Pac-12 announces change to Pac-12 Baseball Tournament format
Second annual tournament returns to Scottsdale Stadium, set for May 23-27, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 announced today a change in format for the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, expanding the field to nine teams and switching to pool play. There will be three teams in each pool, with each team playing two games in pool play. The 2023 tournament is scheduled for May 23-27, 2023 at Scottsdale Stadium which moves to Tuesday through Saturday.
"Even with the great success of the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, we feel like these adjustments will make the event even better for both our student-athletes and our fans," said Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Teresa Gould. "The move to a maximum of three games per day will allow start times to be staggered to times that will create the best playing conditions for the student-athletes as well as the best atmosphere for our fans. Adding a ninth team to the tournament also expands the postseason experience for another university while also giving that team potential access to an NCAA Tournament berth. This also allows allows as many teams as possible to be well prepared to compete in the NCAA Tournament the following weekend."
Pool play will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with three games per day. Each pool will play a round-robin.
The three pool winners will advance to the Friday single-elimination semifinals along with one Wild Card team. The Wild Card will be determined by the best record of the non-advancing teams. Any tiebreaker will be awarded to the highest seeded team.
The semifinal matchups will be pit the highest seed team against the lowest seeded team on one side with the second highest seed and 2nd lowest seed on the other. Teams from the same pool however will not play each other in the semifinals.
Pool A will include seeds #1, #6 and #9 with Pool B made up of seeds #2, #5, and #8. Seeds #3, #4 and #7 will compete in Pool C.
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C|
|Seeds||#1, #6, #9||#2, #5, #8||#3, #4, #7|
Each team in the tournament is guaranteed two games, while the two teams that advance to Saturday's championship will play four games. All teams will have at least one day off.
Stanford won the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament in 2022 as the No. 1 seed, defeating No. 2 seed Oregon State 9-5 in the championship game. The Cardinal outscored their opponents 35-20 in their four games.
“I am really excited for the new format that will make for another thrilling week of baseball in Scottsdale,” said Stanford’s Clarke and Elizabeth Nelson Director of Baseball David Esquer, who has been involved with Pac-12 baseball for more than 30 years as a player and coach. “We train and work hard throughout the season to prepare for the postseason, and adding another team allows more Pac-12 programs to experience that atmosphere that will put the conference in a more advantageous position when the NCAA tournament begins.”
The tournament will be spread over five days at the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants. The top nine teams in the Conference standings (based on winning percentage in overall conference play) 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.
The Pac-12 is coming off of a season in which five teams earned NCAA Tournament bids including two regional hosts. Stanford represented the Pac-12 in the College World Series for the 18th time and second consecutive season.
Pac-12 programs have combined to win 29 of the 75 NCAA baseball championships all-time, 15 more than the next closest conference. The league also boasts nine Golden Spikes Award winners, second most all-time, and paces its peers with eight No. 1 overall MLB Draft picks, including in four of the past 12 drafts and two of the past three college players selected first overall.
USC has more NCAA titles than any other school in the nation with 12 and ARIZONA STATE is fourth with five. Four other Pac-12 schools have claimed at least two national titles, including ARIZONA (four), OREGON STATE (three), CALIFORNIA (two) and STANFORD (two). Pac-12 programs account for six of the 15 schools that have captured multiple college baseball national championships, double the number of schools of any other conference.