Pac-12 Baseball teams to look out for this season

Stanford predicted to win conference, WSU predicted to finish ninth



Then-junior left-handed pitcher AJ Block throws a pitch during the game against Stanford on March 30, 2019, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

With college baseball starting this week, it is time to look at how each team in the Pac-12 Conference is predicted to play. 

Last season was the introduction of the first-ever Pac-12 Baseball Tournament, where eight teams qualified for the tournament to determine a conference champion instead of giving the award to the team with the best Conference record. 

The Stanford Cardinal won the tournament and made it all the way to Omaha in the NCAA 2022 D1 Baseball Championships. 

Of the 11 first-place votes given out this preseason, Stanford earned nine of them. The other two were given to the UCLA Bruins. 

Stanford Cardinal; projected conference finish: First

With nine first-place votes, the Cardinal are looking like a heavy favorite to repeat as Conference champions and make a deep run in the NCAA Playoffs. 

The Cardinal return with Braden Montgomery, the 2022 Pac-12 Baseball Freshman of the Year.

Montgomery finished 2022 with a batting average of .294 with 72 hits, 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. He also struck out 73 times. 

First baseman Carter Graham was named to the Baseball All-American second team and Collegiate Baseball All-American third team. He was also made the All-Pac-12 first team. 

UCLA Bruins; projected conference finish: Second

The UCLA Bruins received the other two first-place votes for the conference in 2022. Last year the Bruins made it all the way to the regional finals portion of the NCAA tournament and are currently ranked 15 in the USA Today preseason Baseball Coaches poll.

UCLA brings back Cody Schrier, who last season led the team in hits and home runs. Schrier had a batting average of .298 with 77 hits, nine home runs and 42 RBIs. He also struck out 53 times. 

Oregon State Beavers; projected conference finish: Third

The Oregon State Beavers received 77 total points in the preseason poll to rank them third coming into the season. They finished last season second in both the regular season and conference tournaments. They are currently ranked 23 in the USA Today preseason poll

Arizona Wildcats; projected conference finish: Fourth

The Arizona Wildcats are coming off a 39-25 2022 record with a 16-14 Conference record. They received 74 total points in the preseason poll and reached the NCAA postseason last year. They lost in the tournament to Ole Miss, who eventually went on the win the NCAA World Series. 

Oregon Ducks; projected conference finish: Fifth

The Oregon Ducks, with 68 total points are projected to finish fifth in the Conference this season. The USA Today poll currently has the Ducks ranked as the 25th-best team in the nation coming into the season. 

Arizona State Sun Devils; projected conference finish: Sixth

The Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to make a push into the top half of the conference this season. They received 45 total points in the preseason poll and have three players in the All-Pac-12 preseason team voting. 

Washington Huskies; projected conference finish: Seventh

The Washington Huskies received 43 total points in the preseason poll and have one player in the All-Pac-12 Preseason Baseball Team, Johnny Tincher. They finished last season with a 30-26 record and went 14-16 in conference play. 

Cal Golden Bears; projected conference finish: Eighth

University of California Golden Bears is projected to finish eighth-best in the Pac-12. They do not have any players on the preseason All-Baseball awards list, but finished last season with a 29-27 record and also went 14-16 in conference play. 

Washington State Cougars; projected conference finish: Ninth

Jacob McKeon is the lone Coug on the preseason first-team All-Pac-12 list. The Cougs received 29 total points in the preseason poll, but have new transfers coming into the team that should see WSU have success this season.

USC Trojans; projected conference finish: 10

The USC Trojans are projected to finish 10th in the conference this season, one place away from entry in the conference tournament

Utah Utes; projected conference finish: 11

The Utah Utes are projected to finish last in the conference this season. In 2022 they went 26-27-1 but only 10-20 in conference play.