One was the most consistent team in the conference. The other was the most consistently inconsistent.

One is vying to go back for its 3rd consecutive College World Series. The other is vying for its 1st appearance since 1954.

One features the Pac-12’s top starting pitcher, the other arguably the league’s leading reliever.

However you slice it, Stanford and Oregon are the only Pac-12 teams left alive in the 2023 college baseball season. Win just 2 more games, and they’ll earn the right to join a select group of the last men standing in Omaha. Lose 2 more, and they’ll join the ranks of the other 9 Pac-12 teams that are facing long and lonely offseasons.

Here is a look at the path ahead for both the Cardinal and the Ducks in the Super Regionals. …

Stanford (42-17) vs. Texas (41-20), Palo Alto Super Regional

The overwhelming Pac-12 preseason favorites, Stanford got off to a 9-2 start and barely cooled down. The Cardinal only lost 3 straight games once this season, typically bouncing back from even the toughest of losses en route to a 37-14 regular-season record.

Led by a loaded lineup that included veteran talented and the best freshman class in the conference, the Cardinal topped the conference in batting average, runs scored, home runs (by a 15-homer margin over No. 2 Arizona) and RBIs. If it wasn’t Tommy Troy, the league’s leading hitter with a .410 batting average to go with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs, it was Pac-12 Player of the Year Alberto Rios, who came from out of nowhere to bat .392 with 18 home runs and 71 RBIs. If it wasn’t Braden Montgomery (.329/17/58), it was Eddie Park (.337/6/45). If it wasn’t Owen Cobb (.325/6/32), it was Carter Graham (.316/15/75).

You get the picture: Stanford’s lineup is legit.

On the other hand, the Cardinal’s pitching staff leaves a bit to be desired, other than Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Quinn Mathews. He is the only Stanford pitcher with a sub-4.80 ERA, ranking 6th in the league with his 3.65 clip, to go along with a league-best 136 strikeouts and 9-4 record. The Cardinal’s staff ERA is a lacking 5.83, 9th in the Pac-12, but Stanford makes up for its sometimes erratic arms with pure power, leading the league in strikeouts with 615, 35 more than No. 2 Oregon State.

It was the pitching staff that nearly dealt the Cardinal an early exit in the Palo Alto Regional on their home dirt. Joey Dixon and Drew Dowd allowed 7 runs in an eventual 8-5 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday. The Cardinal bounced back to best Cal State Fullerton and then the Aggies twice, rebounding in a big way with a 7-1 closeout win on Monday.

That put them in the Super Regional against Texas, which beat Louisiana and then No. 9-overall seed Miami twice on its home field. The Longhorns’ arms came alive in Coral Gables, allowing just 9 total runs in 3 games. Reliever  Zane Morehouse, who for the season boasts a 5.40 ERA, was lights out against the Hurricanes on Sunday, allowing 1 hit and no runs in 2 2/3 innings with 7 strikeouts.

Normally it’s the stud 1-2 starter punch of Lucas Gordon and Lebarron Johnson Jr. who do most of the damage for Texas. Gordon is 7-1 with a stellar 2.45 ERA and 98 strikeouts, while Johnson is 8-3 with a 2.62 ERA and 94 strikeouts.

Offensively, the Longhorns are led by Dylan Campbell (.345 batting average, 13 home runs, 48 RBIs), Peyton Powell (.341/10/45) and Porter Brown (.326/12/57), while Eric Kennedy provides some pop with 16 homers).

Like Stanford and its 18 CWS appearances, Texas has a rich baseball history, with 6 national titles and 6 runner-up finishes.

Oregon (40-20) vs. Oral Roberts (49-11), Eugene Super Regional

If the Palo Alto Super Regional pits 2 legendary programs, the Eugene Super Regional is reserved for the wanna-bes, or perhaps the once-weres.

Oregon is seeking its 1st College World Series appearance since 1954 while Oral Roberts is gunning for its 1st go-round since 1978. But both teams have been knocking on the door in recent years, as the Ducks have earned 8 NCAA Tournament bids since 2010 while the Golden Eagles have gone 9 times.

But while the Golden Eagles modeled Stanford’s consistency and steamrolled through the Summit League with a 23-1 conference record, the Ducks have been the definition of a roller-coaster team.

As I wrote in my Pac-12 Tournament wrap-up:

There may not have been a streakier team in all of college baseball this season than the Danger Ducks.

Oregon went 4-0 to start the year, then promptly dropped 3 straight. Then they won 5, lost 4 and won 11 straight. Two losses followed that big streak, then 4 wins and then 2 more losses. Then after splitting two to open the Cal series in late-April, Oregon won 5 and lost 3. Another late-season slide, including a series sweep at the hands of Washington, saw Oregon’s NCAA Tournament odds dip with a 5-game mid-May swoon, only for the Ducks to rebound with 2 wins over Utah to close out the regular season.

Now Oregon has won 9 straight, including the Pac-12 title and a 3-game blitz of the Nashville Regional.

Oregon’s yo-yo season is reflected in its starting staff, which features 5 players with 10 or more starts and another with 7. Their success runs the gamut, from Jace Stoffal, who is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA in 10 appearances, all starts, to Jackson Pace, who sports an 8.44 ERA in his 10 trips to the mound. If Logan Mercado (5-1, 6.30 ERA in 11 starts) and Turner Spoljaric (7-0, 6.28 ERA) can turn it on, the Ducks will have a shot.

And speaking of shots, offensively, Oregon will turn to the power bats of Drew Cowley, Sabin Ceballos and Jacob Walsh, who’ve combined for 46 home runs, though it was Rikuu Nishida and his .322 batting average who delivered in the regionals.

The Ducks will need to live on the longball against an ORU staff that includes three pitchers with sub-4.00 ERAs in Brooks Fowler, Jakob Hall and Harley Gollert. They are a combined 27-5 with 242 strikeouts but 36 homers allowed.

Matt Hogan and Mac McCroskey are the heavy hitters for the Golden Eagles, but Jonah Cox stirs the drink with a .424 batting average, 65 RBIs and 10 homers.