The Pac-12 takes a week off from heavyweight battles as there are no series between ranked teams.
That’s just fine with the Arizona Wildcats who look to keep their season-long six-game winning streak alive on the road.
The polls are a little more welcoming to the Pac-12 this week:
Arizona and Stanford each snuck into the 25 slot in one poll this week after a one-week hiatus for the Cardinal and a two-week departure for the Cats.
Here are this week’s matchups:
#25.8 ARIZONA (21-11 / 6-6) at WSU (17-13 / 4-5)
The Pac-12 site is saying there will be a live video stream of all three games in Pullman. Start times are 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
Utah (14-14 / 4-8) at #6.2 OSU (25-6 / 7-2)
The Beavers further established themselves as the team to beat in the Pac-12 by taking two of three at UCLA. Oregon State held the Bruins to five total runs in the series.
#11.8 Oregon (24-8 / 9-3) at Cal (16-16 / 5-7)
The Bears have now lost eight of their last nine games against Pac-12 teams after starting 4-0 in conference play.
#19.0 ASU (19-9 / 6-6) at USC (12-20 / 5-7)
The Wildcats and Sun Devils are tied in the Pac-12 standings but in any sort of power rankings you’d have to give ASU the edge due to series wins over both UCLA and Oregon.
Washington (8-22 / 2-7) at #25.8 Stanford (17-10 / 5-4)
The Cardinal has won the first game in each of its Pac-12 series behind pitcher Mark Appel but Stanford is winless in the three weekend finales.
LMU (17-15) at #14.8 UCLA (20-9 / 7-5)
The Bruins spend the week outside of conference play after losing their last two Pac-12 series.
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The BatCats are officially the hottest team in the Pac-12. Nobody else has a current win streak longer than two games.
Junior outfielder Johnny Field says the offense was to blame for the poor start in conference play.
“The first six games we weren’t executing at all at the plate,” Field said. “We weren’t getting bunts down, weren’t moving guys over when we had to.”
The run production has improved but Arizona is still leaving a lot of runners on base. Even in sweeping Cal the UA stranded 30 men in the three games. If the team is going to continue its upward climb the Cats will have to cash in on those opportunities for big innings.
“It’s all about finding ways to string hits together,” Field said.
Look for both teams to put runs on the boards as the Cougars and Wildcats are first and second in the Pac-12 in team batting average and second and first, respectively, in runs scored.
The UA doesn’t play another conference home game this month so the Cats would be wise to stuff their suitcases with as many runs as possible.
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