2/28/2013 3:08:13 PM
Updated February 26, 2013
By the Pac-12 Conference
Pac-12 teams have gone 52-25 (.675) against non-conference competition through the first two weeks of the season, and six Conference squads head into Week 3 ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll: Oregon State(5), Oregon (7), Arizona, (10), UCLA (11), Stanford (16) and Arizona State (25). At 8-0, the Beavers are off to their best start since 1962. The league’s only remaining unbeaten team, OSU hosts Bryant in a four game weekend series. A number of Pac-12 teams face ranked opponents this week. The Sun Devils take on second-ranked Arkansas in the Coca-Cola Classic on Thursday, and Cal squares off with No. 1 North Carolina Friday and No. 14 Rice on Sunday in the Astros Foundation College Classic. No. 7 Oregon travels south for a three game series with No. 9 Cal State Fullerton, while Stanford hosts No. 23 Texas in a three game set.
PAC-12 BASEBALL NOTES
Arizona earned a road split with Long Beach State early in the week, then returned to Tucson and swept San Jose State over the weekend. The sweep was the Wildcats’ 10th in their last 22 weekend three-game series—they have won 19 of those 22 series. Junior third baseman Brandon Dixon went 7-for-19 (3.68) on the week, with seven RBI and four run scored. He boasted a .435 on-base percentage and went 3-for-5 (.600) with runners in scoring position, including a perfect 2-for-2 in bases-loaded situations.
Arizona State (4-2)
Arizona State took two out of three games in a road series against SEC foe Tennessee. Junior ace Trevor Williams threw seven scoreless innings in the season opener, propelling ASU to a 4-0 shutout victory. The right-hander allowed just three hits and one walk while fanning eight batters. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Trever Allen picked up Pac-12 Player of the Week accolades after collecting four hits, five RBI and two home runs. He logged a .833 slugging percentage, and, with four runs scored, he accounted for nine of ASU’s 11 runs over the weekend. Allen made a number of key catches in the series and played a pivotal role in preserving the Sun Devils’ shutout in game one.
California dropped three out of four games at UC Irvine last week but was competitive against the now-24th-ranked Anteaters, who scored the eventual winning runs in the seventh inning of game one and needed 10 innings to win game three. Junior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez led Cal to a 5-3 victory in the second game of the series, going 2-for-3 with a double and pair of RBI. Next up for the Bears is the Astros Foundation College Classic in Houston, where they will meet a pair of ranked opponents in No. 1 North Carolina and No. 14 Rice. Cal will play Rice at Reckling Park, the site of the Bears’ 2011 Houston Regional crown.
Oregon dropped its home opener to Loyola Marymount on Friday but bounced back to win games two and three of the series comfortably. The Ducks have allowed one run or fewer in three of seven games this season. Sophomore starting pitcher Tommy Thorpe improved to 2-0 on the season after a seven-inning, four-hit outing on Saturday in which he did not allow a runner past second base. The southpaw struck out a career-best eight batters in the win. Senior infielder J.J. Altobelli posted a .700 on-base percentage, reaching base all four times in game one, two of three times in game two and one of three times in game three.
Oregon State (8-0)
Oregon State topped UC Riverside in 11 innings last week before mounting a weekend sweep of San Diego State in Corvallis. At 8-0, the Beavers are off to their best start since 1962. Senior left-handed pitcher Matt Boyd garnered Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors after working a career-best 8.1 innings and striking out a career-high nine batters in a 2-0 win over SDSU on Friday. He leads the team with 13 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting just .196 against him this season. Sophomore outfielder Dylan Davis went 9-for-21 (.429) with two doubles, a triple and two RBI on the week. Davis, the team leader in batting average (.440) has hit safely in six straight games.
Stanford went 4-0 in last week’s games, kicking off the action with a shutout of traditional rival California on Wednesday and following up with a weekend sweep of Fresno State. Senior right-handed pitcher Mark Appel tossed a compete-game three-hitter on Friday, fanning 11 batters and allowing just one walk. He retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, allowing only a seventh-inning single during that stretch. Sophomore infielder Austin Slater has logged a team-high four multi-hit games, each of which came last week. The Cardinal hosts perennial power Texas this weekend.
UCLA took two of three from Baylor in Waco over the weekend. The Bruins and Bears split the first two games of the series, and UCLA won the rubber match on Sunday, scoring the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the top of the ninth inning. Junior outfielder Brian Carroll posted a .500 batting average on the weekend (6-for-12) and stole three bases. He went 3-for-4 on Friday with an RBI and two stolen bases. On Saturday, he went 2-for-5 with another stolen base, and on Sunday, he reached base safely three times and scored two runs, including the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. Carroll owns a team-best .478 batting average and has stolen five bases in six attempts on the season.
USC won two of three games against Cal State Northridge last week, dropping the first game at home, winning the second on the road and returning home to take the rubber match. Junior shortstop James Roberts batted .375 (6-for-16) over the weekend with a .625 slugging percentage, two RBI and a solo home run. Freshman left-hander Kyle Twomey earned his first career victory on Sunday, a complete-game effort in which he allowed two runs on five hits and struck out five batters. He allowed just one hit through the first five innings.
Utah took the first three games in a four game series with UC Davis but fell in the finale, 10-7. The Utes, who stand at 4-3 on the year, have scored seven or more runs in each of their last four outings. Junior infielder T.J. Bennett went 5-for-10 (.500) on the week with a 1.000 slugging percentage. He scored four runs and drove in three more, drew four walks, tripled and homered. Junior right-hander Josh Chapman earned the victory in game one after allowing one hit and no runs in two innings of relief. In game three, he pitched 2.1 innings in a setup role, allowing two hits and no earned runs and helping the Utes to a 7-6 victory.
Washington took the opener from Lamar in Beaumont, Texas last week but dropped the remaining three games in the series. In the win, junior right-hander Austin Voth fanned a career-high 14 batters while allowing just five hits and two runs in 7.2 innings of work. He struck out two batters in each of the first six innings and sat down two more in the eighth. Through the first seven innings, he allowed three hits—all singles— and no Lamar batter advanced beyond second base.
Washington State (5-2)
Washington State is riding a five-game winning streak, and four of those victories came in a sweep of Eastern Michigan last week. In the series, WSU swept consecutive double-headers against EMU, marking the first time they have won back-to-back double-headers against the same team since 1997. Junior reliever Kellen Camus earned a pair of wins and a save in three relief appearances for the Cougars. He pitched 3.2 innings of shutout baseball, did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out three. Redshirt freshman third baseman Nick Tanielu went 8-for-16 (.500) on the weekend, collecting two doubles, two triples and his first career home run. He drove in seven runs and scored eight times while slugging 1.063.
Go Devils !!