Brandon Dixon came through in the clutch yet again for Arizona - Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE
#5 Oregon State kept its undefeated record with a hard fought four game sweep over San Diego State, while late game dramatics helped other Pac-12 teams win their series against tough competition.
It's only week two, but history has already been made in the Pac-12. #5 Oregon State (College Baseball Rankings) was riding a hot start to the 2013 season into its series with San Diego State this weekend, but the Aztecs were ready to challenge the Beavers in the second series of the season. The Beaver pitching staff was dominant throughout the weekend, limiting SDSU to two total runs, and combining for two shutout outings over the weekend. OSU swept the Aztecs in dominant fashion to improve to 8-0, the program's best start since 1962.
Matt Boyd and Andrew Moore headlined the series for the Beaver's rotation. Boyd pitched on Saturday night and threw 8.1 shutout innings, allowing just five hits, while striking out nine batters. Moore would keep the scoreless inning streak going with 8.1 more scoreless innings on Sunday, this time limiting the Aztecs to just two hits.
UCLA had the other major series this weekend, as the 12th ranked Bruins (4-2) took on Baylor in Waco for a three game series. The Bruins would take game one of the series 4-3, but would get shut out in a 5-0 loss in game two. Game three would come down to the wire as Baylor would fight back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game up in the bottom of the eighth. After taking advantage of a few Baylor defensive mistakes in the top of the ninth, UCLA's Brian Carroll would push across the go ahead run off of a passed ball. Freshman pitcher James Kaprielian earned his first and second saves of the season in his two outings over the weekend.
More drama came in the opening game of the #15 Arizona-SJSU series, as the Wildcats (7-1) found themselves down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth. After being forced to its final strike three times, Arizona found a way to load the bases in the ninth inning, bringing the former College World Series star Brandon Dixon to the plate. Dixon would be forced to two strikes before coming through with a deep drive to right-center. Digging hard, Dixon went all the way around to third before the winning run scored as the Junior came through with a walk off 3-RBI triple. The Wildcats would go on to sweep the Spartans, scoring fifteen runs in game two, and nine in game three to finish off a great weekend at the plate.
#14 Stanford (5-2) is starting to get up to speed as the Cardinal swept Fresno State over the weekend. Ace pitcher Mark Appel (1-1) was dominant in his first appearance at home, striking out eleven batters, and retiring 16 of the final 17 batters he faced. Game two would be a bit tougher, as Stanford needed a Brett Michael Doran walk off three-run home run in the tenth inning to clinch the series 7-4. Stanford would beat the Bulldogs by the same score in nine innings in game three.
#6 Oregon (6-1) had a fairly unconventional weekend at the plate, but won their home opening series over LMU. Oregon would drop game one, looking fairly clueless at the plate against LMU's Friday night pitcher in a 7-2 loss. On Saturday, Oregon received six free base runners via hit batters, and found a way to push across six runs on just two hits to beat the Lions 6-1 in game two. In the series' rubber match, Oregon would score six unearned runs to complement freshman Cole Irvin's great outing to win again 6-1.
Washington State improved to 5-2 on the season with a four game sweep of Eastern Michigan in back to back double-headers. Arizona State (4-2) won its series with SEC foe Tennessee over the weekend as well.
This upcoming weekend features some big match ups that will showcase the conference against some legitimate World Series contenders.