selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, including former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles, giving the Conference an NCAA-best seven No. 1 overall draft-picks. For the eighth-straight year, all 11 league programs had at least one player drafted. Additionally, the Pac-12 averaged 6.36 student-athletes drafted per team, the best average of any conference. The Conference had three picks in the top 10 for the first time since 2006 with California’s Andrew Vaughn being selected with the third pick and Arizona State’s Hunter Bishop chosen with the 10th pick. UCLA’s 13 selections are tied for the most of any school in the nation. After UCLA, Stanford had the second-most picks in the Pac-12 with nine, followed by California, Oregon State and USC with seven selections apiece.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
UCLA1 0-0-0 7-0-0
Arizona 0-0-0 5-2-0
USC 0-0-0 5-2-0
Washington 0-0-0 5-2-0
Arizona State 0-0-0 6-3-0
Utah 0-0-0 3-3-0
Oregon 0-0-0 3-4-0
Oregon State 0-0-0 3-4-0
California 0-0-0 3-5-0
Washington State 0-0-0 3-5-0
Stanford 0-0-0 1-7-0

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific - Expanded Schedule Details)

Wednesday, February 26 TV/Stream Time
Central Michigan at ARIZONA Live Stream 5:00 p.m. PT
Pepperdine at #8 UCLA   6:00 p.m. PT
Thursday, February 27    
#25 OREGON STATE at San Diego State   6:00 p.m. PT
Friday, February 28    
Rutgers vs. WASHINGTON STATE (1)   11:10 a.m. PT
#8 UCLA vs. #17 Oklahoma State (2)   1:00 p.m. PT
UTAH at UT Arlington Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
Milwaukee at OREGON Live Stream 4:00 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA at TCU   4:30 p.m. PT
Central Michigan at ARIZONA (3) Live Stream 5:00 p.m. PT
Nebraska at #13 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 5:30 p.m. PT
#25 OREGON STATE at San Diego State   6:00 p.m. PT
Grand Canyon at #15 STANFORD Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
Seton Hall at USC Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
UC Irvine at WASHINGTON Live Stream 6:05 p.m. PT
Saturday, February 29    
CALIFORNIA at TCU   12:00 p.m. PT
UTAH at UT Arlington Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
Milwaukee at OREGON Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
Grand Canyon at #15 STANFORD Live Stream 2:00 p.m. PT
Seton Hall at USC Live Stream 2:00 p.m. PT
UC Irvine at WASHINGTON Live Stream 2:05 p.m. PT
#8 UCLA vs. #21 Texas A&M (2)   4:00 p.m. PT
Rhode Island at ARIZONA (3) Live Stream 5:00 p.m. PT
Milwaukee at OREGON Live Stream 5:00 p.m. PT
Nebraska at #13 ARIZONA STATE   5:30 p.m. PT
Rutgers vs. WASHINGTON STATE (1)   5:35 p.m. PT
#25 OREGON STATE at San Diego State   6:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, March 1    
Illinois vs. #8 UCLA (2)   9:00 a.m. PT
UTAH at UT Arlington Live Stream 9:00 a.m. PT
Rutgers vs. WASHINGTON STATE (1)   9:30 a.m. PT
Rhode Island at ARIZONA (3) Live Stream 11:00 a.m. PT
CALIFORNIA at TCU   11:00 a.m. PT
Nebraska at #13 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 11:30 a.m. PT
Milwaukee at OREGON Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
#25 OREGON STATE at San Diego State Mountain West Network 1:00 p.m. PT
Grand Canyon at #15 STANFORD Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
Seton Hall at USC Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
UC Irvine at WASHINGTON Live Stream 1:05 p.m. PT
Tuesday, March 3    
ARIZONA at Texas Longhorn Network 4:30 p.m. PT
#8 UCLA at UC Santa Barbara   5:30 p.m. PT
#11 Michigan at #15 STANFORD Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
UC Irvine at USC Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
#13 ARIZONA STATE at Cal State Fullerton   6:05 p.m. PT
Portland at WASHINGTON Live Stream 6:05 p.m. PT

 1 - Peoria, Ariz. 2 -Frisco College Classic, Frisco, Texas 3- Arizona Tournament, Tucson, Ariz.

Rankings listed are USA Today Coaches Poll


PRESEASON NATIONAL HONORS 

USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List
Austin Wells, C,  ARIZ
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
Holden Powell, RHP, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, IF,  ASU
Alika Williams, IF, ASU
Gage Workman, IF, ASU

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List: 
Holden Powell, Jr , UCLA
Erik Tolman, So., ASU

Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-Americans
First Team 

Holden Powell, RHP, UCLA
Spencer Torkelson, 1B,  ASU

Second Team
Jake Mulholland, LHP, OSU
Austin Wells, C, ARIZ
Garrett Mitchell, OF,  UCLA

Collegiate Baseball Projected Player of the Year
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU

D1Baseball.com Preseason All-Americans
First Team

Spencer Torkelson, DH, ASU
Alika Williams, SS, ASU
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
Holden Powell, UCLA

Second Team
Austin Wells, C, ARIZ

Perfect Game Preseason All-Americans
First Team
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
Holden Powell. RP, UCLA

Second Team
Austin Wells, C, ARIZ
Alika Williams, SS, ASU

Baseball America Preseason All-Americans
First Team

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Garrett Mitchell, UCLA 

Second Team
Austin Wells, C, ARIZ
Gage Workman, 3B, ASU
Alika Williams, SS, ASU

NCBWA Preseason All-Americans
First Team 

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, ASU
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
Matthew Dyer, DH, ARIZ
Holden Powell, RP, UCLA

Third Team
Austin Wells, C, ARIZ
Trevor Hauver, OF, ASU

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