Commentary

Arizona puts the screws to Stanford

Originally Published: April 3, 2012
By Eric Sorenson | Special to ESPN.com

Konner WadeCal Sports Media/AP ImagesArizona recorded three narrow victories over Stanford last weekend.

Three things we learned

1. No one is immune to a bad weekend, which could make June a real roller coaster ride.
2. Kentucky's "for real" status is nearly laid in cement now.
3. Stanford's pitching has suddenly become a major concern.

Team of the weekend: Arizona

This honor could've gone to Mississippi, LSU, Florida State or even UCLA for being the only top-10 teams to make it through the weekend unbeaten. But the Wildcats swept Stanford, the No. 2 team in the country, scoring four runs in the ninth inning to win 8-7 on Friday, riding Konner Wade's three-hitter to win 4-2 on Saturday and getting James Ferris' five-hitter to win 6-2 on Sunday. Stellar.

Off-radar team of the weekend: Army

The Black Knights are now 19-7 after sweeping rival Navy this weekend in four straight games. This was the second time in three trips to Annapolis, Md., in which the Knights have swept their rivals. Chris Rowley set the tone with Friday's one-hitter in a 2-0 win.

Biggest disappointment: Nearly the entire top 10

If you take away UCLA's and Florida State's three-game sweeps of Utah and Virginia Tech, respectively, the remainder of the top 10 went just 10-14 this weekend, with half of those wins being last at-bat or extra inning white-knucklers that could've gone the other way.

Best series: Missouri-Texas A&M

It must be some unwritten rule that the Tigers give the Aggies fits, because once again this series was a panic down to the final out just like last year's Big 12 tournament championship game. Saturday's 4-3 Missouri win was decided when A&M's Jace Statum was thrown out at home plate by Brannon Champagne. Sunday's rubber match saw Mizzou rally to tie it with five runs in the ninth inning, only to see the Aggies come back and win it on a Krey Bratsen RBI single, 7-6.

Heating up: Baylor

The Bears are playing steady baseball with 11 straight wins and now sit atop the Big 12 standings at a perfect 9-0. They don't pound you over the head with a flashy stat sheet, but are fundamentally sound on the mound and in the field, plus they lead the Big 12 with 142 earned walks.

Cooling down: Pepperdine

After a 16-5 start, the Waves have now dropped six of seven in a very un-Pepperdine manner. The alarming part is that in their last five losses they've given up 55 runs, 14 of them unearned, and issued 30 walks while committing 12 errors.

Raised an eyebrow: The Bobby Wahl/Brett Huber combo

Move over, Michael Roth and Matt Price? The two Ole Miss studs held Florida to three hits in Friday's 3-0 win as Wahl improved to 5-0 and has 48 Ks in 42 innings. Huber earned his sixth save and has just one walk in his 10 appearances. But get this: Huber picked up the 7-6 Sunday win with a perfect two innings and Wahl also scored the game-winning run as a pinch-hitter.

Of note

• Cornell's Connor Kaufmann threw the Big Red's first no-hitter in 23 years with Sunday's 2-0 win over Dartmouth. The sophomore issued just two walks, but both baserunners were erased on the basepaths, so Kaufmann faced the minimum.

• Sam Houston State has won eight straight games, including last week's sweep of Texas State and a midweek win over Dallas Baptist. This weekend the Bearkats swept Texas-San Antonio, winning twice by run rule in 13-2 and 15-1 wins.

• Elon and Samford played an 18-inning game which took 22 hours and nine minutes of real time to complete. The Saturday night game was called due to lightning in the seventh inning, tied at 1. The game picked up on Sunday afternoon at 1:04 p.m. and played 11 more innings before Elon plated two runs in the top of the 18th for a 5-3 win.

• Baylor's Trent Blank is the only pitcher in the country with seven wins, as he won Saturday's game with Oklahoma State by going seven innings and giving up just four hits and two runs. A senior, Blank entered the season with eight career wins in his previous three years.

Without further ado, here are this week's Power Rankings …

1. Florida (24-4)

Of note: Look, everybody has a hiccup weekend, right? The Gators may have taken down Florida State but they lost two of three to Ole Miss this week and for the first time this season were wildly inconsistent.

2. North Carolina (22-6)

Of note: The Tar Heels played three one-run games this week, winning two of them on the last swing of the game versus Coastal Carolina and Wake Forest. A showdown at Miami looms.

3. UCLA (20-5)

Of note: Hotter than a blast furnace, the Bruins were the only top-10 team to go unbeaten on the road last week and have now won 18 of their last 20 games.

4. Florida State (24-4)

Of note: The Seminoles can't get over the hump versus Florida, as they dropped their second straight game to the Gators during the week. But at 11-1, they're still dominating the ACC.

5. Kentucky (27-2)

Of note: A hard-fought series win at Georgia is a good feather in Kentucky's cap. But upcoming series versus Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU will test the mettle of the Bat Cats over the course of the next three weeks.

6. Arizona (21-7)

Of note: The Wildcats get the big bump after beating Stanford in three straight games, all in come-from-behind fashion. Odd fact: the Desert Cats have now fallen behind in 15 straight games.

7. Baylor (22-7)

Of note: Quietly, the Bears have rebounded from a 9-6 start and lead the Big 12 at 9-0 after taking three straight from Oklahoma State this weekend. A dangerous Missouri team awaits.

8. Stanford (16-6)

Of note: Arizona battered the Cardinal starters in all three games. Mark Appel, Brett Mooneyham and John Hochstatter combined to give up 31 hits and 15 runs in 20.0 innings.

9. Rice (21-9)

Of note: Danger: Slippery road ahead. The Owls play seven of their next nine games on the road. Their only home dates are versus upset-masters Sam Houston State and Texas State.

10. Texas A&M (21-6)

Of note: While Friday starter Michael Wacha continues his roller coaster act (12 hits, five runs versus Missouri), the offense stays potent with seven Aggies hitting .314 or better.

11. South Carolina (20-8)

Of note: Since going from Saturday starter back to the bullpen, Matt Price is 1-1 with one save in 13 2/3 innings pitched with just two hits, four runs and a 17-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

12. Cal State Fullerton (17-10)

Of note: There's a little bit of a concern here as the Titans have been held to two runs or less six times in their last 11 games. That's not usually the case with a Rick Vanderhook-coached team.

13. NC State (19-7)

Of note: Elliot Avent picked up win No. 800 in Sunday's 7-6 escape from Virginia. The Wolfpack came into the week 1-4 in one-run games, but won a pair of them vs. East Carolina and UVa

14. Miami (21-7)

Of note: A seventh-inning rally kept the Hurricanes from being swept in Clemson this weekend. Once again, the defense was a big problem as Miami committed seven errors in the two losses.

15. Purdue (20-5)

Of note: The Boilers had a 4-1 week, including a 2-1 win over Louisville. But put a red flag on that 16-6 loss on Sunday at the hands of Penn State, which hit four home runs.

16. LSU (22-6)

Of note: It was a clutch week for the Tigers, who earned three straight wins over Arkansas, including a pair of final-pitch beauties with Ty Ross and Jared Foster getting game-winning hits.

17. Arkansas (22-6)

Of note: The bad news is the Razorbacks struck out 40 times with just 18 hits in Baton Rouge, La. The good news is they return to Fayetteville, Ark., for their next two SEC series, beginning with Georgia this week and Kentucky the following week.

18. UCF (23-6)

Of note: The Knights not only lead Conference USA at 5-1, they also lead in pitching (2.97), walks earned (151) and steals (42) and are second in hitting (.295).

19. Ole Miss (20-8)

Of note: The Rebels put themselves back on the map with a huge series win over No. 1 Florida. A total of 27,991 fans attended the three-game set, the second-highest in school history.

20. New Mexico State (22-8)

Of note: The Aggies have won 13 straight games, including two at Arizona. They also lead the nation in walks earned with 176, a full 23 more then the next-closest team.

Dropped out: Arizona State, Oregon, Louisville

Bubble wrap: Appalachian State, Sam Houston State, San Diego, Louisville, Gonzaga