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Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Baseball Power Rankings (Week 12)

By Eric Sorenson
Special to ESPN.com

Oregon State
Oregon State has had a successful past two weekends, sweeping Oregon and Cal.

Oh, this is going to be good.

The end of the 2014 season is within our sights. For most conferences, there are only two weekends of regular-season play remaining, so the battle for seedings and at-large discussions are fast at hand. Weaker teams crumble under the pressure, but teams like Oregon State, with its experience-rich starting rotation, are made for late-season runs.

So keep an eye on the top and see who has the chutzpah to stay there. For now, here's how the best teams in the country are faring on the hot-and-cold meter.

1. Oregon State (34-8)

Trending:

Last week: 2

Of note: The nation's best starting weekend rotation just keeps getting stronger. Sunday starter Jace Fry was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after throwing his third complete-game shutout of the season at Cal.


2. Virginia (37-9)

Trending:

Last week: 1

Of note: The Cavs took the weekend off but still sit a game behind Miami in the Coastal Division standings with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest left to play in the regular season.


3. Louisiana (43-7)

Trending:

Last week: 3

Of note: A series win at second-place Arkansas State all but wrapped up the Sun Belt title for the Ragin' Cajuns. Carson Baranik threw a complete-game two-hitter in Saturday's 7-0 squashing.


4. Washington (32-11-1)

Trending:

Last week: 5

Of note: The Huskies scored 40 runs on 47 hits in a three-game sweep of Utah. But this weekend's series versus Bethune-Cookman (No. 233 in RPI) will have an anchor effect on the Huskies' RPI.


5. Louisville (37-11)

Trending:

Last week: 6

Of note: The Cards have given up just 20 runs during their 10-game win streak. Question: Is Tuesday's game at Vanderbilt more of a rematch of last year's super regional or a preview of this year's?


6. Cal Poly (38-9)

Trending:

Last week: 4

Of note: A second straight week of 2-2 play has the slightly cooling Mustangs dropping again. This No. 6 spot is shaky, but worse yet is their RPI ranking, falling to No. 19.


7. Houston (35-13)

Trending:

Last week: 7

Of note: Got a chance to see Houston's dramatic, ninth-inning, 4-3 win over UCF on Saturday. Coach Todd Whitting said he loves his team's moxie. There's no quit in the Cougs.


8. Oklahoma State (35-13)

Trending:

Last week: 8

Of note: Hotter than Pistol Pete's six-shooter, the Pokes' six consecutive wins have come against Texas, Wichita State and most recently Arizona State in an impressive three-game sweep.


9. Florida State (36-11)

Trending:

Last week: 9

Of note: Having to deal with the suspension of Heisman Trophy winner/closer Jameis Winston, the Seminoles held it together long enough to escape Minnesota's two upset bids.


10. Vanderbilt (36-12)

Trending:

Last week: 13

Of note: Huge week ahead for the Commodores as they will host Louisville on Tuesday and then take a rigorous three-game road trip to SEC East leader Florida. Buckle in and hang on.


11. Oregon (34-13)

Trending:

Last week: 11

Of note: After getting swept and having two games in which they scored only one run last week at Oregon State, the Ducks rebounded by sweeping Arizona and holding the Cats to a single run in two games.


12. South Carolina (35-13)

Trending:

Last week: 12

Of note: The road woes continue as the Gamecocks went 1-2 at Georgia. In those two losses, the top four hitters in South Carolina's lineup went a combined 1-for-25.


13. Miami (34-14)

Trending:

Last week: 14

Of note: Going 2-1 against Alabama State in a nonconference series didn't hurt the Hurricanes in the RPI, staying put at No. 18, so a No. 1 seed for June is still within reach.


14. Florida (33-15)

Trending:

Last week: 18

Of note: A double-digit win streak in the SEC is almost unheard of, but last weekend's impressive three-game sweep at Alabama means the Gators now have an 11-game win streak in SEC play.


15. Rice (31-15)

Trending:

Last week: 17

Of note: Keep an eye on the Owls, as they sit at No. 6 in the RPI, meaning they would probably be a national seed if the season ended today. But No. 100 UTSA and No. 212 Louisiana Tech are next on the slate.


16. TCU (34-13)

Trending:

Last week: 19

Of note: The Frogs keep rolling, as they swept Kansas State. Preston Morrison's impressive streak continues as the big righty has not allowed a run in his last 26 2/3 innings and has given up just two runs in the last 48.


17. LSU (35-13-1)

Trending:

Last week: 10

Of note: Not a good week for the Tigers. They had to rally to beat Alcorn State, and if not for Jared Foster's amazing ninth-inning diving catch Friday night, LSU would have been swept at Texas A&M.


18. Indiana (32-12)

Trending:

Last week: 20

Of note: Now this is the team everybody expected out of IU at the start of the season, having won 20 of its past 21 games. Senior Dustin DeMuth has reached base safely in 41 straight games.


19. Texas (34-15)

Trending:

Last week: 15

Of note: Three weeks ago, the Longhorns were at No. 5 in the Power Rankings. Since then, they have lost each weekend series, including this week's 1-2 mark at West Virginia.


20. UC Irvine (32-14)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: Man, these guys have come out of nowhere to race out to a 14-1 mark in Big West play. But things get serious for the Anteaters as they go to Cal Poly next.


Five on deck: Ole Miss (35-14), Texas Tech (36-16), Mercer (34-11), Pepperdine (32-12), Dallas Baptist (31-16)