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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Baseball Power Rankings (Week 2)

By Eric Sorenson
Special to ESPN.com

Joey Pankake
South Carolina's lineup has 57 hits and 51 RBIs in Seven games to start the season.

Some major upheaval at the top of college baseball this past week means a total reshuffling of the Power Rankings. Two teams who shared No. 1 status in various other rankings, Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton, both lost a pair of games this week, leaving room at the top for others to make their move. Meanwhile, as is typical of early-season results, the pretenders and contenders are already being shuffled in and out, and some mid-majors made major moves at the back end of the rankings as well.

On to the rankings.

1. South Carolina (7-0)

Trending :

Last week: 2

Of note: South Carolina pitching has recorded five straight shutouts, sure, but put an asterisk next to this ranking since the Gamecocks have yet to play anyone with a pulse. That will change this weekend when in-state rival Clemson comes to town.


2. Oregon (7-0)

Trending :

Last week: 5

Of note: Four wins at Hawaii to start the season followed up by three wins at Loyola Marymount. Not bad. But things get serious when the Ducks host Cal State Fullerton coming this weekend.


3. Vanderbilt (7-0)

Trending :

Last week: 4

Of note: In three wins over Illinois-Chicago this past weekend, Commodores pitching allowed just 13 hits and two runs while striking out 36 batters.


4. Florida State (6-0)

Trending :

Last week: 6

Of note: In two blowout wins this past weekend over Georgia (Sunday's finale was canceled because of weather), the steady eyes of the Seminoles' batting order drew 18 walks to go along with 18 hits.


5. Cal State Fullerton (4-3)

Trending :

Last week: 3

Of note: After Friday's 19-inning loss to San Francisco, coach Rick Vanderhook reportedly huddled his team for a chewing-out session until 2:15 a.m. It worked. The Titans returned to take the series on 11-0 and 5-1 victories the next two days.


6. Cal Poly (6-1)

Trending :

Last week: 10

Of note: Impressive 8-0 and 9-1 wins at UCLA to wrap up the weekend gave Poly a big boost. Poly has three shutouts on the season and hasn't given up more than two runs in six wins.


7. LSU (7-0)

Trending :

Last week: 7

Of note: Like Vandy above, the Tigers' arms were Scrooge-like, striking out 27 and walking just three in wins over Virginia Tech, Toledo and Texas Southern over the weekend.


8. Oregon State (6-2)

Trending :

Last week: 1

Of note: The downside for Oregon State is it lost to Nebraska (9-2) and Michigan State (8-7) at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge in Surprise, Ariz. The upside is ace Ben Wetzler will return from NCAA-imposed suspension this Sunday.


9. Rice (6-2)

Trending :

Last week: 11

Of note: Coach Wayne Graham got the 1,000th win of his Rice tenure with a 4-3 victory over Texas State on Feb. 18. Slugging first baseman Skyler Ewing is hitting .485 with three home runs.


10. NC State (6-1)

Trending :

Last week: 8

Of note: Good to see Trea Turner (.423) and Brett Austin (.400) are playing up to billing. Speaking of which: The pitching staff is holding opponents to a .162 average.


11. Virginia (6-1)

Trending :

Last week: 12

Of note: Though this season's East Carolina team isn't what we're used to seeing, three wins over the Pirates is solid for Virginia, especially given the Cavs handed Jeff Hoffman his first loss on Friday.


12. Clemson (5-1)

Trending :

Last week: 13

Of note: After a few hiccups in Week 1, the Tigers made quick work of Maine. What they've seen up until now has been child's play, though. A trip to South Carolina is coming up this weekend.


13. Ole Miss (6-1)

Trending :

Last week: 9

Of note: Not only did the Rebels drop a 6-4 game to Georgia State on Sunday, but the three wins at Stetson don't look as barrel-chested an accomplishment now.


14. TCU (2-1)

Trending :

Last week: 16

Of note: The Horned Frogs are cruising right now. Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison still haven't given up an earned run in their combined 29 innings.


15. Texas Tech (7-1)

Trending :

Last week: 17

Of note: With a sweep of Oral Roberts over the weekend and a Monday win over BYU, the Red Raiders have now won seven straight for their longest win streak since 2007.


16. UCLA (4-3)

Trending :

Last week: 15

Of note: As good as the bullpen has been, it was the starting pitchers who crumbled in two losses to Cal Poly: 6.2 innings, 13 hits, 11 runs allowed. Ouch.


17. Houston (7-0)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: All three of Houston's weekend wins over Michigan were one-run decisions. Chase Wellbrock earned two saves, tossing three scoreless, hitless innings and recording four strikeouts.


18. College of Charleston (6-1)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: It was a great 5-0 week for the Cougars, including their Game 3 win over North Carolina that gave Charleston the series. Five different Cougars have home runs in seven games.


19. Miami (4-3)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: Miami jumped on Florida right off the bat with wins Friday and Saturday. But speaking of bats, one big bugaboo for the Canes is their hitting. They are averaging just .233 as a team so far. FSU awaits this weekend.


20. Mercer (8-0)

Trending :

Last week: NR

Of note: The Bears are tied with the 1970 squad for the best start to a season in school history. They also join FIU and UAB as the only teams in the country at 8-0.


Five on deck: Oklahoma State (8-1), San Diego (6-1), Western Carolina (4-2), Louisiana (7-1), Kentucky (5-2)