Oregon State 7-7
Washington State 3-10
Good weekend for the conference as only USC plays below
.500 but that series loss was to fellow Pac-10 team Stanford. Top Pac-10
honors this weekend go to the UCLA Bruins who travel south to play in Cal
State Fullerton's round-robin tournament. UCLA posted impressive wins
over nationally ranked Texas (13-2) and Tulane (12-2) before falling 7-1 to
Fullerton (who isn't losing to anyone right now). Arizona also had a
very good weekend as they took 2-of-3 from #24 Texas A&M in Tucson to
move their record to 11-5. The Wildcats seem to be emerging as one of
the top half Pac-10 teams this season. Oregon State and Washington both
went 2-1 at the same round-robin tournament in Lancaster. They each
defeated Cal State Northridge and San Diego State, but fell to San Diego and
each now sit at .500. Arizona State continued its 19-game homestand
last weekend with an easy sweep of Penn State. Washington State broke
even at 2-2 at a round-robin tourney at Lewis-Clark State. California's three-game
series at Oklahoma State was cancelled due to inclement weather in Stillwater.
It's rivalry weekend in the Pac-10 with Stanford hosting
California, UCLA hosting USC, and Washington hosting Washington State. All
of those series' will not count in the conference standings. UCLA-USC
should be an interesting matchup to watch as the Trojans try to get back
on track and over .500 while the Bruins are riding high after their impressive
weekend at Fullerton. Arizona has a big series as they travel to Austin
to play the Texas Longhorns while Arizona State continues to host very average-to-below
average teams with four games at home this weekend versus Cal State Northridge,
Utah, and Utah State.
USC Series Notes :
Second consecutive series win over a ranked team as the
Cardinal take 2-of-3 from USC in a non-conference series at Sunken Diamond.
Very ugly game on Friday night for Stanford as the Card committed six
errors leading to seven unearned runs in USC's 13-4 win. Five of the
six errors were made by the trio of freshman infielders who had played so
well at Texas defensively the weekend prior (no errors). To their credit,
Lowrie, Lewis, and Mayberry, Jr. did play flawless defense the rest of the
The hitting appears to have turned the corner as the Cardinal
scored a whopping 28 runs over the last two games of the series. Expected
to be the strength of this year's team, the hitting had struggled prior to
the Texas series. But 18 runs in the first two games of that series combined
with the offensive explosion against USC is a very good sign. On Saturday,
Stanford scored six runs in the first inning en route to a 10-6 victory. Sam
Fuld had a breakout game with four hits while Brian Hall broke out of a 5-for-41
slump with a three-hit performance. On Sunday, the Cardinal scored
18 runs on 16 hits including a season-high five home runs. Danny Putnam
led the way with three hits (two of which were homers) and seven RBI. John
Mayberry, Jr., Brian Hall, and Chris Lewis also blasted home runs as Stanford
used a seven-run seventh inning to put the game away. Mayberry, Jr.
had an outstanding series going 7-for-12 with a triple and a homer (both
on Sunday) along with five RBI. He has an 11-game hitting streak and
has got his average up to a season-high .355. Ryan Garko also had a
nice weekend with five hits, four of which were doubles. He drove home seven
runners and leads the club with 22 RBI in just 18 games. The top of
the order in Hall and Fuld also came through on Saturday and Sunday after
each had struggled for much of the early season. Hall went 5-for-8
with a homer and four RBI while Fuld contributed six hits and scored five
runs. It's a very good sign to see those two guys swinging it well
again with the way the middle of the order is playing right now. The
only negative in terms of hitting this weekend was the play of freshmen Chris
Lewis and Jed Lowrie. Lewis was struggling with a 1-for-9 weekend going
before homering in the eighth inning on Sunday. Lowrie didn't even
get a hit all weekend going 0-for-11 with seven K's. He's now hitless
in his last 17 at-bats since his 4-for-5 performance in the first game of
the Texas doubleheader.
On the pitching side, John Hudgins had his first rough
outing of the season giving up eight runs (six earned) in six innings of work
on Friday. Hudgins gave up a team-leading 17 homers last season but
was doing well in that category this season with only one round-tripper given
up in his first five starts. That was until this weekend against USC
when the Trojans touched him up for three bombs. Hopefully just an
aberration as Hudgins has easily been Stanford's top starter this season.
Ryan McCally pitched into the late innings on Saturday which was something
he had been struggling to accomplish in the early season. The senior
righthander surrendered only three earned runs in 7 2/3 innings of work and
appears to have a strong hold on the #2 spot in the rotation until Cunningham
comes back. Freshman Mark Romanczuk made his first career start on
Sunday and pitched pretty well with four earned runs allowed in six innings
of work. With all the offense the hitters provided, it was plenty good
enough to record his fourth win of the year. Freshman Matt Manship
followed up his stellar relief outing in Texas with an impressive performance
in the finale this weekend. He easily shutout the Trojans over the
final three frames while striking out four. If Romanczuk continues
to start with Cunningham out, it would seem Manship will be option #1 out
of the bullpen for Coach Marquess. David O'Hagan and Drew Ehrlich continue
to be used in big spots but the same probably can't be said for Mark Jecmen
for the time being. The sophomore struggled once again this weekend
as he walked the only two batters he faced on Friday while also throwing
a wild pitch.
"Super Sixteen" Poll :
1. Florida State
* Seminoles remain in the top spot after sweep of Charleston Southern.
2. Georgia Tech
* Jackets stay perfect with three-game home sweep of George Washington.
* Owls also with a sweep last weekend as they knocked off SW Texas State three times.
4. Cal State Fullerton
* Titans with an impressive 3-0 week with wins over Texas, Tulane, and UCLA.
5. Arizona State
* Sun Devils with easy home sweep of Penn State ... top 5 teams with a bit of separation from the others in the poll as their combined record stands at 72-4.
* Cardinal move up a couple of spots after impressive series win over USC.
* Bears continue to roll with a 4-0 week that includes a sweep at UC Irvine.
* Longhorns continue to drop after posting 1-2 record at Fullerton tournament.
9. South Carolina
* Gamecocks split a two-game home-and-home series with Clemson.
10. Long Beach
State 10-5 11
* 49ers looking more and more like one of the better teams on the west coast after taking 2-of-3 from LSU last weekend.
* Cornhuskers in the poll for the first time after a 3-0 weekend that saw them pick up victories over Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and Minnesota.
12. Wake Forest
* Deacons fail in first test to show they are among nation's elite as they go 1-2 at Minnesota's tourney with losses coming to Nebraska and ND.
* Trojans stay put after 2-2 week that includes series loss at Stanford.
* Tide go 4-1 last week including taking 2-of-3 at home versus Rhode Island.
* Spiders have four games washed out last week ... only game was a win over Delaware State.
* Cougars back in the poll after three-game sweep of Louisiana-Lafayette ... very tough schedule.
: Notre Dame (3-4, 1-2 last week), Tulane (9-4, 1-3 last week).
Opponents Update :
Florida State and Cal State Fullerton continue to win as
each sport impressive 14-1 records. While Florida State continues to
play a bunch of cupcakes, Fullerton is doing it against quality teams as
they knocked off ranked teams Texas and Tulane last weekend. Fullerton
will play USC in a home-and-home series the weekend of March 14-16. Texas
had a difficult weekend at the Fullerton tournament going just 1-2 with a
humiliating loss to UCLA and a 14-4 pounding at the hands of the Titans.
The Longhorns did rebound to knock off Tulane on Sunday and stand at
13-5 on the year.
Baseball America Poll :
Stanford moved up two spots to #7 in this week's Baseball
America poll moving ahead of both Texas and Wake Forest who each lost
multiple games last weekend. The top five remain the same (same five
as in my poll, just in a different order) with GT, Rice, FSU, ASU, and CSF.
USC fell two spots to #18 as the Pac-10 still only has three teams
ranked. A series win for Arizona at Texas this weekend should get them
ranked with their 11-5 record to this point.
Up Next for Stanford :
The Cardinal host their bay area rival, the California
Golden Bears, this weekend at Sunken Diamond. It's a 6:00pm start on
Friday and a 1:00pm first pitch time on Saturday and Sunday. The Golden
Bears were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 this season and have not
disappointed as they bring an 11-5 record into this weekend's series. Cal
had their series last weekend at Oklahoma State cancelled because of bad weather
and will not have played in ten days (last game was a 7-5 win at Santa Clara
on February 25th). The Bears' early season resume includes a series
sweep at home versus Loyola Marymount along with a single win over nationally
ranked Nebraska in a tournament. Cal dropped 2-of-3 games at #8 Long
Beach State two weeks ago.
The Bears may feature the top hitter in the conference
in third baseman Conor Jackson. Jackson missed seven games with a sprained
ankle earlier this season but is back and playing well. He's currently
hitting .423 with a home run and is a name to watch this weekend. #1
starter Matt Brown is expected to be drafted very high this June after his
dominating summer in the Cape Cod League, but has struggled somewhat this
season with a 5.09 ERA in his four starts (he did lose a 1-0 decision at Long
Beach State). A full series preview is coming in a couple of days.