Great Unknown: Surprise Pac-10 Baseball Player of the Year less deserving than 2 Wildcats and a Sun Devilby Scott Terrell on Jun. 01, 2011, under Sports
We are in the calm after the baseball regular season and before the NCAA tournament begins. It’s the time when the Pac-10 announces its awards and fans around the conference say…
The Pac-10 coaches voted and Cal’s Tony Renda was named Player of the Year.
Yeah, I had to look him up too.
You have to search long and hard to find him on the conference top 10 lists. 8th in batting average, 4th in hits, 8th in total bases. But, hey, he was 3rd in at-bats. And he did lead his team to a 6th place finish.
When’s the last time the Player of the Year didn’t finish in the top 10 in either on base percentage or slugging percentage? Or home runs, RBIs and runs?
I thought the award was going to go to ASU’s Joey DeMichele who led the league in batting average, slugging percentage and triples. Or how about WSU’s Taylor Ard who topped the conference in home runs, RBIs and total bases?
You could also make a case for a pair of Arizona Wildcats. Cole Frenzel was 1st in on base percentage and top five in average, slugging, runs, hits, RBIs and walks. Robert Refsnyder tied DeMichele for the triples lead, tied Ard for the total bases lead and was 2nd in RBIs.
Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, on the other hand, was the easiest vote you’ll ever see in sports. UCLA’s Trevor Bauer led the league in every stat that means anything to a starting pitcher.
It gets better. UCLA hasn’t used a reliever in a game started by Bauer since April 2. In Pac-10 play the Bruin bullpen threw a total of two innings behind the junior right-hander. If this were the Major Leagues, Bauer would have won both the Cy Young and MVP.
Coach of the Year went to Oregon State’s Pat Casey, which means they voted before the final weekend. If Sean Miller won the award for taking a “one-man team” to the conference title then UCLA’s John Savage deserves it for taking a “two-man team” to the top.
The 25-man All-Conference Team featured a league-high six Wildcats: junior Kyle Simon and sophomores Frenzel, Refsnyder, Kurt Heyer, Alex Mejia and Joey Rickard. The UA looks to have plenty of guys back to compete for next year’s Pac-10 awards.
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Here is how the Pac-10 regular season said goodbye:
ARIZONA won all three vs. Washington.
Scores: 9-0, 6-5, 8-2
Word of advice to the Cats: Don’t blow any four-run 9th-inning leads in College Station.
UCLA won two of three at ASU.
Scores: 10-3, 7-0, 5-10
Those first two games earned the Bruins a regional and kept Arizona State from securing a national seed.
Oregon won all three vs. OSU.
Scores: 4-1, 4-1, 6-0
The Ducks went 10-3-1 (gotta include the tie) down the stretch but it was too little, too late to make the Big Baseball Dance.
Speaking of too little, the Beavers’ two total runs in their final series aren’t going to strike fear in the hearts of anybody traveling to the Corvallis regional.
Stanford won both at Cal.
Scores: 3-2, 4-2
I’m sure Oregon would love to play Cal heads-up for their tournament bid right now.
WSU won two of three at USC.
Scores: 2-6, 10-2, 13-1
I know the Cougars wish their two-game winning streak carried over to next year.
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Now stacking them up one last time:
ASU will go into the tournament as the highest-ranked Pac-10 team. I’m sure the Bruins were too busy getting sized for rings to notice.
Come back Friday when we preview the Cats’ trip to the College Station regional along with the rest of the Pac-10 postseason action!
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