Pac-12 baseball in the polls: May 19
This past weekend was huge for conference and national positioning of Pac-12 teams. In the end, Oregon State came out the big winner.
[Related: Pac-12 baseball standings]
1. Oregon State (41-9,22-5 Pac-12)
The Beavers are now in a very firm position to win the 2014 Pac-12 baseball championship. They entered this past weekend's series a game ahead of second-place Washington, and the Huskies quickly erased that lead with a 4-2 victory on Friday. Oregon State bounced back quickly and decisively, though, blanking the Dawgs over the final two games of the set to grab a commanding two-game lead with just one conference series remaining.
Oh, and a nice bonus to ruling the Pac-12: The Beavers are now the top-ranked team in all of college baseball, supplanting previous No. 1 Virginia. No. 2 Louisiana-Lafayette received four first-place votes, but Oregon State ran away with the top mark by collecting 25. A road series at USC remains in between the Beavers and another Pac-12 title.
13. Washington (38-13-1, 20-7 Pac-12)
The Huskies have engineered a remarkable program turnaround this year, and they were poised to grab first place away from Oregon State after winning the series opener in Corvallis this past weekend. The bats went silent for the Dawgs, though, so they no longer control their own destiny in the race for the conference crown.
There's good news in Seattle, though: Washington is still in contention to earn a national seed, which would guarantee home field advantage throughout the postseason at its sparkling new ballpark. A three-game set to close the season against UCLA awaits.
15. Oregon (40-16, 17-10 Pac-12)
Speaking of the Bruins, the Ducks swept them in Los Angeles this past weekend, and that success thrusts Oregon right back into contention for a national seed – assuming it can take care of business at home versus California to close out the regular season. Though they were eliminated there by Rice in last season's super regional, George Horton's squad plays very well at Eugene's PK Park, and that makes this final week very important for Oregon.
There are three Pac-12 clubs playing at a level a cut above the rest, and these closing games will determine just how well-positioned the three teams will be to make an Omaha run.