Pac-12 baseball in the polls: March 31
No 6. Oregon State (21-6, 6-3 Pac-12)
The Beavers again lead the pack of conference teams in the USA Today baseball top 25 coaches' poll. Pat Casey's club waltzed into the desert this past weekend and took two of three from Arizona. They finished the series with more relentlessly patient offense and an emphatic 11-0 win.
The bottom line: Oregon State remains on pace to host a super regional. A young Stanford team that handled Oregon at home this past weekend visits Corvallis next.
No. 10 Oregon (19-8, 6-3 Pac-12)
The Ducks stumbled in the Bay Area's wet weather before bouncing back to beat Stanford in the finale of this past weekend's three-game set. Rain forced the teams to play an opening doubleheader on Friday, which the Cardinal swept thanks to some extra-inning heroics. On Sunday, though, the Quack Attack stormed out to a big lead en route to a 9-2 win.
Up next: A showdown against resurgent conference leader Washington in the new Seattle ballpark. Oregon (6-3) is currently tied with Oregon State and UCLA in the Pac-12 standings two games behind the 8-1 Dawgs.
No. 17 UCLA (16-10, 6-3 Pac-12)
The defending national champions dropped the final two games of a three-game home set to Arizona State. The final contest came in deflating extra-inning fashion and dropped UCLA into a three-way tie with Oregon and Oregon State for second place in the Pac-12.
The Bruins play non-conference foe Long Beach State next weekend. May should be a particularly interesting month for this club: They face the three leading conference powers – Oregon State, Oregon, Stanford – on consecutive weekends.
No. 22 Washington (20-5-1, 8-1 Pac-12)
The coaches' poll has the Huskies at No. 22, but one can make a strong argument that this ranking is too low. In fact, Baseball America has Washington at No. 14, while Collegiate Baseball has them all the way up at No. 11. The newfound respect is certainly deserved: Lindsay Meggs' squad is on a 10-game winning streak, capped most recently by a 14-inning marathon win over USC. UW is alone in first place atop the Pac-12 with an 8-1 record. That 20-5-1 overall mark isn't too shabby, either.
The Huskies' new ballpark certainly seems to have infused this program with energy, as it's attaining its highest rankings since the Tim Lincecum era (c. 2005). A home showdown with second-place rival Oregon is next, and all three games of the series will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.