Pac 12 baseball is known for exciting Friday night action and this week fans were in for a treat with No. 8 Arizona State trailing late to Stanford while runs were literally pouring out of Smith’s Ballpark in Utah. However, we can always count of a few top-notch pitching performances as a side dish for the entertaining games.
Arizona was looking to continue their positive mojo against a young Oregon squad that has faltered since Pac 12 play began. Both Washington teams were hosting two of the Pac 12’s College Baseball Central Top 25 teams in the No. 6 UCLA Bruins and the No. 10 USC Trojans. Let’s take a look at how the night played out.
UCLA, Arizona, Washington Amazing Arms Lead To Wins
James Kaprielian was dominant over eight innings as the No. 6 UCLA Bruins (19-5, 6-1) down the Washington State Cougars (12-12, 1-6) by a score of 4-3 on Friday night. Kaprielian allowed three earned runs on four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts to improve to 6-1 on the year. David Berg closed out with two strike outs in a no-hit ninth inning to notch his sixth save.
After falling behind 2-1 in the fifth, the Bruins responded with a three-run sixth inning rally to grab the 4-2 lead scoring on a single, fielder’s choice and an interference call as Ty Moore was caught in a rundown but awarded a base while Luke Persico tagged up from third and scored.
“Can’t wait to find that play on the internet, will be an interesting watch!” – Realist Ray, College Baseball Postseason Analyst
Kaprielian sat down the first 14 batters he faced before giving up the 1-0 lead in the fifth.
The Arizona Wildcats (20-6, 5-2) starter Cody Hamlin tediously worked around 11 hits and a walk to allow just two runs over 7.2 innings in a 7-2 win over the Oregon Ducks (17-9, 2-5) on Friday. Hamlin struck out six to stay unmarked at 4-0 on the year.
Closer Bobby Dalbec didn’t allow a hit over the final one and a third innings as he earned his fifth save. Oregon starter Conor Harber wasn’t nearly as fortunate, allowing seven runs, two earned in his 5.1 innings to fall to 3-1 as his last two outings have been a bit of a struggle.
Talented freshman right-hander Noah Bremer tossed a gem, allowing an earned run on four hits and three walks to the No. 10 USC Trojans (20-6, 2-2) as the Washington Huskies (15-10, 2-5) dominate in a 5-1 win. Bremer didn’t record a strike out and yet kept the prolific Trojans’ offense from piling up hits and runs on Friday night.
Shortstop Chris Baker smacked a three-run homer in the sixth three runs on a 3-for-4 night at the dish and has been a hit-machine for the Huskies with a .345/.500/.433 slash line on the year.
Arizona State Wins Dramatically, Cal Pounds Utah
Pinch hitter Christopher Beall squirted a two-out, bases-loaded single through the right side of the infield that plated two-runs in the bottom of the ninth as the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils (16-7, 5-2) pull off another dramatic win with a 7-6 come-from-behind win over the Stanford Cardinal (10-12, 0-4) on Friday. Beall was 0-for-11 on the year and his two-run single capped a three-run rally for the cardiac Sun Devil squad.
The Sun Devils are 9-3 in one-run games this year and this win was their fourth via walk-off on the year.
Lucas Erceg, Brett Cumberland and Nick Halamandaris each homered as the No. 20 California Bears (19-5, 6-1) pounded the Utah Utes (8-16, 2-5) by a final of 14-6 on Friday. Erceg went 3-for-6 at the plate while his first-inning solo shot keeps him in the team lead with seven.
Halamandaris’ first homer of the season led off the five-run, sixth-inning rally. Cumberland hit a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh to bring his season total to seven.
Just a week after Cal Poly Mustangs (8-14) ace Casey Bloomquist tossed six innings in beating USC, the junior righty was at it again, this time out-dueling Oregon State Beavers (20-6, 4-2) ace Andrew Moore in an 8-1 win over the Beavers. Bloomquist allowed an earned run on four hits in the complete game effort that evened his mark a 2-2 on the year, but 2-0 versus the Pac 12.
The 6’3” 185-pound hurler needed only 96 pitches, 61 for strikes, to take down a Beavers unit that had won 16-of-18 games coming in and was one of the hottest teams in the country. Moore didn’t have his best stuff as he battled through 6.1 innings while allowing four runs (3 earned) on eight hits and two walks in his first loss of the season.
The Oregon State pen didn’t fare any better as it surrendered four more runs over the final 2.2 innings of the game.