After winning its seventh straight series, and outscoring opponents 215-137 over the first half of the season, there’s no doubt that the No. 7 Washington baseball team (27-8-1, 14-4 Pac-12) is one of the best in the nation. With that being said, however, even the elite can be vanquished.
It was a quiet week at the top of the Pac-12 standings, as Oregon State had a week off, and the rest of the teams in the top five played as expected. The UW took two of three against Cal, Oregon swept Washington State, Arizona State went 2-2, and UCLA won two of three against Utah.
Washington starting pitcher Jeff Brigham didn’t have his best stuff against California on Saturday. The Federal Way, Wash., native allowed five runs on eight hits in Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif., in only 4 1/3 innings of work.
Catcher Austin Rei has long prided himself on his defensive prowess behind the plate, but his offensive production has often lagged behind. Rei only recently hit his first collegiate home run, but his plate discipline has come a long way in a short amount of time, as evidenced by his .388 on base percentage this season leading up to Friday night’s game in Berkeley, Calif.
What had been a pitcher’s duel between California’s Daulton Jefferies and Washington’s Jared Fisher was blown up with a five-run eighth inning, which gave the Huskies a 4-3 win over the Golden Bears in the series opener Thursday night in Berkeley.
Not many people expected a whole lot from the Washington baseball team this year, and for good reason. The most recent Husky to be named first-team all conference was outfielder Kyle Conley in 2009, and last year’s tie for sixth place in the Pac-12 was the highest any UW team had finished under the leadership of head coach Lindsay Meggs.