Ricky Oropesa

Ricky Oropesa and USC slapped ASU.
Photo by Crystal Ochoa/The Arizona Republic

It wasn’t easy but the Arizona Wildcats won a Pac-10 baseball series away from home for the first time this season.

Elsewhere in the Pac-10, Oregon State got some help from its friends to extend the Beaver lead in the conference race.

In the stat department, the top of the league batting chart is getting crowded with Cats.

The weekend started poorly for the UA as Kurt Heyer couldn’t hold a 4-run lead in the opener. Arizona rallied in the 9th to force extra innings but Washington State won it in the bottom of the 10th when Matt Chaffee went from a two outs, bases empty situation to walking in the winning run.

Kyle Simon kept the series alive for the Cats with a complete game victory on Sunday. He was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for his efforts.

The Saturday-to-Monday series didn’t allow Arizona to take advantage of its Friday magic but maybe the Wildcats are just as comfortable on Mondays. The UA took the series by moving to 2-0 on the season when playing on the first day of the work week.

Let’s work our way around the Pac-10:

ARIZONA won two of three at WSU.
Scores: 6-7 (10 inn.), 8-1, 6-4
At 11-10 in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats are now above .500 for the first time since starting 1-0.

OSU won two of three at Washington.
Scores: 6-4, 9-3, 6-7
Oregon State had to play another double header and settled for another split. But there were no sweeps around the conference so no one gained any ground. In fact…

USC won two of three vs. ASU.
Scores: 5-1, 4-7, 6-2
The Sun Devils had gone 13-2 since getting swept by OSU but losing this series should put an end to their quest for a 5-pete.

Oregon won two of three vs. Stanford.
Scores: 6-2, 8-9, 6-5
Stanford’s loss gives the UA sole possession of 5th place.

UCLA won two of three vs. Cal State Bakersfield.
Scores: 1-5, 10-1, 3-2
The Bruins had lost three straight games to three different California schools – Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Bakersfield – before rebounding behind – you guessed it – Trevor Bauer.

Cal didn’t win.
All that nothing for nothing.

– – –

How the Pac-10 stacks up in the eyes of the college baseball world:

Team BAS COL NAT PER USA Average
OSU 2 2 10 4 7 5.0
ASU 8 13 8 12 12 10.6
UCLA 17 21 21 24.2
Stanford 22 25 28.0
ARIZONA 27 26 27 28.4
Cal 25 29 30 29.2

BAS = Baseball America
COL = Collegiate Baseball
NAT = National Collegiate Baseball Writers
PER = Perfect Game
USA = USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll

UCLA dropped out of another poll but everyone else stayed in the polls they were in last week and stayed out of the polls that had previously omitted them. The Pac-10 composite pecking order remained the same as well.

There was no change in the conference batting race either. Both Joeys saw their average drop over the weekend by Arizona’s Rickard’s dropped less so he closed the gap on ASU’s DeMichele.

The real change was at the bottom of the top 10 where a red-hot Alex Mejia moved in giving the Wildcats half of the ten best hitters in the conference:

Player Team Avg
1 Joey DeMichele ASU .390
2 Joey Rickard ARIZ .383
3 Cole Frenzel ARIZ .375
4 Stephen Piscotty Stan .365
5 Austin Barnes ASU .356
6 Bryce Ortega ARIZ .350
7 Danny Pulfer Ore .349
8 Joe Meggs Wash .348
9 Alex Mejia ARIZ .335
10 Robert Refsnyder ARIZ .333

If all five Wildcats keep hitting the odds of staying above .500 in Pac-10 play go way up.

– – – – –

Scott Terrell has opposite-field power. Drive one the other way on Twitter and Facebook.