This Week in the Pac-12, May 22: Last chance for Arizona Baseball to bolster tournament resumeby Scott Terrell on May. 22, 2013, under Sports
The final week of the college baseball regular season is here.
Conference tournaments are going on around the country but the Pac-12 doesn’t believe in such redundancy. The 30-game conference season will be wrapped this weekend, then 16 NCAA regional hosts will be announced on Sunday and the full field of 64 will be made known the morning of Memorial Day.
Will the defending national champions be a part of it?
One final look at the polls:
Expect the Pac-12 to end up with three regional hosts and a chance at two national seeds.
Up next are the games you don’t want to be your last:
USC (20-33 / 10-17) at ARIZONA (31-21 / 12-15)
Something for next year’s Wildcats to shoot for: The last time the UA won the baseball season series against Arizona State three straight years was way back in 1957-1959 under Frank Sancet.
Friday and Saturday’s games (both at 6 p.m. Arizona/Pacific time) will be streamed live for free on Pac-12.com. Sunday’s 12 p.m. game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
WSU (22-30 / 8-19) at #4.0 OSU (43-9 / 22-5)
Oregon State needs just one win to clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 crown. Then again, that’s all Oregon needed last year. Pac-12 Networks will broadcast all three games, Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
#10.0 UCLA (38-15 / 20-7) at Stanford (30-21 / 14-13)
The Bruins are still alive for the championship if OSU stumbles. The entire series (Friday and Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.) will be on Pac-12 Networks.
#9.2 Oregon (43-13 / 20-7) at Utah (20-29 / 6-21)
Last week didn’t go the Ducks’ way but they’re still playing for a national seed and home field advantage up until the College World Series.
#17.6 ASU (34-18 / 15-12) at Washington (22-31 / 13-14)
The Sun Devils are most likely done with home games and the road hasn’t been kind to ASU in tournament play. Pac-12 Networks will be showing Saturday’s 4 p.m. game and Sunday’s 12 p.m. finale.
Cal is the odd team out and the Bears don’t have anyone to play. Cal’s bye week will last until next February.
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It’s simple for the BatCats: Sweep or weep. And the UA may end up weeping anyway.
Arizona’s RPI is up to 62 but it’s not going to get much better no matter what happens this week. Case in point, Stanford had an RPI of 80 last week. After sweeping No. 101 Cal, the Cardinal’s RPI is now…80. USC’s RPI is a not-helping 128.
Just like a month ago, the precedent is Oregon State defending its 2006 national championship. The difference is the 2007 Beavers had an insane 28-3 non-conference record while the 2013 Wildcats went 19-6. But sixth place in a nine team league (with a 10-14 conference record) is still sixth place and OSU got the benefit of the doubt that year. Then they erased doubt all the way to title number two.
So win three games and wave the Remember the Beavers! flag.
USC is 4-10 over the last four weeks so the Trojans are not coming to Tucson with momentum. This series is all about the home team. Can the Wildcats get back to throwing strikes? Can they put together good at-bats with men in scoring position?
It would be a shame to see the big series win at ASU go to waste.
Remember the Beavers!
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