Commentary

Baylor Bears maintain No. 1 ranking

Originally Published: April 24, 2012
By Eric Sorenson | Special to ESPN.com

Three things we learned over the weekend

1. Nobody has found any fire hydrants to cool off the Baylor Bears just yet.
2. Miami is having issues in-state, with a 4-8 mark versus Sunshine State teams.
3. The West is indeed wild. There's no sense of normalcy in Pac-12/WCC/Big West play.

Team of the weekend: Baylor

This is possibly the biggest no-brainer of the season. The Bears swept Brazos Valley rival Texas A&M in three games, extending their win streak to 24 games and improving their Big 12 mark to 18-0 -- both Big 12 records. Reliever Max Garner certainly did his part, getting saves in all three games with a combined 3.2 innings of one-hit work.

Off-radar team of the weekend: Indiana State

The Sycamores are 31-10, but entering this past weekend, they were still looking for their first impressive win of the season. They got it, winning their ninth consecutive weekend series, this time over a really good Dallas Baptist team, pushing their RPI up to No. 48. But upcoming weekends against Wichita State, Southern Illinois and Missouri State will continue to test ISU.

Biggest disappointment: Gonzaga

The West Coast Conference is the sixth-rated conference in the RPI and lately has been rife with upsets. But the Zags losing all three games at San Francisco is a bitter pill for sure, especially with Friday's 4-3 loss ending with Steven Halcomb getting thrown out at home in the ninth inning. The Bulldogs now sit in sixth place in the WCC. All is not lost, though, as the RPI still has them at No. 25.

Heating up: No-hitters

Two weekends ago, both UC Irvine's Andrew Thurman and Army's Logan Lee came within a few pitches of no-hitters. Last weekend, Thurman pulled the no-hit trick versus Long Beach State on Friday night in a 4-0 win for the Anteaters and Lee got his no-hitter on Saturday in the Knights' 8-0 win over Bucknell. In fact, Lee came within three outs of a perfect game. But those two weren't alone. Penn State's Steven Hill also pulled off a no-hitter, shutting down Iowa in a 2-0 win on Saturday.

Cooling down: Miami

The Hurricanes are on a 6-9 spiral, including this weekend's three-game belly-up sweep at rival Florida State. Playing without the difference-making bat of All-American Peter O'Brien, the Canes have been boney-armed at the plate, with the team average dipping to .274. Miami has scored more than four runs just three times in their past 15 games.

Raised an eyebrow: Army's clutch play

The Black Knights have already won the Patriot League regular-season title with a 16-0 mark, and along with Logan Lee's no-hitter mentioned above, the Knights also got a one-hitter from Chris Rowley (now 9-0) and a complete-game four-hitter from Nick Dignacco on Saturday as they beat Bucknell 1-0 and 2-1. This is one mentally tough team as it's gone 9-2 in one-run games this season, including four of them last week alone.

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

1. Baylor (35-7)

Of note: "Huge" would be an understatement in describing the Bears' sweep of Texas A&M. Most impressive was going into College Station on Friday night and quieting that raucous Aggies crowd. Strong work.

2. Florida (31-9)

Of note: Kevin O'Sullivan said the Gators are far from playing their best baseball, but they're starting to get there. Sunday saw the return to the mound of Hudson Randall and Karsten Whitson.

3. Kentucky (35-6)

Of note: The Wildcats showed some maturity by bouncing back for two straight wins after dropping the Friday night game versus LSU. The Wildcats' offense exploded for 22 hits and 15 runs in the two wins.

4. Florida State (33-7)

Of note: The Seminoles put the clamps on a dormant Miami offense, shutting it out for 24 of the 28 innings they played this weekend as FSU won all three games.

5. Stanford (25-10)

Of note: As if the Cardinal needed another offensive weapon, seldom-used freshman Alex Blandino went 8-for-13 with three home runs and a double in a three-game sweep of Arizona State.

6. Rice (30-12)

Of note: A pair of big-time efforts fueled two Owls wins over East Carolina as Matthew Reckling threw a one-hitter with 10 K's in a 2-0 Friday win and Craig Manuel socked a grand slam in a 6-2 Saturday win.

7. Purdue (31-6)

Of note: The Boilers earned an impressive series win in a tough environment, taking two of three in Lincoln from Nebraska. They now lead the Big Ten by 3.5 games.

8. UCLA (26-10)

Of note: There's no time to trip over their lower lip after losing two at Oregon State -- the Bruins have UC Irvine and then a big showdown with Stanford coming up this week.

9. South Carolina (30-11)

Of note: The Gamecocks rebounded nicely from a midweek loss to College of Charleston with a weekend sweep at Auburn, recording 29 hits, 28 runs and, in typical South Carolina fashion, zero errors on defense.

10. Arizona (26-13)

Of note: The Cats stay atop the Pac-12 with a near-sweep at Washington, but Sunday's getaway game saw them lose 6-5 in 12 innings. It was their first extra-inning contest of the season.

11. LSU (32-9)

Of note: Somebody pour a pail of water on Raph Rhymes, because he's on fire. The Tigers slugger went 11-for-16 in four games last week, upping his average to a nation's best .500. Wow.

12. North Carolina (29-12)

Of note: The good news is that the cast is off Colin Moran's arm. The bad news is that the Tar Heels plummet after losing two of three to previously underachieving Georgia Tech.

13. UCF (34-8)

Of note: Last weekend's sweep of Tulane did two things: It kept the Knights atop the C-USA standings by one game over Rice, and it also probably killed any NCAA at-large hopes for the Green Wave.

14. Oregon (27-12)

Of note: Coach George Horton said he was worried his team would start reading its press clippings after its recent hot streak. Sure enough, a weekend series loss to Washington State followed.

15. Cal State Fullerton (26-13)

Of note: Since a season-opening series loss at Florida, the Titans have now won nine straight weekend series. But interestingly, note that only two of them have been three-game sweeps.

16. San Diego (31-9)

Of note: The usually light-hitting Toreros continue to rip the cover off the ball, hitting .403 as a team in a series win over Saint Mary's. Five regulars are now hitting .346 or better for the season.

17. Texas A&M (28-12)

Of note: The Aggies have hit the skids, losing five straight now. The most frustrating factor has been a lack of clutch hitting, as all five of those losses have come by two runs or less.

18. Oregon State (26-12)

Of note: The Beavers threw a pair of shutouts in going 3-1 last week. Jace Fry tossed a complete-game six-hitter in a 3-0 Saturday win versus UCLA. A resurgent OSU has now won eight of nine.

19. Sam Houston State (28-11)

Of note: The Bearkats, supposedly in a rebuilding season with a new coach and numerous new starters, have now gone 19-3 since mid-March and lead the Southland by four games.

20. Ole Miss (27-13)

Of note: While Bobby Wahl had his second straight short stint on Friday, Saturday saw Mike Mayers and R.J. Hively combine on a two-hitter to clinch the series win over Arkansas.

Dropped out: Miami, North Carolina State, Arkansas

Bubble wrap: Arkansas, Indiana State, Miami, New Mexico State, Louisville