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A month of Sundays: Week 4 Pac-12 baseball power rankings

The road teams went 13-5 last weekend in the Pac-12, but this time drew dead even at .500 after ASU, Arizona, and UCLA completed sweeps. ‚Äč

Johnny Sewald
Junior Johnny Sewald safely dives back to first base to avoid the pickoff attempt by University of Nevada Las Vegas at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Wednesday March 11, 2015. The Sun Devils defeated the Rebels 5-4. (Jacob Stanek/The State Press)

(Last week: No. 5) 

Winners of eight straight, the No. 7 Bruins are finally shaping up to be the team experts thought they'd be. The toughest part of their conference schedule is ahead, as UCLA returns home to face Oregon State after a road sweep of Washington State. 

(Last week: No. 3) 

The No. 6 Sun Devils swept Stanford for the first time since 2009. Having finally found a Sunday solution in Brett Lilek, their rotation is arguably among the best in the conference. A departure from their rather difficult start to the season, ASU opens up a relatively soft week at home against New Mexico State Tuesday and will travel to Utah on Thursday. 

(Last week: No. 2) 

The Golden Bears looked poised to deliver a road sweep of Utah before allowing a three-run fifth inning and falling 3-2 on Sunday. They'll return home to play Washington State and travel to Fresno State for a rematch with the Bulldogs, whom they lost to 7-2 last Wednesday. 

(Last week: No. 6) 

It's hard to fathom these same Wildcats losing two of three at home to Utah and then sweeping Stanford and Oregon back-to-back, but here we are. Maybe it was Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. By the time Arizona makes its first trip to Phoenix Muni, it will have played USC, so we'll be able to get an accurate reading on the 'are they legit?' gauge. Given that the now- No. 25 Wildcats host the No. 9 Trojans, I can't help but recall the most memorable moment of Tracy Smith's ASU baseball offseason.

(Last week: No. 1)

Seattle's not an easy place to win, but Trojan fans are likely still scratching their heads after how tight the Huskies played them, despite taking two of three. Both wins required extra innings, including a 3-2 16-inning marathon that was the longest game in USC baseball history and a 4-3 final in 10 innings after falling 5-1 in Friday's series opener. A trip to Tucson and a midweek game vs. UC Santa Barbara are all that stand between a showdown against crosstown rival UCLA.

(Last week: No. 8)

Washington gave USC all it could handle, and it still managed to drop its third straight Pac-12 series. There are no bonus points in the standings for moral victories, however, and the climb at this point to get back in the thick of the conference race will only get steeper. The Huskies hit the road against Stanford this week and Washington State next week with an opportunity to do just that.

(Last week: No. 10)

Freshman pitcher Jayson Rose emerged as a bright spot in the Utah rotation in a 3-2 win over Cal on Sunday. Next up is ASU, which swept the Utes at Packard Stadium last season. Utah won't get another shot to crack the Pac-12 win column until April 17 at Stanford. 

(Last week: No. 9) 

The Cougars dropped their Pac-12 home opener against UCLA 4-3 and from that point on didn't stand much of a chance. They'll bookend a trip to Cal with a home-and-home against in-state rival Gonzaga, a tune-up for the Apple Cup against the rival Huskies. 

(Last week: No. 7)

The Ducks play Portland, Seattle and Michigan State before the baseball edition of the Civil War is waged in Eugene. With the way both Oregon teams have underperformed as of late, it could be quite underwhelming for fans of the quack. In the meantime, they can watch this or this

(Last week: No. 4)

Being outscored 15-3 in the first two games to Cal Poly, which entered seven games below .500 prior to its series with the Beavers wasn't exactly an ideal outcome for a nonconference slate at home. With just one non-league game against Portland remaining, Oregon State can't afford to play down to its mediocre opponents if it wants to stay in the Pac-12 hunt. 

(Last week: No. 11) 

The Cardinal came painstakingly close to stealing a game from ASU and changing their outlook on the series in their first visit to Phoenix Muni. Instead, they returned to Palo Alto still seeking their first Pac-12 win. 


Reach the reporter at smodrich@asu.edu or follow @StefanJModrich on Twitter.

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