Commentary

Baseball Power Rankings (Week 4)

Originally Published: March 11, 2014
By Eric Sorenson | Special to ESPN.com

Vanderbilt baseballJohn Russell/Vanderbilt UniversityCarson Fulmer is just one part of a Vanderbilt pitching staff that currently hold a 1.29 ERA.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

Sure seemed that way in college baseball last weekend. There were new opponents, new opportunities and new matchups going on across the country, but guess what? We've got a whole lot of nothing new in the rank and file of the ESPN.com Power Rankings.

Except for the Fullertons, UCLAs and College of Charlestons out there that lost a couple of games, nearly everyone else in top-20 land held serve over the weekend.

There may not have been a lot of movement this time around, but buckle in for this coming weekend, when some big matchups will surely reshuffle the rankings.

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

1. South Carolina (15-0)

Trending:

Last week: 1

Of note: Sure, their strength of schedule is 153rd nationally (according to Boyd's World ISR), but in 27 innings versus Brown, Gamecocks pitchers gave up just 14 hits and a walk.


2. Vanderbilt (15-2)

Trending:

Last week: 2

Of note: During their eight-game win streak, the Commodores have given up more than one run to an opponent once, a 4-3 win at Middle Tennessee.


3. Oregon State (14-3)

Trending:

Last week: 6

Of note: In back-to-back shutouts against Northern Illinois, Ben Wetzler got 12 K's and allowed one hit in eight innings and Jace Fry threw a no-hitter with 10 K's.


4. Florida State (12-2)

Trending:

Last week: 4

Of note: Things get serious this weekend with a showdown versus NC State, which the Seminoles beat out for the Coastal Division title by a half-game last year.


5. Virginia (11-3)

Trending:

Last week: 5

Of note: A little bit of a red flag as the Cavaliers hit just .202 in a tighter-than-expected series win vs. Duke over the weekend. The Cavaliers also earned nearly as many walks (13) as hits (18).


6. Cal State Fullerton (8-5)

Trending:

Last week: 3

Of note: After sweeping Oregon in Eugene last weekend, the Titans had a few loose lug nuts in dropping two of three at Baylor this past weekend. Considering their schedule, it's probably just a temporary hiccup.


7. Cal Poly (10-3)

Trending:

Last week: 7

Of note: Matt Imhof is at it again, serving up 15 strikeouts and giving up four hits in eight innings of work at Seattle. The Mustangs battled raindrops and Redhawks in a tough series win.


8. Oregon (12-4)

Trending:

Last week: 8

Of note: The Ducks handled an off-the-radar-good Ohio State team fairly well, winning two of three. Now another upstart, USC, comes to Eugene to start Pac-12 play.


9. NC State (13-2)

Trending:

Last week: 10

Of note: How about this? All-world Carlos Rodon got the win versus Notre Dame on Friday (although he gave up 10 hits) and had a pinch-hit RBI single Sunday.


10. Ole Miss (14-2)

Trending:

Last week: 11

Of note: Check back with us on these guys next Tuesday, because this will be an arduous week. Two games at Southeastern Louisiana then three at South Carolina.


11. Louisiana (13-2)

Trending:

Last week: 12

Of note: Last week it was Austin Robichaux; this week it was Carson Baranik. The former LSU righty tossed a two-hit, 10-K gem in a 13-0 win over Texas Southern.


12. LSU (14-2)

Trending:

Last week: 13

Of note: Stud RHP Aaron Nola is now 4-0 with 36 K's in 27 innings and has held opposing batters to a .121 average. A showdown with Vanderbilt's Tyler Beede is next.


13. Texas (13-4)

Trending:

Last week: 14

Of note: Sitting at No. 5 in the latest RPI, the Longhorns hit .244 as a team. But Mark Payton leads UT with a .433 average, four triples and a .547 on-base percentage.


14. Sam Houston State (13-3)

Trending:

Last week: 15

Of note: Tyler Eppler's complete-game three-hitter kicked off a 3-0 weekend versus Cal State Northridge. The Bearkats earned their first two one-run wins of the year.


15. Houston (11-3)

Trending:

Last week: 17

Of note: Solid wins at USC and UCLA should help big in the RPI department. But don't sleep on Towson, this weekend's opponent, which comes in at 9-3.


16. UCLA (8-7)

Trending:

Last week: 9

Of note: When someone can figure out this Bruins team, let us know. All three of their Dodgertown Classic games were one-run white-knucklers, but they dropped two of them.


17. Texas Tech (14-3)

Trending:

Last week: 18

Of note: Let's call it the Land of Disenchantment. The Raiders beat New Mexico in the midweek game 9-3 then swept New Mexico State by scoring 42 runs in four games.


18. Rice (10-6)

Trending:

Last week: 19

Of note: The bad news is that Jordan Stephens (38 career starts) was lost for the year to a knee injury. The good news is the Owls' deep staff has a team ERA of 2.25.


19. UC Santa Barbara (10-2)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: The Gauchos took two from Mississippi State and split with Arizona at the Hi Corbett Classic. Imagine how badly they wish they could have played that opening weekend with NC State.


20. Seton Hall (8-3)

Trending:

Last week: 20

Of note: After seeing Arizona put up 17 hits versus Mississippi State in person last weekend, Seton Hall's three-game sweep at Arizona looks all the more impressive.


Five on deck: College of Charleston (12-3), San Diego (10-4), Florida International (15-1), Pepperdine (12-3), Tennessee(14-1)

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