The 12-Pac Review makes its triumphant return for...baseball season? ATQ is your place to come for college baseball coverage this season, and we'll have your weekly Pac-12 recap and power rankings from now until a champion is crowned in Omaha. Here goes:
1. Oregon State (4-0) --
The Beavers were seen as the class of the conference heading into opening weekend, and looked the part, sweeping four games at the Husker Classic, beating Gonzaga, Nebraska, and taking pair from Pacific all by a combined score of 40-16. Michael Conforto is the best player in this conference, and he had a blistering opening weekend: 7-14 with six walks and 11 RBI. Yikes.
2. Oregon (4-0) --
For the second straight season, the Ducks went to Honolulu and swept the Rainbows to open their season. The individual bright spot of the weekend was freshman pitcher Matt Krook. The former first round pick went 7 innings in his first collegiate start, giving up zero earned runs while striking out eight. Tommy Thorpe and Jeff Gold turned in solid outings as well, giving up only one earned run in 12 innings between them. The starting pitching looks stellar in Eugene once again.
3. UCLA (2-1)
The defending national champions sleepwalked through an 0-1 loss to Portland on Friday, but rebounded to take each of the weekend games of the series. Nobody could hit Friday night, but centerfielder Brian Carroll went 5-8 over the series' final two games and scored the game winning run in the 10th inning of the Sunday nighter.
4. Arizona State (2-1)
No shame in dropping a game to Baylor, and Arizona State still got the series win over the Bears. What was impressive was pounding out 35 hits in three games against Baylor's pitching staff. Despite a great line, P Ryan Burr made it only four innings in his first start, showing that the transition from closer to starter is going to take some time.
5. USC (3-0)
Northwestern is no great shakes, and USC needed extra innings twice over the weekend. But undefeated is undefeated. Just know that this won't fly against real teams. You actually have to score a few runs.
6. Cal (2-2)
Anytime you play Texas and end up with a split, you can't complain about the result. Derek Campbell hit .313 with three doubles over the weekend, providing some early season power. In the kind of stats that are unique to college baseball, the Bears had more sac bunts (6) than RBI (5) over the weekend.
7. Arizona (2-1)
Oregon fans know what a pesky team Kent State can be, and Arizona opened the year by taking two of three against them in Tucson. The most impressive performance of the weekend belonged to James Farris, who struck out nine over 7 2/3. Three Wildcats got six hits on the weekend as well.
8. Stanford (1-2)
Stanford isn't highly touted, nor a projected tournament this season, so perhaps getting a victory over No. 15 Rice counts as a success. But the Pac-12 is loaded, and a single victory on a weekend, no matter how good, isn't enough to come anywhere near the top of the conference. Zach Hoffpauir, who is also a safety on the football team, had only two hits over the weekend, but both were longballs.
9. Washington State (1-3)
Going 1-2 at No. 4 Cal State Fullerton isn't bad, and the Cougars missed a golden opportunity in a one run loss on Sunday. But what makes the weekend brutal for them is dropping a Monday decision at UC-Riverside. One weekend will not make a season, but it was a disappointing opening for a team with NCAA Tourney hopes.
10. Utah (2-2)
Utah split a four game series at Sacramento State. If you are a Pac-12 school, you have to be unequivocally better that Sacramento State. You also have to be able to score runs, which the Utes were unable to do with only 13 on the weekend.
11. Washington (2-1-1)
Leave it to Washington to mess everything up. Winning two games, including a nice victory over Texas State, should maybe have them higher on the list. But they managed to tie Michigan on Sunday, as the teams were knotted at 7 when they had to take off to catch their planes. Baseball is an AMERICAN sport. We don't do this soccer draw stuff.
12. Colorado (playing intramurals)
You're in the Pac-12. Get a baseball team already.