Commentary

Baseball Power Rankings (Week 5)

Originally Published: March 18, 2014
By Eric Sorenson | Special to ESPN.com

Jameis WinstonCal Sport Media/AP ImagesThey don't call him Famous Jameis for nothing. The two-sport star at Florida State has helped his team become elite on the football and baseball fields.

Lots of good performances at the top of the Power Rankings this week, especially in the top four of Vanderbilt, Florida State, South Carolina and Oregon State. It made it nearly impossible to separate the four. So consider them interchangeable here, fans.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are still winless teams at this young point of the season. So here are the three teams to pull for this week:

• Siena (0-17)
• New York Tech (0-11)
• Mississippi Valley State (0-18)

Now on to the movers and shakers in college baseball this week.

1. Vanderbilt (18-3)

Trending:

Last week: 2

Of note: How about this for a stat: In its past 15 SEC series, Vandy is 9-6 in Game 1, but 28-1 in Games 2 and 3. That scenario played out versus LSU this past weekend, as well.


2. Florida State (17-2)

Trending:

Last week: 4

Of note: A sweep of NC State put a stamp of authenticity on the Noles. Jameis Winston tossed three innings with seven strikeouts in the 9-8, 13-inning third-game win.


3. South Carolina (18-1)

Trending:

Last week: 1

Of note: The Gamecocks nearly lost the series to Ole Miss, but an epic three-run rally in the ninth and another run in the 10th propelled them to an SEC opening series win.


4. Oregon State (18-3)

Trending:

Last week: 3

Of note: The Beavers didn't do anything wrong to move down. The three teams above them simply had wins over better competition this past weekend. But with the way Ben Wetzler and Jace Fry are pitching (combined five hits in 17 innings), no one should doubt them.  


5. Virginia (15-3)

Trending:

Last week: 5

Of note: Yikes. The Wahoos relied on two walk-off wins in Saturday's doubleheader with Boston College. But UVa has yet to give up more than three runs in a game since opening day.


6. Cal Poly (17-3)

Trending:

Last week: 7

Of note: K-happy. The Mustangs collected 34 strikeouts in their sweep of Wagner. On top of that the defense is fielding at a stellar .981 through 20 games.


7. Oregon (14-5)

Trending:

Last week: 8

Of note: Super frosh Matt Krook earned his first career win versus USC on Saturday and is now holding opponents to a .133 average through his 31 innings of work.


8. UCLA (12-7)

Trending:

Last week: 16

Of note: The biggest yo-yo team in the country. This time the Bruins went up to Berkeley and swept a good Cal team. David Berg picked up two saves in the process.


9. Rice (15-6)

Trending:

Last week: 18

Of note: How about this? The Owls went down to 16-1 FIU and swept three straight. And just in case you still question them, their strength of schedule is fourth nationally according to Boyd's World.


10. Louisiana (17-2)

Trending:

Last week: 11

Of note: Putting the big boys in the crawfish boiler. The Cajuns are 6-0 against in-state teams so far this season, including wins over LSU and Tulane.


11. LSU (17-4)

Trending:

Last week: 12

Of note: Beyond Aaron Nola's brilliance, the Tigers couldn't handle Vandy's pitching depth. Strangely, even after playing VU, the strength of schedule is only 205th nationally.


12. Ole Miss (17-4)

Trending:

Last week: 10

Of note: Arrrrgh! The Rebels came this close to pulling a series win at South Carolina but stranded eight baserunners in the final three innings of the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.


13. NC State (14-5)

Trending:

Last week: 9

Of note: The biggest red flag was seeing State's best pitcher (so far), Logan Jernigan, give up three runs and five walks in 4.1 innings of Saturday's 8-2 loss.


14. Sam Houston State (16-4)

Trending:

Last week: 14

Of note: Anthony Azar had two home runs and seven RBIs in SHSU's 14-4 win at New Orleans. Eight of SHSU's next 12 games are on the road against some pretty good teams.


15. Houston (15-3)

Trending:

Last week: 15

Of note: Though it's still early, the Cougars are currently second in the nation in the RPI. Great nonconference series versus College of Charleston coming up this weekend.


16. Cal State Fullerton (10-7)

Trending:

Last week: 6

Of note: Things got so bad that coach Rick Vanderhook refused to talk to the media after Fullerton's 6-0 Saturday loss in which his team managed just four hits and committed three errors.


17. UC Santa Barbara (13-3)

Trending:

Last week: 19

Of note: The Gauchos watched all three wins this week over Pepperdine and Wichita State come by a single run, giving up just four runs with 23 K's and five walks in those wins.


18. San Diego (14-4)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: We always think of the Toreros being one of the better pitching programs around, but they lead the nation with a team batting average of .343. And that's with no Kris Bryant, by the by.


19. Seton Hall (12-3)

Trending:

Last week: 20

Of note: One of the best-kept secrets in college baseball is shortstop D.J. Ruhlman, who leads the Pirates with a .441 average. He went 9-for-18 in the four games this week.


20. Louisville (15-4)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: It was an offensive weekend for the Cards, as they swept a decent Samford team by slapping out 42 hits for 42 runs and earning 15 walks along the way.


Five on deck: Kansas (14-5), Texas (15-6), Texas Tech (16-5), College of Charleston (15-4), Tennessee (17-2)

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