Pac-12 Baseball Preview: Can Conference Make Their Way Back To Omaha?

Will a PAC-12 team unseed national champion Virginia or more importantly make it back to Omaha in June? Photo Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Will a PAC-12 team unseed national champion Virginia or more importantly make it back to Omaha in June? Photo Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s February, which means baseball season is close to starting for the conference of champions. Since 2006 the PAC-12 is second in National Championships won which is second behind the big bad SEC, Oregon State won in 2006-07 then Arizona added to this in 2012 which was followed by UCLA winning in 2013.

Can the league make their way back to Omaha this season? Can Oregon be a part of the Pac-12 Baseball picture in 2015? Despite placing six teams in the 2015 field (Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and USC) and the number one overall seed (Bruins) none made the Super Regional’s.

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So can the league bounce back and find their way back to the College World Series and TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha? Yes, Oregon State looks like they’re ready to bounce back and make some noise but won’t be the only ones knocking on the door to making it to the 2016 CWS.

The Beavers went 39-18 last season which was good for second place behind the Bruins who were 45-16, OSU was 19-10 which was just behind the leaders mark of 22-8. Nick Madrigal looks like an intriguing player who should contend for freshman of the year, he’s a good looking shortstop.

California is another team that has been getting a lot of attention during preseason talk, they started out the College State regional well last spring before losing to the host Aggies twice. Daulton Jefferies will look to lead the Bears back to the postseason and contend for their first CWS since 2011’s magical run.

Both Los Angeles schools figure to be in the mix, even with what they lost from last year but don’t count out either program. The Bruins will be near the top contending as John Savage led teams always do since he took over in Westwood. Dan Hubbs has turned the fortunes of his program around since taking over in 2013 improving the teams record each season.

George Horton’s Ducks had a good overall record but struggled in league play going just 16-14 but should be in any conversation for making the postseason plus contending. Arizona State will look to take another step under Tracy Smith in Tempe this season.

Mark Marquess has the most intriguing team on paper, they took their lumps last season going 9-21 and 24-32 which just isn’t custom in Palo Alto. The Cardinal have all the pieces to make postseason play and contend with those top league teams.

Arizona has what many consider the top player in Bobby Dalbec who’s a third basemen/RHP but what can Jay Johnson get from this team after coming over from Nevada? What can we expect from both Washington schools plus Utah? Can those three teams surprise people?

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As of today I’d say Oregon State wins the league with Cal, UCLA, Southern California, Oregon, Arizona State and Stanford making the NCAA tournament. Dalbec, will be the conference player of the season as the Wildcats improve but still aren’t a tournament team. The Pac-12 Baseball season begins in a few weeks with non-conference play.

Oregon starts the year on the road vs San Diego State on February 19th. The home opener at PK Park is set for Thursday, February 25th.