Oxford Regional: No. 2 seed Washington
Washington is ranked two spots behind Ole Miss in the latest Baseball America Top 25 poll, and one spot ahead in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The Huskies, the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Oxford Regional, were just a win, or two, away from hosting three other teams in Seattle as well, and based on the comments of coach Lindsay Meggs, the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, his team had done enough to stay home.
One of the big reasons the Huskies (39-15-1 overall) weren’t awarded a host site lies in their finish to end the regular season. Prior to defeating UCLA 6-1 to end the regular season this past Sunday, the Huskies had lost four straight games. Two of those four losses were to the No. 1 national seed in Oregon State, but falling to the Bruins, who did not make the field of 64 in the NCAAs, was apparently damaging to Washington’s chances of earning a home regional.
Despite the less-than-stellar finish, Washington has the ability to win three games at Oxford-University Stadium and advance to the super regionals. The Huskies were an impressive 21-9 in the Pac-12 this year and 15-5 on the road. Washington won its first eight series in conference play and also swept Bethune-Cookman, a team that made the NCAA field, just before playing at Oregon State.
Washington hasn’t played in the NCAA regionals for 10 years. The last time the Huskies were a part of the field of 64 was in 2004, in Oxford. Washington defeated Ole Miss in the first elimination game of the 2004 Oxford Regional before falling to Tulane in the regional final later that weekend. Washington has also faced Georgia Tech, its opponent in the opener, four times in regional play. The Huskies are 2-2 against the Yellow Jackets in the postseason.
Junior right-hander Tyler Davis is the ace of the staff, sporting a 10-2 record with a 1.75 ERA heading into the weekend. Davis has logged a team-best 97.1 innings pitched and started 14 games overall. His ERA ranks 39th best in the nation. He also has one of the Huskies’ 16 saves on the year.
Another top pitcher for the Huskies this year has been sophomore right-hander Troy Rallings, who leads the team with nine saves and is third on the team in ERA (2.18). The Huskies’ team ERA of 3.23 ranks 48th best in the nation, and second best behind Ole Miss.
As solid as Washington is on the mound, the Huskies are even more impressive on defense where it ranks fifth in the nation with a .981 fielding percentage.