Commentary

Baseball Power Rankings (Week 3)

Originally Published: March 4, 2014
By Eric Sorenson | Special to ESPN.com

Austin RobichauxBrad Kemp/UL Sports InformationAustin Robichaux has 29 strikeouts to only five walks in his 29 innings for 13-2 Louisiana.

A couple of teams won some major showdowns this past weekend, which helps to clarify the picture a bit in the Power Rankings. What we know now is that South Carolina, Cal State Fullerton, Vanderbilt and UCLA all legitimized themselves with unbeaten weekends against high-quality competition.

But the biggest news is the number of mid-major incursions we've seen in the first few weekends of this season, and it is reflected here. The second 10 consists of mid-major headliners such as the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana, Sam Houston State and Seton Hall, among others. Remember that word "parity"? Yes, it's always around, but it certainly is already in full force this season.

Here's the best of the movers and shakers in college baseball.

1. South Carolina (10-0)

Trending :

Last week: 1

Of note: Well, we wanted to see what the Gamecocks were made of. How about a three-game sweep of rival Clemson? Thirty-three hits and 24 runs was impressive.


2. Vanderbilt (10-2)

Trending :

Last week: 3

Of note: As was tweeted to me earlier, the methodical Commodores have now won 21 straight regular-season weekend series, including the sweep of Stanford.


3. Cal State Fullerton (7-3)

Trending :

Last week: 5

Of note: Very few would dare venture to Eugene in late February to play three games against top 10 Oregon, but the Titans righted the ship with a surprising sweep.


4. Florida State (8-1)

Trending :

Last week: 4

Of note: The pitching has been decent, but once again the offense went bonkers in the two wins vs. Miami with 23 hits, 23 runs and 13 walks.


5. Virginia (9-2)

Trending :

Last week: 11

Of note: The Cavs had a damp, rain-shortened weekend sweep of Monmouth. Now ACC play starts, but UVa eases into it with Duke and Boston College for the first two weeks.


6. Oregon State (9-3)

Trending :

Last week: 8

Of note: LHP Ben Wetzler finally made his debut after an NCAA-imposed suspension, throwing an impressive 7.2 innings with 4 hits, 1 run and 5 Ks vs. Wright State.


7. Cal Poly (8-2)

Trending :

Last week: 6

Of note: Mother Nature ruined the USC series, which ended up being merely a Sunday doubleheader split. But raise an eyebrow at the 16-0 loss, in which the Mustangs got just two hits.


8. Oregon (8-3)

Trending :

Last week: 2

Of note: The Ducks take a precipitous drop this week, but give them credit for playing a tight series with Fullerton, losing two games on the last at-bat. Ohio State is next.


9. UCLA (7-4)

Trending :

Last week: 16

Of note: The Bruins' formula worked perfectly against Notre Dame, NC State and Michigan: Get early leads, squash the opposing bats and close it down with David Berg.


10. NC State (9-2)

Trending :

Last week: 10

Of note: It's a little concerning that Carlos Rodon already has two losses in 2014, although he held UCLA to three hits in seven innings in Saturday's 2-0 loss.


11. Ole Miss (11-1)

Trending :

Last week: 13

Of note: The Rebels once again tried to schedule up with a series versus UCF this past weekend. Sure enough, they swept the Knights, with two games being one-run wins.


12. Louisiana (10-2)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: That was some week for the Ragin' Cajuns, taking down LSU on Tuesday and shutting out Alabama twice over the weekend. Austin Robichaux threw a complete game with 11 K's in Friday's 2-0 win.


13. LSU (9-2)

Trending :

Last week: 7

Of note: Losing to Louisiana in a midweek game? OK. But losing a home game to Yale? Hmmm. The upside is that staff ace Aaron Nola has 24 K's in 19 innings.


14. Texas (9-3)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: Typical Longhorns. Only UT could win four games in a week (over Pan American, Rice, Houston and Sam Houston State) by scoring only 10 runs.


15. Sam Houston State (10-2)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: Wins over Rice, TCU and Texas Tech made huge waves. The Bearkats came painfully close to beating Texas for a perfect week, but blew a late lead.


16. College of Charleston (10-1)

Trending :

Last week: 18

Of note: A nine-game winning streak has the Cougars on an uptick. Freshman Bailey Ober improved to 3-0 with an eight-inning, 10-strikeout, three-hit outing versus Marist on Sunday.


17. Houston (8-2)

Trending :

Last week: 17

Of note: Odd stat: The Cougars gave up just two earned runs but still went 1-2 in the Houston College Classic, beating Texas Tech and losing to Texas and TCU.


18. Texas Tech (9-3)

Trending :

Last week: 15

Of note: Ole Double T gave up 19 runs in losses to Houston and SHSU, but in wins over BYU, Stephen F. Austin and Rice they gave up a total of four runs. That's clutch.


19. Rice (7-5)

Trending :

Last week: 9

Of note: Rough week for the Owls, dropping three games by five runs. But a 1-0 win over TCU saw Zech Lemond earn his third save with three innings of one-hit pitching.


20. Seton Hall (7-2)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: A three-game sweep at Arizona is a huge feather in the cap for the Pirates. The Wildcats came in hitting .359, but Seton Hall held them to 20 hits in three games.


Five on deck: Oklahoma State (10-2), San Diego (8-2), Western Carolina (4-2), Louisville (8-3), Fresno State (9-2)

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