Pac-12 baseball power rankings: Arizona not making the cut
1. No. 24 Washington (20-5-1, 8-1 Pac-12)
Posting an eye-popping 16-1 record in March, UW is the hottest team in the Pac-12 right now. It beat Gonzaga (9-14) 7-1 and then broke out the brooms against USC in Los Angeles, outscoring the Trojans by 35-9 over the weekend. I love to say I told you so — I said in last week’s power rankings that the Huskies wouldn’t remain unranked for long.
2. No. 7 Oregon State (21-6, 6-3)
The Beavers hiccupped on Saturday, losing to Arizona 11-2. But they still won the three-game series at Hi Corbett Field and dominated the ailing Wildcats by nine or more runs in the other pair of contests. At No. 7 in the NCBWA, OSU moved up one spot and is the highest nationally ranked program in the conference.
3. No. 9 Oregon (19-8, 6-3)
After one of the Ducks’ rougher weeks, when they went a combined 2-3 against San Francisco (13-13) and Stanford, UO dropped a couple spots from last week in the NCBWA poll. We’ll learn a lot about Oregon during a trip to Seattle this weekend in its attempt to snap Washington’s 10-game win streak.
4. No. 17 UCLA (16-10, 6-3)
It didn’t look good for the defending national champ to lose to ASU two out of three games in its own ballpark. But at 6-3, UCLA is tied with Oregon and Oregon State for the second-best Pac-12 record. Four nonconference matchups this week against unranked Loyola Marymount (17-11) and Long Beach State (13-13) are just what the doctor ordered for UCLA to gain some momentum.
Arizona Freshman Evan Hebert (27) pitches during Arizona's 11-0 loss against Oregon State on Sunday at Hi Corbett Field. The Beavers dominated the three-game series with the Wildcats and moved up in the rankings.
5. ASU (15-11, 5-4)
For being unranked, the Sun Devils comprise a very good baseball club, but they’re still looking to break out and really start turning heads. Winning two out of three on the road against No. 17 UCLA wasn’t a shabby start.
6. Stanford (10-11, 3-3)
Somewhere, former Cardinal ace hurler and top 2013 MLB draft pick Mark Appel was likely smiling at the pitching performance his old team gave in the wins this weekend versus No. 9 Oregon. This team is still looking to find its mojo, and has a tough Pac-12 road trip this week with games against No. 7 Oregon State.
7. California (14-12, 3-3)
Sure it was against Utah, but Cal needed that sweep to regain a little bit of confidence after previously dropping seven of its last 11. Where are the Golden Bears that started 2014 off with an 8-2 overall record?
8. USC (13-13, 3-6)
The Trojans just got their teeth kicked in at home against Washington, but in March, who didn’t? If this team is serious about salvaging its season, USC will at least win the upcoming three contest affair in Tempe, Ariz., with ASU.
9. Washington State (12-13, 3-3)
There have only been two truly impressive wins in 2014 for the Cougars: 9-7 in 11 innings over No. 16 Cal State Fullerton (14-10) on Feb. 15 and 2-0 against UCLA on Mar. 21. Perhaps WSU was merely being overlooked at the time in those victories.
10. Arizona (12-18, 2-7)
Boasting one of the Pac-12’s best team batting averages, it just shows how inconsistent Arizona’s pitching has been. Losing 21 games last season left the Wildcats out of the playoffs last year, and it looks like they’ll be losing a lot more than that in 2014.
11. Utah (9-17, 0-9)
Pac-12 matchups are to this program as Kryptonite is to Superman. Better luck next season, boys.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo