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Jockeying for Position

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As the days pass, it's getting to the point where each game seemingly complicates Pac-10 standings, with teams jockeying for position as Selection Monday looms in the near future. The Beavers currently find themselves tied for third place with Washington State heading into the weekend series with Washington. 

Here's how the top portion of the Pac-10 standings looks:

--Arizona State (16-5) stays atop the leaderboard, despite their Pac-10 first series loss of the year to the Beavers last weekend. The Sun Devils have fallen two spots to No. 5 in the latest Baseball America poll, which lists North Carolina at No. 1 and UC Irvine at No. 2. Despite losing two games to the Beavers in which they had the lead, ASU can take away the fact that junior Mike Leake had a great start in Friday's game, getting his second consecutive complete game while beating the Beavers, 4-2. The Sun Devils have Oregon and UCLA left in Pac-10 play.

--UCLA (13-8), who won a series against the Beavers earlier this season, sits just three games out of first place with California and the Sun Devils left on the schedule. If the Bruins sweep the Bears and ASU has difficulties with Oregon (um, not likely...), the Pac-10 crown could potentially be determined in the last regular season series of the year between two Pac-10 heavyweights in Tempe.

--The Beavers and Cougars come in tied for third place (11-7), a half game behind UCLA. Washington State hosts Oregon this week, with the Beavers drawing a bit tougher of an opponent in Washington. The Beavers really need to win the series against Washington to keep up with the Cougars in the standings, as WSU is favored to win their series this weekend. The Cougars lost their first series other than to ASU last weekend, falling two out of three games to Stanford in Pullman.

--In fifth sole possession of fifth place we have Washington (10-8), who will have their hands full with Oregon State this weekend. The Beavers are coming off of a "lackluster" performance against the University of Portland, but the Beavers will likely be ready to play when they walk into Safeco Field to play the Huskies in Game 1 on Friday. Washington has won seven of its last ten games, and has Oregon State, Arizona, and Washington State remaining on the schedule.

--A game and a half behind Washington sits Stanford (10-11), who won a big series against Washington State last week. Stanford has won series' this season against Oregon, UCLA, and WSU, but has fallen to Arizona State, California, and Arizona, putting them right in the middle of the Pac-10 standings. The Beavers close out the season by playing the Cardinal at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, where the Beavers post-season resume will be polished and submitted to the Selection Committee. 

This weekend's Pac-10 series', in list format:

 

  • Cal at UCLA
  • Oregon State at Washington
  • Oregon at Washington State
There are only three Pac-10 series' going on this weekend, but four of the top five teams in the conference are involved. The Beavers need a strong showing against Washington, because you figure that WSU takes care of Oregon, and UCLA knocks off Cal, at least winning that series, if not sweeping. 

Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, and USC are all playing non-conference opponents over the weekend.