Alex Keudell

Oregon gets its shot to turn heads this weekend.
Photo by Thomas Patterson/Statesman Journal

The UCLA Bruins and the Ducks of Oregon have the headline showdown as the Pac-12 baseball race continues to take shape.

The Arizona Wildcats have a week in between spotlight series but that doesn’t mean the games will be easy.

So I didn’t even get a chance to tell you about Arizona’s shiny new rankings and the Wildcats already have a loss this week. Midweek road games are tough, especially when doing battle with a man named Goose.

The pre-Goose rankings:

BAS COL NAT PER USA Avg
UCLA 5 4 5 4 7 5.0
ARIZONA 4 5 10 6 8 6.6
Stanford 6 16 6 7 6 8.2
Oregon 22 14 19 20 17 18.4
OSU 20 23 17 22 19 20.2
ASU 24 23 25.0

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

The Pac-12 no longer has the #2 team but the conference has at least one top-5 team in every poll but one. ASU’s 1-4 week has the Sun Devils hanging on to the bottom of the rankings.

TWIT-Pac brings you this week’s action from The Conference of Top Ten Teams (all series are today through Saturday due to Easter):

#6.6 ARIZONA (21-8 / 7-2) at Utah (7-20 / 3-6)
After winning its first two Pac-12 games ever, the Utes have lost nine of 10 overall.

#18.4 Oregon (18-8 / 6-3) at #5.0 UCLA (20-5 / 7-2)
This is a huge series. Only four schools have a winning record in Pac-12 play and you’re looking at half of them. Oregon swept ASU last week and the Bruins swept Utah.

#20.2 OSU (18-8 / 6-3) at #25.0 ASU (16-12 / 3-6)
The Devils only had 16 regular season losses all last year. With the postseason ban hanging over their heads this is a key weekend to prevent motivation from slipping away.

#8.2 Stanford (17-6 / 2-4) at Washington (16-9 / 3-3)
The Cardinal could really use a sweep but the Huskies have won the first game in both of their league series so far.

Cal (16-10 / 1-5) at USC (17-9 / 3-5)
After the Bears won two of three in Texas the Longhorns are 5-1 in the Big 12 and 1-5 against the Pac-12.

Seattle (14-10) at WSU (13-12 / 3-5)
Wazzu shouldn’t take the Readhawks lightly. Seattle does, after all, have a series win against Utah Valley.

* * *

We just talked about how this Arizona team is built for weekend series. The Cats will continue to struggle in any midweek game when they don’t score a bunch of runs.

Freshman Tyler Crawford did well in his first career start (it was a 1-1 game when he exited in the 6th) but that “middle part of the ‘pen,” as Andy Lopez laments, faltered once again.

Arizona just swept Stanford. Next week is a showdown with UCLA. The Bruins just swept Utah in Salt Lake City by a combined score of 30-7. These sure look like trap games, right?

You would hope the UA got its “Oh yeah, we’re mortal” game out of the way and can come out sharp tonight but there are no guarantees on the road. The triumvirate of Heyer, Wade and Farris will again have to lead the way.

The good news for Arizona? Looking at Utah’s roster I see two Zachs, two Tylers, a Jo Jo and a Biss

But no Goose.

– – – – –

Scott Terrell likes to get down. Feather your nest on Twitter and Facebook.