From left, Oregon State's Nick Madrigal, Steven Kwan, Jack Anderson and Elliott Cary celebrate a win over Utah. The Beavers are 30-2 overall and 14-1 in Pac-12 play. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

Beavers in control of Pac-12 race

CORVALLIS — Unless the wheels completely fall off, the Oregon State baseball team shouldn’t have to sweat the NCAA tournament selection process this time around.

Saturday’s series-clinching victory at Washington was the top-ranked Beavers’ 30th win in 32 tries. OSU (30-2, 14-1 Pac-12) has a five-game lead over Arizona (26-9, 9-6) and UCLA (16-16, 9-6) in the standings halfway through the conference slate.

The Beavers sit atop the NCAA RPI — Arizona is ranked second — and are 19-1 against the RPI top 100. OSU can add to that figure during this weekend’s three-game road series with UCLA, which is 73rd in the RPI.

Friday’s opener is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

A season ago, OSU had collected just 13 Pac-12 wins entering its final league series with UCLA. The Beavers went on to sweep the Bruins but weren’t selected for a regional despite a 35-19 overall record and a mid-40s RPI.

But last year is ancient history for the Beavers, who are in excellent position to claim their fifth conference title since 2005. OSU won consecutive Pac-10 crowns in 2005-06 and were the Pac-12 champions in 2013-14.

The Beavers hosted regionals in all four of those seasons and made the College World Series in the first three.

Washington (20-14, 7-5), which snapped OSU’s 23-game winning streak Thursday before dropping the next two at home, would need to go 15-5 the rest of the way to match the Beavers’ 2016 overall record.

The Huskies are firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble while OSU, Arizona, Oregon (23-10, 6-6) and Stanford (19-12, 5-7) possess strong resumes. UCLA, California (16-17, 8-7) and USC (17-16, 5-7) all have work to do.

The NCAA tournament selection show will be held Monday, May 29.

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