Pac-10 play begins for all ten teams this Friday across the west coast, and here is a quick review of how each team in the Pac-10 North has fared so far in OOC play. Enjoy!
The Skinny: After an awful 2-10 start to the season, Washington has gotten somewhat back on track. They have been winners in 4 of their last 6 games, including a 10-inning victory over a solid Portland team. They also have a good win against Dallas Baptist to their credit.
The Huskies ace on the mound is Freshman Austin Voth (1-2, 7.04). They are led at the plate by Sophomore Joe Meggs, who is hitting at a .390 average so far this year.
Postseason Outlook: The Dawgs postseason chances are very, very bleak to say the least. Washington would most likely need a 18-9 record in the Pac-10 to sneak into the Field of 64, and that doesn't look realistic at all.
The Skinny: A season that began with high hopes for Washington State has quickly faded after the first 20 games. The games have been similar to a roller-coaster ride, with the ups including wins against Cal State Bakersfield (2), Oklahoma State, and Dallas Baptist. However, a loss against South Alabama and being swept at Fresno State and California has left a bad taste in the Cougars' mouth.
The Cougars ace on the mound is Junior Adam Conley (4-2). They are led at the plate by Sophomore Brett Jacobs.
Postseason Outlook: Due to the Cougars tough schedule, a record anywhere around 13-14 in Pac-10 play would most likely get them into the NCAA Tournament. Washington State has already played Cal State Bakersfield (3), Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Fresno State (3), California (3), and Gonzaga. All of those teams will most likely be in the Field of 64. However, after getting swept by California last weekend, the Cougars are already in an 0-3 hole that they need to dig out of, beginning this weekend when they host Stanfdord.
The Skinny: Like Washington State, the Ducks also came into this season with high expectations but have not lived up to them. Oregon's only good wins have came against Hawaii (2), Long Beach State, but they also have bad losses to Saint Mary's, Portland, and Wichita State (2).
The main thing that Oregon needs to fix going into conference play is their inability to close out games. There have been multiple instances of this, including:
- Up 3-1 against Hawaii, the Ducks gave up three runs in the 8th Inning to lose 4-3.
- Up 10-9 in the second game of the Hawii series, Oregon gave up two runs in the 9th to lose 11-10.
- Up 2-0 against Saint Mary's, Oregon gave up three runs in the 8th inning to lose 3-2.
- Up 6-1 against Long Beach State, Oregon gave up five runs in the 9th inning to tie the game, then gave up the winning run in the 12th inning.
- And finally, tied at 4 going into the 9th inning against Wichita State, the Ducks gave up two runs to the Shockers and eventually lost 6-5.
Oregon's ace on the mound is Junior Tyler Anderson (4-0, 1.02). Their leader at the plate is Freshman Aaron Jones, who is batting for an average of .311 so far this year.
Postseason Outlook: At the very least, Oregon could probably get into the NCAA Tournament with a 12-15 record. Also like Washington State, Oregon's SOS will help them come late May.
Rest of the review after the break
The Skinny: Unlike the previous two teams, the Beavers came into the season with low expecations. However, Oregon State has exceeded them greatly so far. The Beavers have a 18-6 record which includes wins over Gonzaga (2), Connecticut, Oregon, and Long Beach State (2). Oregon State's only bad losses have came against Seattle University and UC Santa Barbara.
An interesting storyline to watch is how long will pitching coach Nate Yeskie be out for. Yeskie was not present for the loss against the Gauchos, where the Beavers were a complete mess on the mound. This is the exact type of thing that can destroy a team mentally, but hopefully Nate will be back soon and things can return to nomal.
Oregon State's ace on the mound is Junior Sam Gaviglio (5-0, 0.39). Gaviglio has been named an early candidate for National Player of the Year by ESPN's Eric Sorenson, and he had a streak of 41 and 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball going earlier this year. The Beavers leader at the plate is Sophomore Andrew Susac, who is hitting at a .360 average so far this season.
Postseason Outlook: The Beavers have set themselves up for an awesome chance at postseason play. You have to think that anywhere near a .500 record in the Pac-10 would get them in, and probably even below that.
If the Beavers want to host a regional, then things get a little more difficult. Oregon State would likely need a 18-9 record in Pac-10 play if that were to happen, and would probably need a 22-5 record if they would like to have a National Seed going into the tournament.
The Skinny: California is not only playing for a trip to Omaha this season, but they are also trying to save their entire Baseball program, which is expected to be cut at the end of the season. I don't know how the efforts to save the program are going, but if they keep playing like they have been then a trip to Omaha isn't out of the question. California has already had good wins against Rice, Long Beach State, and Washington State (3), and their only bad losses were to San Diego State and San Francisco.
The Golden Bears are led on the mound by Junior Erik Johnson (4-1, 1.06). At the plate, California turns to Sophomore Tony Renda, who is batting at a .354 average so far this year.
Postseason Outlook: Barring a monumental collapse, the Golden Bears are safely in the Field of 64. California can't host a regional because they can't play any night games at Evans Diamond, but a 20-7 Pac-10 record would most likely make them a 1 Seed in the tournament.
The Skinny: Don't let Stanford's record fool you. These guys are for real, just look at who they have faced so far this season: Rice (3), California, Vanderbilt (3), Texas (3), and Long Beach State (3). The Cardinal are led on the mound by Sophomore Mark Appel (1-3, 4.23). Stanford's leader at the plate is Sophomore Kenny Diekroeger, who is currently hitting at a .418 average.
Postseason Outlook: With their SOS, a solid Pac-10 record should give them a 1 Seed going into the NCAA Tournament. Anywhere around a 17-10 record in conference play and they should have that taken care of.