Pac-12 baseball power rankings: Arizona moves on up
1. No. 4 Oregon State (27-7, 11-4 Pac-12 Conference)
The Beavers just captured another series after defeating a hot Washington State team that had won six of its last seven games. Now a top-five program in the NCBWA rankings, it would be unfair not to rate OSU the best in the Pac-12.
2. No. 15 Washington (24-7-1, 12-3)
I’ve had Washington as the top Pac-12 team in the previous three power rankings, and I was reluctant to drop them down a spot this week. The Huskies have won all five conference series played this season, continuing that hot streak against Stanford over the weekend. They just keep climbing up the polls.
3. No. 10 Oregon (27-10, 7-5)
Victorious in six consecutive games, the Ducks have picked an excellent time to start heating up. After facing some light non-conference competition last week, 20 of the 22 games left on Oregon’s schedule are against Pac-12 teams.
4. ASU (19-14, 9-6)
Last weekend’s series against California was probably more competitive than the Sun Devils hoped, but they still pulled out another conference series victory. ASU could fade out of postseason discussion if it doesn’t beat UNLV (25-11) and win the series against Stanford this week.
Arizona sophomore infielder Kevin Newman (2) hits an RBI single that drives home Arizona sophomore outfielder Zach Gibbons (23) during Arizona's 6-5 win against UCLA at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday.
5. Washington State (16-16, 7-5)
The Cougars were shut out 3-0 at home against an under-.500 Brigham Young (14-24) squad and dropped two out of three against Oregon State in the past week. But WSU lefty ace Joe Pistorese (3-1, 2.76) gained the program some positive publicity by earning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week.
6. No. 27 UCLA (19-15, 7-5)
After losing a Pac-12 series against Arizona over the weekend, it is officially time for UCLA to push the panic button. This week’s trio of upcoming contests against Utah are arguably all must-win if the Bruins hope to make the playoffs.
7. USC (17-17, 6-9)
The Trojans gave Utah its second Pac-12 win of the season, but still won the series. USC’s upcoming series at home against Arizona should be a competitive one.
8. Arizona (17-20, 6-9)
There couldn’t have been a better time for the Wildcats to host UCLA at home, while it was in the middle of cooling off. The walk-off win on Sunday showed that Arizona is not going to completely fold just because it won’t be in the postseason. This season’s team finally showed that “there’s a standard here.”
9. California (15-17, 4-8)
Cal showed a lot of fight at Packard Stadium against ASU, but still lost the series. The Golden Bears are going to have to fight harder this week in a three-contest affair at home versus Washington.
10. Stanford (12-16, 4-8)
Losing the first two, where it was outscored 13-3, Stanford was at least able to salvage a 6-3 win over Washington on Sunday. The Cardinal must be excited to get back to Klein Field at Sunken Diamond for a bit after playing six of its last seven games on the road.
11. Utah (11-21, 2-13)
It took 13 innings last Friday, but Utah finally earned its first Pac-12 road win of 2014. This team needs to recruit some better bats; the Utes remain dead last in the conference with a .218 batting average.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo