Baseball Weekend Roundup

For the first time since 1997, the Stanford Cardinal were swept in a Pac-10 series. The Arizona State Sun Devils accomplished the feat this past weekend by taking three straight from the Cardinal in Tempe. Read on for all of the latest from around the conference plus an updated "Super Sixteen" national ranking.

Pac-10 Standings  (records through games of Sun. 4/17)

                   Conf.  GB   Overall
Arizona            10-2    -    26-11
Oregon State        6-3   2.5   27-7
USC                 6-3   2.5   22-10
Arizona State       6-3   2.5   25-15
California          6-6   4.0   24-16
Washington          4-5   4.5   23-14
Stanford            4-5   4.5   20-14
UCLA                0-6   7.0    8-24
Washington State    0-9   8.5   17-20

Oregon State participated in another highly entertaining series, but this time they came out on the short end.  In Tucson, Arizona dropped the Beavers by a 7-5 score in the first game as Dallas Buck endured his second straight subpar outing.  Oregon State though would respond, and in a big way.  Saturday night in the desert saw the Beavers trounce Arizona, 17-1, to even the series.  The Wildcats have an outstanding hitting team (maybe the best in the country), but their pitching has been very up-and-down this season - especially for a top ten team.

On Sunday, the two teams hooked up for a thrilling back-and-forth affair.  The Beavers carried a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning only to see Arizona score twice to win the game, 7-6, and the series.  The Wildcats remain in sole possession of first place in the conference while Oregon State drops into a three-way tie for second.

The Arizona State Sun Devils also had a banner weekend as they swept away the Stanford Cardinal in Tempe.  After a 9-2 rout in the opener, the Sun Devils won a pair of tight one-run contests to complete the sweep.  The Saturday night affair saw ASU score three times in the bottom of the ninth to win, 6-5.  It was the first time Stanford had been swept in a Pac-10 series since April of 1997 when the Sun Devils also did the trick (at Sunken Diamond).  That's a string of 64 consecutive conference series'.  The sweep basically ends any hope of a third consecutive conference championship for the Cardinal while Arizona State moves to near the top of the Pac-10 race.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, Washington notched a huge series victory by taking 2-of-3 over California.  Only an 11-inning win by the Bears in the series finale kept it from ending in a sweep.  Washington inches closer to .500 in the conference while California drops to an even 6-6. 

In non-conference action, USC knocked off Cal State Fullerton last Tuesday in a single non-conference game before a loss to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday.  Speaking of the Gauchos, UCSB managed a 2-of-3 series victory over struggling UCLA in a home-and-home series.  The Bruins though did pick up a victory on Saturday to snap their school-record losing streak at 19 games. 

USC and Washington State both had the weekend off.

This weekend, Oregon State has a golden opportunity to get back on track with a home series against winless Washington State.  Arizona State also has a chance to continue their strong play with a series in Tempe against UCLA.  Arizona has the weekend off from conference play, so if the Beavers and Sun Devils can both pick up sweeps, they'll each move to within one game of the frontrunner Wildcats.

USC and California get together for a pivotal series in Berkeley.  The Bears are still very much on the NCAA Tournament bubble, but a series win over USC, in addition to their series victory over Arizona State two weeks ago, will go a long way toward securing a bid.  Meanwhile, the Trojans still have visions of a contending for the conference championship, so a series win this weekend is a must.

Finally, Stanford tries to rebound from the ASU disaster when they host Washington for three games.  The Cardinal and Huskies were picked by many to finish 1-2 in the Pac-10 during the preseason.

Arizona will play a pair of games against UC Irvine and a single contest against Sacramento State in Sacramento over the weekend.

This Weekend:
* Washington at Stanford
* UCLA at Arizona State
* USC at California
* Washington State at Oregon State
Arizona vs. UC Irvine (in Sacramento) - two games
Arizona at Sacramento State - one game

"Super Sixteen"

                      Record   Pvs.
1. Texas               32-6     1
* Longhorns pick up home sweep of Oklahoma tossing a no-hitter in the middle contest.

2. CS Fullerton        26-9     2
* Titans lose midweek game to USC, but rebound to easily sweep Pacific.

3. Tulane              32-6     3
* Green Wave manage 2-of-3 series win over visiting Houston.

4. Florida             27-9     4
* Gators maintain top record in the SEC (10-5) after series win at home versus Alabama.

5. Arizona             26-11    6
* Wildcats on top of Pac-10 after thrilling 2-of-3 series win over Oregon State.

6. Oregon State        27-7     5
* Beavers fall back slightly after dropping 2-of-3 at Arizona.

7. Georgia Tech        29-7     8
* Yellow Jackets continue to roll through ACC (16-2 record) after home sweep of Florida State.

8. Miami               29-9     9
* Hurricanes blow out North Carolina twice in Chapel Hill before a tie in the series finale.

9. Long Beach State    27-12   12
* Dirtbags continue to move up after weekend sweep of Cal State Northridge.

10. South Carolina     29-8     7
* Gamecocks lose midweek game at Clemson before dropping 2-of-3 at home to Vanderbilt.

11. Baylor             25-13   16
* Bears out in front in the Big 12 (12-3 record) after weekend sweep of Kansas.

12. LSU                26-12   14
* Tigers bounce back from consecutive series losses by taking 2-of-3 from visiting Mississippi.

13. Nebraska           31-7    NR
* Huskers in the "Super Sixteen" after 4-1 week that includes series win at Texas A&M.

14. Arizona State      25-15   NR
* Sun Devils back in the ranking after sweep of Stanford.

15. Arkansas           30-8    15
* Hogs win a pair of midweek games before losing 2-of-3 at hard-charging Tennessee.

16. USC                22-10   NR
* Trojans knock off Fullerton before a loss to UC Santa Barbara.

Dropped Out: Stanford (20-14, 1-3 last week), Mississippi (24-12, 2-2 last week), North Carolina (28-8, 1-2 last week)

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