Pac-12 Baseball: Week 7 Power Rankings and Upcoming Schedules

David A. Bowers@asudaveCorrespondent IIMarch 27, 2013

Pac-12 Baseball: Week 7 Power Rankings and Upcoming Schedules

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    After two weeks of conference play, the Pac-12 is separating the wheat from the chaff.

    Three teams are tied for first place in conference and they are all ranked in the top 12 of the four national polls.

    The past week saw a true freshman pitch a no-hitter for the first time in conference play since 1994. Ryan Kellogg from Whitby, Ontario hurled the first no-hitter in over 20 years and the ninth in Arizona State history to blank the Oregon State Beavers and garner numerous accolades including Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.

    Let's delve a little deeper and check out each team in the Pac-12 and where it ranks.

Oregon State Beavers

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    Record: 21-2, 5-1 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: No. 3

    Baseball America Rank: No. 2

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: No. 2

    USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 3

    The Oregon State Beavers took care of business over the weekend winning the series over the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils. Although they were no-hit on Saturday, senior left-hander Matt Boyd pitched a one-hit, complete-game shutout on Friday and the Beavers escaped a late-inning rally by the Devils to win 4-3.

    The Beavers pitching has been incredible, boasting a NCAA-low team ERA of 1.64 and hold opponents to a meager .205 batting average.

    Next up for Oregon State is a break from conference play as it travels to San Diego to take on the Toreros this weekend and back to Oregon for a game at the University of Portland.

UCLA Bruins

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    Record: 17-4, 5-1 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: No. 6

    Baseball America Rank: No. 7

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: No. 8

    USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 7

    The Bruins dropped the series opener at home to Cal but went on to dismantle the Bears 18-5 over the next two games. They swept Washington at home the week prior on two shutouts and a marathon 15-inning game on Saturday.

    The pitching lineup of David Berg, Grant Watson, Cody Poteet and Nick Vander Tuig has been lights-out and all four pitchers rank in the top 10 in the league for lowest opponent batting average. Berg (0.76) and Watson (1.13) hold the second- and third-lowest ERA in the Pac-12 and the Bruins pitchers have allowed the fewest runs scored in the conference with 53.

    Next up for UCLA is a three-game set at Arizona State Thursday-Saturday and then back home to face the 21-3 Cal State Fullerton Titans on Tuesday.

Oregon Ducks

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    Record: 18-6, 5-1 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: No. 8

    Baseball America Rank: No. 12

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: No. 10

    USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 9

    The Oregon Ducks had a tough time in nonconference play dropping series to Cal State Fullerton and Vanderbilt. The won the series finale against the Commodores which began a five-game win streak before dropping a game at USC. They have since swept the reigning national champion Arizona Wildcats, holding the 'Cats to just one run in the first two games and holding them off 7-6 in the series finale.

    Oregon is tops in the league in fielding percentage at .988 and has committed the fewest errors with 11. Junior first baseman Ryon Healey leads the league in doubles with 11 and does equally well on defense leading in putouts with 235.

    Closer Jimmie Sherley's seven saves leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 4 in the country.

    The Ducks host the Washington Huskies this weekend for a three-game set and travel to Tempe next weekend to take on the Sun Devils. 

Stanford Cardinal

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    Record: 11-8, 1-2 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: No. 23

    Baseball America Rank: NR

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: NR

    USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 24

    The Cardinal are in a funk right now.

    They have lost three straight games to beatable teams in UC Davis and the University of Utah. The week prior saw them being swept by UNLV at home, and they have now lost six of their past seven games. A road trip could be just the thing to bust them out of their slump.

    The bright spot on the Cardinal roster is senior right-hander Mark Appel who leads the Pac-12 with 54 strikeouts and ranks No. 5 in the nation. The Cardinal also lead the league in fewest hits allowed with 133. 

    Seven of the next eight games for the Cardinal will be played away from the Sunken Diamond with the lone home game against rival California on April 1.

Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Record: 13-7-1, 2-4 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: No. 26

    Baseball America Rank: NR

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: NR

    USA Today Coaches Poll: NR

    The Sun Devils have had their ups and downs this season already. They defeated then-No. 2 Arkansas twice in the Coca-Cola Classic and freshman sensation pitcher Ryan Kellogg pitched a no-hitter against the No. 3 Oregon State Beavers.

    They have also dropped two straight series to the aforementioned Beavers and the Washington State Cougars. The Sun Devils ace right-handed pitcher, Trevor Williams has won Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honors with two complete games and a shutout, but his record stands at 3-2.

    The Devils are second in the Pac-12 with 12 home runs and have only surrendered a league-leading one. Home runs aren't all they hit; they also lead the league in hit batters with 28.

    Kellogg leads the league in ERA (0.71), lowest opposing batting average (.129) and wins with five. His win total is tied for ninth-best in the nation while his ERA comes in at 10th.

    Arizona State welcomes the UCLA Bruins for a Thursday-Saturday set then travels for a two-game set at Wichita State.

Washington State Cougars

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    Record: 15-8, 2-1 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: NR

    Baseball America Rank: NR

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: NR

    USA Today Coaches Poll: NR

    Well, look at that, the Cougars aren't occupying the cellar for once. The Cougars are on a tear right now winning six of their past eight games, including a four-game sweep of Brown in which they outscored the Bulldogs, 45-4. They took two of three on the road at Arizona State after a disappointing road trip to UT San Antonio where they dropped three of four.

    The Cougars' bats are on fire through 23 games with a league-leading batting average of .335 that also ranks No. 2 in the country. Redshirt freshman third baseman Nick Tanielu leads the way with an incredible .419 average that ranks No. 25 in the nation.

    Washington State also tops the league in slugging percentage (.479), on-base percentage (.406), hits (271), doubles (54), home runs (17) and total bases (390).  

    Next up for Washington State is a three-game set welcoming Stanford and a single game against neighboring Gonzaga, who recently bested the Cougars, 10-8.

California Golden Bears

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    Record: 15-10, 4-2 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: NR

    Baseball America Rank: NR

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: NR

    USA Today Coaches Poll: NR

    The Cal Bears had a nice win streak going on before Saturday. They had won eight straight and were winners of nine of their last 10 games before dropping two straight to UCLA. They are 7-0 at home and will play their first-ever night game this weekend at Evans Field.

    The Bears host the USC Trojans for a Thursday-Saturday set and then travel across town to play rival Stanford Cardinal for a single game and then off to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats for three.

Arizona Wildcats

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    Record: 15-11, 0-6 Pac-12

    NCBWA Rank: NR

    Baseball America Rank: NR

    Collegiate Baseball Rank: NR

    USA Today Coaches Poll: NR

    What has happened to the defending national champion Wildcats? They hosted the Oregon schools the past two weekends and were unable to notch a single victory. The Wildcats still lead the league in runs scored (178), RBI (161), triples (19), stolen bases (58) and walks (113).

    First baseman Brandon Dixon is No. 2 in the nation with 35 runs scored, while second baseman Trent Gilbert is tied for most triples in the nation with five. 

    Arizona hosts Utah and California in the the upcoming weeks, both being three-game sets.

The Rest of the Pac

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    Utah Utes (12-10, 2-4 Pac-12)

    The Utes surprised Stanford by taking two games and winning only their second Pac-12 series. Third baseman Dallas Carroll was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for his stellar play against Stanford. They travel to Arizona to take on the Wildcats this weekend.

    USC Trojans (9-15, 2-4 Pac-12)

    The Trojans lost two of three to Washington last weekend and have only won twice in their past 11 contests. They did, however, beat Oregon 5-3 for a quality win. Next up for USC is a three-game set at Cal then back home to host UC Irvine for a game and Stanford for three.

    Washington Huskies (6-16, 2-4 Pac-12)

    The Huskies took two of three from USC last weekend but had only one game in their past 10 prior to that. Washington is going on an extended road trip for the next 11 games away from Husky Ballpark. They travel to Eugene to take on the Ducks this weekend, then visit Seattle University for a single game and Pepperdine for a three-game series. 


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