We thought we understood Pac-10 baseball. We were wrong.
Last week the top two Pac-10 teams in the polls were Arizona State and Stanford. They combined to win one game over the weekend.
Here are the results and rankings after a wild three days on the diamond.
OSU won all three vs. ASU.
Scores: 5-3, 7-6, 9-6
Last week I said 4th place OSU was looking to make a move. In hindsight it was like saying Alexander the Great wanted to acquire a little land.
Apparently losing 18-0 was the best thing to happen to the Beavers. They’ve now won six straight including three over the unsweepable Sun Devils. The last time ASU lost all three games in a Pac-10 series was 1999.
ARIZONA won two of three vs. Cal.
Scores: 5-4, 10-8, 7-17
A week after outscoring Oregon State but losing two games, the Cats flipped the script against Cal. It took a three-run 9th inning to win the first game and surviving a four-run 8th to win the second game but Arizona got the job done. The UA succeeded in winning a game started by someone other than Kurt Heyer and took their first Pac-10 series of the year.
UCLA won two of three at WSU.
Scores: 3-1, 10-3, 2-3
The Bruins were three outs from a sweep but Wazzu rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 9th. Add that to the eight-run comeback against Stanford and the Cougars have proven you can’t turn your back on them until they’re really, really dead.
USC won two of three vs. Stanford.
Scores: 1-8, 3-1, 6-2
If it wasn’t for the ASU sweep this would’ve been the big shocker of the weekend. The Cardinal cruised to victory Friday night only to have the bats fall silent the rest of the series. The 13-19 Trojans now have the same 4-5 Pac-10 record as 22-11 Arizona.
Washington won two of three at Oregon.
Scores: 4-3 (14 inn.), 3-0 (10 inn.), 0-9
I predicted an Oregon sweep, which is why I don’t bet on college baseball. That, and if I went into a sportsbook they’d look at me and say, “College what??”
Here’s how the pollsters sorted out the Pac-10 wackiness:
Not surprisingly, Oregon State made a huge jump, getting tabbed in the Top 10 three times. In the other two polls ASU is still a Top 10 team, giving the Pac-10 high-end representation across the board.
Nobody knows what to do with the Bruins. When you look at their preseason expectations and 7-2 Pac-10 record you can see why they’d be ranked as high as 12. But then you notice their 9-9 non-conference record including losses in seven of their last nine, and it makes sense to put them at #24.
OSU and UCLA now become the teams to beat, setting up a huge series in L.A. at the end of the month. That is, of course, unless there are more shockers to come.
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