4/18/2012 12:20:00 PM
• Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in Baseball America’s top 25 poll: Oregon (8), UCLA (11), Arizona (13), Stanford (14) and Arizona State (20).
• No. 11 UCLA was named CollegeBaseballInsider.com’s Team of the Week after a 3-1 week against two top-15 teams. Last Tuesday, the Bruins defeated No. 12 Cal State Fullerton at home, 4-2, and then won two out of three games in the weekend series at then-No. 4 Arizona, handing the Wildcats their first weekend series loss of the season. UCLA is the second Pac-12 team to be named the CBI Team of the Week, as Arizona earned the honor on April 3.
• UCLA junior center fielder Beau Amaral is the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week in addition to the Pac-12 Player of the Week. Amaral went 9-for-18 (.500) with two triples, one double, six RBI and seven runs in UCLA’s four games against two top-15 teams last week, posting a .778 slugging percentage. He put up his strongest numbers at Arizona on Saturday, going 4-for-6 with two triples, four RBI and four runs in UCLA’s 15-3 victory. Amaral extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games on Sunday, going 2-for-5 with one double, two RBI and one run to help the then-No. 17 Bruins seal the series victory at Arizona. His streak is the longest by a Bruin since Chris Jensen’s 18-game hitting streak in 2005.
• Stanford junior Eric Smith and UCLA junior Tyler Heineman have been added to the 51-person watch list for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award, the honor for college baseball’s best catcher. The award will be presented on June 28 in Wichita, Kan. Two Pac-12 catchers have received the honor since the award’s creation in 2000: Ryan Garko (Stanford, 2003) and Jeff Clement (USC, 2005).
• Arizona State’s pitching staff is in the top 10 among Division I schools in four statistical categories: the Sun Devils have the third-lowest ERA in the country at 2.57, are fourth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.09), rank seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.23—242 strikeouts to 75 walks) and are ninth in hits allowed per nine innings (7.53). ASU righties Brady Rodgers and Trevor Williams lead the Pac-12 with ERAs of 1.12 and 1.41, respectively, and rank sixth and 17th in the country in that category.
• Arizona ace Kurt Heyer threw his second-straight complete game (third of the year, sixth of his career) in Friday’s 4-3 win over UCLA. The junior also reached 300 career strikeouts, tying him for eighth on Arizona’s all-time strikeouts list.
FYI: Conforto smacked two three-run homers against Nevada.
Go Devils !!