Archive for: April 2014

Arizona State Baseball: Sun Devils Rely on Late Inning Heroics to Topple Trojans

CauseyArizona State opened the weekend series with sophomore left-handed pitcher Brett Lilek on the mound.  Lilek (3-2) did a fine job pitching 5.2 innings and was well on his way to winning his fourth game in seven starts. That was not to be as the Sun Devils needed an eighth inning rally to secure a 5-3 victory on Friday night in front of 3,255 fans in Tempe, Ariz. Junior first baseman Nate Causey finished the game 2-of-3 with the game-winning RBI and a run scored.

Lilek faced 25 batters and surrendered only four hits and one earned run before being relieved in the sixth inning by fellow sophomore Jordan Aboites (3-1). Aboites, the 5-foot-5 reliever from Long Beach, Calif., who tips the scales at 150 pounds, retired the first five Trojan batters he faced before giving up three straight singles to load the bases in the eighth inning.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

Big West Baseball Showdown: UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly

Joey Epperson- Danielle Rodriguez photoThe Big West Conference is experiencing a heyday of sorts lately—and it doesn’t involve Cal State Fullerton. This weekend features a matchup of two teams from the Big West that are both ranked in the Top 25 of all five major polls with the highest ranking for Cal Poly (7) and UC Santa Barbara (13) coming from Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Cal Poly (24-4, 3-0 Big West) ranks No. 5 in this week’s College Baseball Central Top 25 poll while UC Santa Barbara (19-5, 1-2 Big West) checks in at No. 23.

The Gauchos are coming off a disappointing weekend wherein they dropped the series to an unranked Hawai’i team at home marking the first series loss since mid-April of 2013, a streak of 15 series. It also marked the Gauchos’ first series loss at home since May 2012.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

Pac-12 softball on Pac-12 Networks viewer guide for April 4-6

Wild ThingApril is here and spring has sprung across most of the region and three series will be broadcast on various outlets this weekend across the family of Pac-12 Networks.

Here is a handy, easy-to-use resource guide for the upcoming games.

Channel Finder

UCLA at Oregon

  • Gracie Goulder

    Gracie Goulder

    April 4 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

  • April 5 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington
  • April 6 1:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

The marquee matchup of the weekend featuring the top two teams in the conference. The Bruins are the No. 1 team in the country for the second straight week and the host Ducks are hot on their heels at No. 3. The Ducks and Bruins have swapped player and pitcher of the week honors for the past two weeks so this series will be sure to have its share of fireworks.

Ann Schatz and Amanda Freed will call the games for Pac-12 Networks.

 

Arizona State at California

  • April 4 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Mountain
  • April 5 3:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Bay Area, Pac-12 Mountain
  • April 6 11:00 a.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Los Angeles, Pac-12 Bay Area

The Sun Devils are fresh off a series win over in-state rival Arizona and moved four spots in the polls to No. 7 on the strength of the victory. Arizona State, however, has only played three true away games and has lost two of them. The Devils are 6-2 away from Farrington Stadium while Cal is undefeated at home.

Rich Cellini and Tammy Blackburn will be on the call in Berkeley.

 

Oregon State at Utah

  • April 4 5:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network
  • April 5 5:00 p.m. PT – Pac-12 Network
  • April 6 11:00 a.m. PT – Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Mountain, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Washington

Rain is forecasted for this weekend’s series in Salt Lake City with temperatures barely breaking into the 50s. Although it isn’t optimal softball weather, the entire network will be broadcasting this matchup between the Beavers and Utes. With only three conference wins combined between the two teams, this series is an early must-win for both squads in order to keep abreast in such a strong conference.

Anne Marie Anderson and Teri Goldberg will be in Salt Lake City for Pac-12 Networks.

 

BONUS COVERAGE

 

Arizona Softball

Arizona Softball

Stanford at Arizona

Another battle of top 25 teams will take place in Tucson over the weekend when the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats host No. 24 Stanford. Arizona is glad to be back home where they have won 19 straight this year, 16 of them by run-rule. The Cardinal have only played once in the past week and struggled in conference play losing their past five games.

Pac-12 Baseball: Conference Play Heating Up

Cover PhotoThe Pac-12 baseball Conference standings look a lot different now as opposed to the preseason projections. At the beginning of the season, this weekend’s marquee matchup looked to be Stanford visiting Goss Stadium to take on the Oregon State Beavers. While that is still intriguing, the brand new Husky Stadium is where most of the eyes of the conference—and country will be focused.

Several other Pac-12 baseball games will be showcased with USC visiting Arizona State, Cal visiting Washington State and Arizona traveling to Utah. Defending national champion UCLA and neighboring Long Beach State will play two in Long Beach with Saturday’s game being played at the Bruins’ home, Jackie Robinson Stadium.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

UCLA Softball Remains on Top, 4 More Pac-12 Teams in Top 10

Stephany LaRosaThe UCLA softball team swept Utah over the weekend and nearly swept the voters in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. The Bruins (33-2, 8-1 Pac-12), collected 31 of 32 first place votes with No. 2 Tennessee receiving the lone standout. Oregon, Arizona State, Washington and Arizona filled out the top 10 and here is a rundown how the Pac-12 teams fared over the past week.

UCLA hosted UC Santa Barbara for a doubleheader on Wednesday and made quick work of the Gauchos winning 5-1 and 9-1 in a five-inning game. Jessica Hall pitched eight innings in both games and surrendered only two hits and one run while striking out nine. Utah visited over the weekend and the Bruins had little trouble dispatching the Utes (12-14, 1-6 Pac-12) in the three-game set. Pitching ace Ally Carda won her 18th and 19th games on Friday and Sunday as well as pitching the final frame on Saturday.

Junior catcher/utility player Stephany LaRosa was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after knocking three home runs and finished the week witting 8-of-13 with eight RBI and four runs scored. The Bruins travel to Eugene this weekend to take on the rival Oregon Ducks.

Cheridan Hawkins

Cheridan Hawkins

The Ducks began the week with a double dip in Provo, Utah with an 8-0 run-rule game and were shocked in the late game taking a 6-5 loss to BYU. The Cougars took a big 6-0 and the Ducks rallied in the seventh with four runs but fell short. The loss dropped the Ducks (32-4, 6-0 Pac-12) to the No. 3 spot in the rankings. A top five showdown awaited the Ducks on their return to Eugene with the Huskies visiting Howe Field.

The teams would have to wait an extra day as Mother Nature rained out Friday’s matchup. Sophomore pitcher Cheridan Hawkins was lights out against the Huskies with back-to-back shutouts in Saturday’s doubleheader. Hawkins pitched 12 innings and recorded 11 strikeouts. Hawkins received her sixth career Pitcher of the Week award for her efforts.

Arizona State hosted in-state rival Arizona over the weekend in a Territorial Cup Series and took the series and a point in the year-long standings. The Sun Devils (32-6, 6-3 Pac-12) took the first two games over the Wildcats and jumped four spots to the No. 7 spot.

Arizona State senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo (14-5) won a nail-biting 2-1 victory on Friday and dropped a marathon 10-inning matchup on Sunday. Escobedo fanned 30 batters over the weekend and was drafted No. 1 overall in the National Pro Fastpitch League draft held on Monday. Senior righthanded pitcher Mackenzie Popescue went the distance and earned Saturday’s victory and advanced her record to 16-1.

Washington softball has fallen on hard times since Pac-12 Conference played has started. The Huskies were 20-4 and were ranked as high as No. 5 in the national rankings. Fortunately, for the Huskies (22-10, 2-6 Pac-12), the losses were to top-ranked teams in UCLA and Oregon.

Mo Mercado

Mo Mercado

Washington fell four spots to the No. 9 spot after being swept in Eugene. The Huskies hung tough on Sunday taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning before surrendering runs in the final frame. The Huskies are off this weekend and travel to Stanford for a Thursday-Saturday set April 10-12.

Arizona traveled to Tempe over the weekend and lost two heartbreakers before breaking the Sun Devils’ hearts on Sunday. The Wildcats (29-8, 4-5 Pac-12) dropped two spots to No. 10 after playing Arizona State with only a three-run scoring deficit over the series. Freshman second baseman Mo Mercado came up big on three separate with four go-ahead RBI including the eventual game-winning groundout in the 10th inning.

Mercado knocked what she thought would be the game winner with a two-run home run in the eighth inning but the Sun Devils responded with two runs of their own. Mercado and the Wildcats would get revenge in the 10th inning. The Wildcats host Stanford this weekend in Tucson.