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Pac-12 Baseball Weekly Release - April 8, 2022

Apr 8, 2022

LEADING OFF:  The hottest team in the Pac-12 is UCLA, who rides a six-game win streak into Salt Lake City this weekend.   The Bruins have four straight come-from-behind wins, all by one run including an 11-inning walk-off win over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday thanks to a Cody Schrier game-winning home run.  UCLA owns a 2.50 ERA on the season, 2nd best in Division 1 this season but will now be without star freshman Thatcher Hurd indefinitely with a pars defect in his back.  Utah will look to keep the bats going after scoring 24 runs while taking two of three in Pullman last weekend.

Defending champion Arizona meanwhile returns home to face Washington State after their first ever sweep over Washington in Seattle last weekend.  However, the Wildcats will be looking to bounce back from a non-conference loss to Arizona State on Tuesday, despite going deep four times at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.  The Cougars will look to win a 3-game series against Arizona for the first time since 2014.

Oregon State travels down to Los Angeles to take on the Trojans this weekend for the first time since 2018.  The Beavers have won three of the last five series at USC and have one of the top scoring offenses in baseball at 9.0 runs per game.  After sweeping a non-conference series with San Jose State last weekend, the Trojans dropped a mid-week game with Hawai’i.  USC has played 23 of their first 26 games in Los Angeles.

Stanford took two of three from Oregon State last weekend, looking like the team that was picked to win the Pac-12 by the conference’s coaches.  Stanford’s next win will be the 150th for head coach David Esquer with the Cardinal.  Stanford will host Arizona State who took two of three from Cal last weekend including overcoming a seven-run deficit to win 16-9 on Sunday.  It was the Sun Devils largest comeback victory since March 3, 2000 against Arizona. 

Washington heads to Cal this weekend in a series with both teams looking to move up in the conference standings.  These two teams are tied for ninth in the Pac-12 and with only the top eight teams making the conference tournament, a series win here could come in handy if there are any tiebreakers.  The Bears are 7-1 against the Huskies in the Mike Neu era.

Oregon will be the lone Pac-12 school not in conference play this weekend.  The Ducks will play Ball State for the first time ever and will do it in a four-game set in Eugene.  Both teams are ranked in the Top 25 by Collegiate Baseball with Oregon at No. 21 and Ball State at No. 25.

Rankings Roundup

  • USA Today Coaches:  #5 Oregon State, #9 Arizona, #17 UCLA
  • Baseball America:  #6 Oregon State, #10 Arizona, #14 Stanford, #18 UCLA, #23 Oregon
  • D1Baseball:  #5 Oregon State, #11 Arizona, #15 UCLA
  • Collegiate Baseball:  #9 Arizona,  #12 UCLA, #16 Stanford, #19 Oregon State, #21 Oregon
  • NCBWA:  #5 Oregon State, #9 Arizona, #19 UCLA, #22 Stanford, #30 Oregon
  • Perfect Game:  #7 Oregon State, #13 Arizona, #18 UCLA, #24 Oregon

RPI UPDATE:  Entering Friday, the Pac-12 had eight teams in the Top 100 in Adjusted RPI, one of only three conferences that can say that (ACC, SEC).  Arizona leads the way at No. 10 and are 2-0 against the RPI Top 25 teams. 

UCLA has the fourth highest adjusted RPI (No. 33) but is 7-1 against the RPI Top 25, trailing only No. 1 Tennessee (10-1) for most wins against the RPI Top 25.

FORWARD THINKING:  D1Baseball and Baseball America both put out their midseason Field of 64 projections this week with their experts both predicting that five Pac-12 schools would currently make the NCAA Tournament, fourth most among all conferences. 

D1Baseball has three schools projected as regional hosts with Arizona (5th overall), UCLA (8th overall), and Oregon State (10th overall).  Baseball America has two regional hosts with Arizona (5th overall) and Oregon State (7th overall) with UCLA as a two seed.  Both publications also have Stanford and Oregon as two seeds.  Baseball America lists USC among their first four out.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!:  The inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament is scheduled for May 25-29, 2022 at Scottsdale Stadium and tickets are now available at pac-12.com/tickets.  The double-elimination tournament will be spread over five days at the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants.

The top eight teams in the Conference standings at the conclusion of the regular season will earn berths in the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, from which the champion will receive the Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Pac-12’s initial agreement with the City of Scottsdale runs through 2024.

GOLDEN MOMENT:  The Golden Spikes Award named their midseason watch list with four of the 45 players coming from the Pac-12:  UCLA RHP Jake Brooks, Oregon State LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State OF/IF Jacob Melton and Arizona catcher Daniel Susac.

Nine players from current Pac-12 schools have won this award in the past including two of the last 3 winners with Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman (2019) and California infielder Andrew Vaughn (2018).

SILENT H, MAKING NOISE:  Oregon State LHP Cooper Hjerpe made a lasting impact in his start against Stanford last week.  The lefty tied a 28-year old school record with 17 strikeouts in a game over a career-high eight innings while allowing just two hits. 

For his efforts, Hjerpe not only took home the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week but was also recognized nationally by D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball, Golden Spikes, Perfect Game and the NCBWA.

On the season, Hjerpe is 6-0 which ties him for the most wins in D-1 baseball so far this season.  His 68 strikeouts are tied for fifth most in the country and are the most in the Pac-12 and he earned a spot on the D1Baseball Midseason All-American team.

HONOR ROLL:  Hjerpe wasn’t the only Beaver being noticed this week as Jacob Melton was named D1Baseball’s Midseason Breakout Prospect. Melton leads the conference in slugging percentage (.733) and runs scored (37), while his 41 RBI not only lead the conference but are the 9th most in Division 1.  The Oregon State slugger is also tied for third in the Pac-12 with nine home runs and his .375 AVG is tied for fourth.

D1Baseball National Players of the Week

  • April 5- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)

Collegiate Baseball National Players of the Week

  • April 4- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU), LHP Quinn Mathews (Stanford)
  • March 21- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)
  • March 14- OF Jacob Melton (OSU), C Daniel Susac (Arizona), LHP Adam Tulloch (Arizona St)
  • March 7- 1B/LHP TJ Clarkson (Utah), RHP Thatcher Hurd (UCLA)
  • February 28- RHP Matthew Sox (Utah)
  • February 21- RHP Josh White (California)

Golden Spikes Performance of the Week

  • April 4- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)
  • February 28- LHP Quinn Mathews (Stanford), RHP Matthew Sox (Utah)

Dick Howser Trophy Player of the Week

  • March 15- C Daniel Susac (Arizona)

Dick Howser Trophy Pitcher of the Week

  • April 5- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU) – Co-winner
  • March 8- RHP Thatcher Hurd (UCLA) – Co-winner

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week

  • April 5- LHP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)
  • March 8RHP Thatcher Hurd (UCLA)

College Baseball Foundation Pitcher of the Week

  • March 1- Quinn Mathews (Stanford)

College Baseball Foundation Shortstop of the Week

  • March 1 – Nik McClaughry (Arizona)

POWER PLAYERS:  Reaching roughly one-third of the way through the season, D1Baseball named their Position Power Rankings with the Top 30 at each infield position, Top 75 relievers and their Top 100 in the outfield and among starting pitchers.  The following Pac-12 players made the lists:

  • Catcher:  #1 Daniel Susac (Arizona)
  • First Base:  #22 Carter Graham (Stanford)
  • Second Base:  #6 Travis  Bazzana (Oregon State)
  • Shortstop:  #21 Josh Kasevich (Oregon)
  • Third Base:  #13 Ethan Long (Arizona State)
  • Outfield:  #4 Jacob Melton (Oregon State), #17 Justin Boyd (Oregon State), #18 Dylan Beavers (California), #26 Colby Shade (Oregon), #28 Brock Jones (Stanford), #51 Tanner Smith (Oregon), #64 Tanner O’Tremba (Arizona), #80 Chase Davis (Arizona), #98 Joe Lampe (Arizona State)
  • Starting Pitchers: #13 Cooper Hjerpe (Oregon State), #19 TJ Nichols (Arizona), #20 Thatcher Hurd (UCLA), #36 Jake Brooks (UCLA), #44 Josh White (California), #63 Quinn Mathews (Stanford), #81 Max Rajcic (UCLA), #100 Garrett Irvin (Arizona)
  • Relievers:  #12 Stefan Raeth (Washington), #40 Holden Christian (Arizona), #43 Kolby Somers (Oregon), #46 Quinn Flanagan (Arizona), #60 Joey Dixon (Stanford)

COACHES CHOOSE CARDINAL:  The Pac-12 coaches took Stanford atop their preseason poll with the Cardinal receiving eight first-place votes for a total of 98 out of a possible 100 points.

Oregon State was second with 84 points and one first-place vote, Arizona was third with 77 points and UCLA with two first-place votes had the fourth-most points with 75.

NATIONAL AWARDS WATCH LISTS

GOLDEN SPIKES (MIDSEASON)

  • RHP Jake Brooks, UCLA
  • LHP Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State
  • OF/INF Jacob Melton, Oregon State
  • Daniel Susac, Arizona

GOLDEN SPIKES (PRESEASON)

  • OF Dylan Beavers, California
  • OF Brock Jones, Stanford
  • IF Ethan Long, Arizona State
  • IF Sean McLain, Arizona State
  • RHP Max Rajcic, UCLA
  • Daniel Susac, Arizona
  • RHP Josh White, California

BUSTER POSEY (Collegiate Catcher of the Year)

  • Cole Elvis, California
  • Garret Guillemette, USC
  • Kody Huff, Stanford
  • Daniel Susac, Arizona

BOBBY BRAGAN COLLEGIATE SLUGGER AWARD

  • OF Dylan Beavers, California
  • Cole Elvis, California
  • OF Brock Jones, Stanford
  • IF John Kasevich, Oregon
  • OF Tanner Smith, Oregon
  • Daniel Susac, Arizona

NCBWA STOPPER OF THE YEAR

  • Holden Christian, Arizona
  • Stone Churby, Oregon
  • Aaron Roberts, California
  • Kolby Somers, Oregon
  • Mitchell Verburg, Oregon State

SENIOR CLASS AWARD

  • INF Sam Novitske, Oregon
  • INF Jack Smith, Washington State
  • OF Tanner Smith, Oregon
  • LHP Kolby Somers, Oregon
  • RHP Mitchell Verburg, Oregon State
  • RHP Alex Williams, Stanford

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAMS

 

D1 Baseball

Baseball America

Collegiate Baseball

1st Team:

C Daniel Susac (Arizona), OF Brock Jones (Stanford)

C Daniel Susac (Arizona)

C Daniel Susac (Arizona), OF Brock Jones (Stanford)

2nd Team:

SP Josh White (Cal), RP Holden Christian (Arizona)

OF Brock Jones (Stanford), OF Dylan Beavers (Cal), SP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)

3B Ethan Long (ASU), OF Dylan Beavers (Cal)

3rd Team:

OF Dylan Beavers (Cal), DH Ethan Long (ASU), RP Kolby Somers (Oregon)

2B Sean McLain (ASU), SP Max Rajcic (UCLA)

RP Kolby Somers (Oregon), OF Tanner Smith (Oregon)

 

 

NCBWA

Perfect Game

1st team:

C Daniel Susac (Arizona), OF Brock Jones (Stanford), OF Dylan Beavers (Cal)

C Daniel Susac (Arizona), OF Brock Jones (Stanford)

2nd team:

3B Ethan Long (ASU)

OF Dylan Beavers (Cal)

3rd team:

OF Tanner Smith (Oregon)

UT Ethan Long (ASU), SP Cooper Hjerpe (OSU)

AMERICAN MADE:  Seven Pac-12 players were part of the 45-man roster for the 2021 Collegiate National Team.  Normally this would include exhibitions against international opponents but instead played an 11-game intrasquad series last summer at Appalachian League ballparks.  The roster included OF Dylan Beavers (CALIFORNIA), OF Brock Jones (STANFORD), OF/1B Ethan Long (ARIZONA STATE), INF/OF Sean McLain (ARIZONA STATE), C Daniel Susac (ARIZONA) and RHP Josh White (CALIFORNIA).

NEXT GENERATION:  The Class of 2021 recruits will get their first taste of Pac-12 play this season and it was a strong class across the board for the conference.  

Baseball America ranked UCLA’s class number one in the country for the first time in their 22 years for rankings.  The class is highlighted by a pair of Top 100 pitchers in RHP Thatcher Hurd (#44) and LHP Gage Jump (#57) along with Top 100 outfielder Malakhi Knight (#72).

Three other schools made their Top 25 with Oregon State (#6), USC (#17), and Washington (#24).

ALUMNI TOP PROSPECT LISTS:  In the latest lists by MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and The Athletic’s Keith Law, former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman is considered the top prospect in Major League Baseball.  The #1 pick in the 2019 draft by the Baltimore Orioles hit a combined 23 homers over 123 games between their AA (Bowie) and AAA (Norfolk) affiliates.

Former Sun Devil Spencer Torkelson, the #1 pick in the 2020 draft by the Detroit Tigers comes in #4 on all three lists.  Torkelson hit 30 home runs over three different minor league levels.


ON DECK (Full Schedule

Friday, April 8    
Ball State at Oregon Oregon Live Stream 4:00 p.m.. PT
No. 17 UCLA at Utah Utah Live Stream 5:00 p.m. PT
No. 5 Oregon State at USC USC Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
Washington State at No. 9 Arizona Arizona Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Stanford Stanford Live Stream 6:05 p.m. PT
Washington at California Pac-12 Washington 7:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 9    
Ball State at Oregon (Game 1 of DH) Oregon Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
No. 17 UCLA at Utah Utah Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
No. 5 Oregon State at USC Pac-12 Insider 2:00 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Stanford Stanford Live Stream 2:05 p.m. PT
Ball State at Oregon (Game 2 of DH) Oregon Live Stream 4:00 p.m. PT
Washington State at No. 9 Arizona Arizona Live Stream 6:00 p.m. PT
Washington at California Pac-12 Washington 6:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, April 10    
Ball State at Oregon Oregon Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
No. 17 UCLA at Utah Utah Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
Washington State at No. 9 Arizona Arizona Live Stream 12:00 p.m. PT
No. 5 Oregon State at USC USC Live Stream 1:00 p.m. PT
Washington at California Pac-12 Washington 1:05\0 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Stanford Stanford Live Stream 1:05 p.m. PT
Monday, April 11    
California at Saint Mary's WCC Network 3:00 p.m. PT
Arizona State at Santa Clara WCC Network 6:00 p.m. PT
Utah Valley at Washington Washington Live Stream 6:05 p.m. PT
Tuesday, April 12    
No. 17 UCLA at Pepperdine WCC Network 3:00 p.m. PT
USC at Cal State Northridge ESPN+ 3:00 p.m. PT
New Mexico State at No. 9 Arizona Pac-12 Insider 6:00 p.m. PT
San Francisco at Stanford Stanford Live Stream 6:05 p.m. PT

CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
No. 9 Arizona 9-3 21-8
No. 17 UCLA 6-3 20-8
No. 5 Oregon State 7-5 21-7
Oregon 7-5 18-10
Arizona State 5-4 14-16
Stanford 6-6 14-10
USC 4-5 17-9
Utah 4-5 17-11-1
Washington 5-7 14-13
California 5-7 13-15
Washington State 2-10 10-18

PAC-12 BASEBALL WEEKLY AWARDS

  Player of the Week Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 21 Tanner O'Tremba, Arizona Dawson Netz, Arizona
Feb. 28 Brett Barrera, Stanford Quinn Mathews, Stanford
March 7 Carson Yates, UCLA Joseph King, California
March 14 Daniel Susac, Arizona Adam Tulloch, Arizona State
March 21 Travis Bazzana, Oregon State Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State
March 28 Ethan Long, Arizona State Quinn Mathews, Stanford
April 4 Trevor Halsema, USC Cooper Hjerpe, Oregon State