Final Four? What Final Four?
It’s the first full weekend of the final season of Pac-10 baseball. After this year the 10-team league will become the Pac-12 and feature…10 teams.
Let’s play some ball!
The five series all run Friday through Sunday and TWIT-Pac has you covered from the first pitch to the final out. The listed rankings are the average of the five polls which can be found right over here.
#23.6 OSU (18-6 / 0-0)
at #17.6 ARIZONA (19-7 / 1-2)
The only series of the weekend featuring two teams ranked in all five polls. The Cats play five of the nine Pac-10 series on the road this year so taking care of business at home is crucial.
#30.0 Oregon (14-9 / 0-0) at #6.6 ASU (18-6 / 2-1)
The Ducks have a respectable record (and one poll likes them) but they have the lowest team batting average in the Pac-10.
USC (9-16 / 1-2) at #17.2 Cal (17-5 / 3-0)
The worst part about the Trojans’ start is they’ve done it while only playing three games outside California. USC doesn’t leave the state again until April 21.
#16.6 Stanford (11-6 / 0-0) at WSU (10-10 / 0-3)
Stanford is easing into the season, having played a Pac-10 low 17 games. As a result the Cardinal will have midweek games every week the rest of the way.
Washington (7-15 / 0-0) at #20.8 UCLA (11-9 / 2-1)
The Huskies have the worst non-conference record in the league. They got swept at Cal State Fullerton, which isn’t terrible, but they also got swept at Cal State Bakersfield, which isn’t so good.
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The four teams that didn’t play a conference series last week are all on the road against teams that did. Will that add up to extra wins for the home teams?
Arizona leads the Pac-10 in team batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. That made it all the more disappointing when the Cats could only muster two total runs in the final two games against ASU.
If pitching is your thing you need to get out to the ballpark tonight. UA ace Kurt Heyer’s 1.33 earned run average is impressive…until you realize it’s more than three times higher than the guy throwing for the other team.
Oregon State’s Sam Gaviglio is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.39. The two runs he gave up to UC Santa Barbara last week were the first two earned runs he’s allowed all year. Six starts, at least six innings every outing, two complete games (both shutouts) and 51 strikeouts compared to just six walks. So, yeah, he’s having a pretty good year.
The Cats will be starting the same three pitchers they’ve used all year but the UA has a new closer. Bryce Bandilla began the season in that role but since blowing a save at Wichita State on March 15 he has appeared in six games but hasn’t pitched in the 9th inning once.
Junior lefty Matt Chaffee has been finishing games and he hasn’t given up an earned run in his last four appearances (covering 6.2 innings), picking up two saves and a win in that span. Not a bad turnaround for a guy who gave up eight runs in one inning against UNLV.
The game time for Arizona’s Pac-10 home opener is 6 p.m. today, with a 1 p.m. start on Saturday and a noon start on Sunday.
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