Baseball Weekend Roundup

The Cardinal recorded a 2-1 record last week against the likes of Pacific and Sacramento State as they gear up for the start of conference season. Meanwhile, six other teams in the Pac-10 began their respective conference slates this past weekend. Read on for all of the latest from around the Pac-10 plus and updated "Super Sixteen."

Pac-10 Standings  (records through games of Sun. 3/27)

                   Conf.  GB   Overall
California          3-0    -    19-9
Arizona             2-1   1.0   18-10
Arizona State       2-1   1.0   18-13
Oregon State        0-0   1.5   19-4
Stanford            0-0   1.5   14-8
UCLA                0-0   1.5    7-13
USC                 1-2   2.0   14-8
Washington          1-2   2.0   14-10
Washington State    0-3   3.0   15-13

The Pac-10 season started last weekend with basically no surprises.  Arizona and Washington got together in Tucson with the Wildcats taking 2-of-3 in a high-octane series.  Arizona hammered reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Tim Lincecum in the opener en route to a 13-6 victory.  The middle contest saw former All-Conference outfielder Jeff Van Houten blast a solo home run in the bottom of the 12th inning for a 6-5 win.  The Huskies though would feast on Wildcat pitching, which has not been very good past their top two starters, for a 16-8 drubbing in the finale. 

In Los Angeles, Arizona State continued their recent strong play as they're starting to show why they were a preseason top 10 team.  The Sun Devils made a valiant comeback effort against the USC bullpen in the opener before falling by a 9-8 score.  The second game wasn't close as ASU pounded the Trojans by a 17-1 score before a 2-1, ten inning thrilling victory in the rubber contest.  An excellent start to the conference season for the Sun Devils as road series wins will certainly be at a premium this season for everyone.

Finally, California easily swept Washington State in Berkeley.  The Bears now boast a 19-9 overall record after two blowout victories and a narrow 5-4 win in the series finale.  The Cougars had a good non-conference record, but against very poor competition.  I would imagine they'll continue to be exposed as the Pac-10 season progresses.

In non-conference action, Stanford split a two-game home-and-home series with Sacramento State after a win on Thursday over Pacific.  Meanwhile, Oregon State took 2-of-3 at home from Dallas Baptist.  The Beavers were hammered in the opener by a 17-7 score, but rallied for 7-2 and 11-3 wins to claim the series victory.  Ace hurler Dallas Buck fired a complete game with no earned runs allowed and 12 strike outs in one of those victories.  A National Player of the Year candidate, the sophomore has a perfect 5-0 record with a 0.77 ERA through seven starts.  In 46 2/3 innings, Buck has allowed just 29 hits and four earned runs to go with 63 strike outs.  Mark your calendars for Friday, April 8th when Buck throws against the Cardinal at Sunken Diamond.

It's a full slate of Pac-10 action this weekend.  Defending conference champion Stanford opens their Pac-10 schedule with a series up north at Washington State.  USC and Washington both look to get back on track as they get together for three games in Seattle.  Both of these teams have visions of challenging for the Pac-10 title, but the loser of this series will be put in a early hole.  The edge this weekend has to go to the Huskies as they are a perfect 7-0 at Husky Ballpark.

Other action sees Arizona take on UCLA in Los Angeles.  The Bruins (who host Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday) have lost nine consecutive games while the Wildcats look to build on their success of this past weekend.  Oregon State, with their #18 national ranking, get their conference season started with a series at home against California.  The Bears are off to a fast start in the Pac-10, but that can certainly be expected when you're playing Washington State at home.  Now comes a major road test for Cal.  Finally, Arizona State should remain hot as they host Wright State in a three-game, non-conference series.

This Weekend:
* Stanford at Washington State
* Arizona at UCLA
* California at Oregon State
* USC at Washington
 Wright State at Arizona State



"Super Sixteen"

                        Record   Pvs.
1. Texas                 23-4     4
   
* Longhorns move up to top spot after teams above them falter and they sweep shortened two-game series over nationally ranked Texas Tech.

2. CS Fullerton          17-6     1
   
* Titans drop down after losing 2-of-3 at Long Beach State in very competitive, pitching-rich series (2-3, 5-4, 1-3).

3. Mississippi           19-5     9
   
* Rebels playing well to open SEC campaign (4-2 record) ... took 2-of-3 at Tennessee over the weekend ... have yet to lose a series this season.

4. Tulane                21-5     2
   
* Green Wave fall after dropping 2-of-3 on the road against Louisville.

5. LSU                   19-6     3
   
* Tigers are yet another top team who lost a series last weekend as they drop 2-of-3 at home to Auburn.

6. Florida               19-7    10
   
* Gators rebound from Mississippi series loss by taking 2-of-3 from South Carolina.

7. Georgia Tech          21-4    11
   
* Jackets lose midweek game to Auburn, but rebound with impressive 2-of-3 series win at ACC rival Miami (although the one loss was by a 20-1 score).

8. Miami                 22-7     6
   
* Hurricanes with a 2-2 week (1-0 at FIU, 1-2 vs. Georgia Tech) ... Miami (8-4) falls three games behind the Jackets (11-1) in the ACC race.

9. Stanford              14-8     7
   
* Cardinal post a 2-1 record last week (1-0 vs. Pacific, 1-1 vs/at Sacramento State).

10. Arkansas             21-4     5
   
* Hogs drop after losing 2-of-3 at home to Mississippi State.

11. Arizona              18-10   12
   
* Wildcats open Pac-10 play by taking 2-of-3 from visiting Washington.

12. South Carolina       19-5     8
   
* Gamecocks continue to fall after second straight series loss to open SEC play ... lost 2-of-3 at Florida over the weekend.

13. Oregon State         19-4    13
   
* Beavers hold steady after a 3-1 week (1-0 at Portland, 2-1 vs. Dallas Baptist).

14. North Carolina       20-5    NR
   
* Tar Heels back in the "Super Sixteen" after 5-0 week that includes weekend sweep of Wake Forest.

15. Long Beach State     18-10   NR
   
* Dirtbags make a statement by taking 2-of-3 from previously top-ranked Titans ... Long Beach now has series wins over Fullerton, Baylor, Arizona State, and Wichita State ... Tulowitzki has returned from his injury.

16. Baylor               16-10   14
   
* Bears can't build on momentum of Texas sweep ... lose midweek game to Texas State and then drop 2-of-3 at Oklahoma State.

Dropped Out: Texas A&M (19-9, 2-2 last week), USC (14-8, 1-2 last week).


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