With the regular season's end drawing near, the regional seeding picture is starting to take shape, and it's very possible that any one of the top three Pac-12 teams gets comfortable hosting postseason baseball in May and June.
(Last week: No. 1)
The Bruins have their sights set on hosting a Super Regional, and despite falling to Cal in the opening game of their series, they didn’t cede any ground thanks to Washington’s victory over ASU that same night. UCLA travels to Stanford next weekend and can’t afford anything less than a series win to continue on its current path.
(Last week: No. 2)
The Sun Devils dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season, falling to Arizona and to Washington in the series opener, but rebounded to take their sixth Pac-12 series. A pair of non-conference trips to Tucson on Wednesday and April 28 bookend a series with Tennessee Tech.
(Last week: No. 3)
At this point in the season, most would have figured USC to be leading the charge in the Pac-12, instead of in position for a bronze. However, the Trojans did win a wildly lopsided series against Oregon, including a 15-4 loss Saturday after a 13-5 win Friday.
(Last week: No. 9)
The Beavers needed until mid-April to win their second conference series, making the prospect of repeating as conference champs an unlikely and uphill battle with No. 9 USC coming to Corvallis Friday.
(Last week: No. 6)
The Golden Bears made a statement with a 2-0 win over UCLA in Los Angeles, then dropped the next game 7-1. Cal was four outs away from taking a road series victory back to Berkeley, but allowed two eighth inning runs to fall 2-1 and further out of contention in the Pac-12 race.
(Last week: No. 7)
They don’t count in the Pac-12 standings, but anytime the Sun Devils come to play in Tucson, you can bet that it matters to the Wildcats. The battle for the Territorial Cup is a best of five, and Arizona is in danger of losing a point if ASU wins just one of the remaining games at Hi Corbett Field. With California, Washington and Washington State next up, Arizona could potentially make a late run toward the top of the conference.
(Last week: No. 4)
In a pitching-heavy conference, the Ducks are remarkably light on quality starters, a big reason why they’re consistently allowing double-digit run totals in losses. If Oregon can’t find a way to combine its speed and power with some of its better defensive days, the season could end early in Eugene with a No. 86 RPI ranking that places them well outside qualifying for the 64-team playoff.
(Last week: No. 10)
The Huskies fell short of a major upset in heartbreaking fashion, losing 6-5 to No. 5 ASU in 10 innings and losing its second straight Pac-12 series. Up next for Washington is a pair of Pacific Northwest neighbors in Oregon and Oregon State.
(Last week: No. 5)
The Cardinal are a long shot at best to turn around what is essentially a lost season. However, they’ve got an opportunity with consecutive series against UCLA, Oregon and USC to find out just how they stack up against the conference’s best and starting preparing for next season, when Stanford’s pitching staff will be back at full strength.
(Last week: No. 8)
Recency bias is a big contributor in terms of the Cougars dropping to the lowest depths they’ve seen in our power rankings, and for good reason. There’s never a good time to play a team like San Jose State, especially not in April, and to play them four times? Well, you’d better win all of them, and Washington State didn’t. The Cougars travel to Utah Friday with a spot in the Pac-12 basement on the line.
(Last week: No. 11)
If there was ever an opportunity to seize against a depleted Stanford team, Utah certainly had one. This week’s series against Washington State is highly likely to be the best chance the Utes have at winning a Pac-12 series before the season ends, with USC, Oregon State and Oregon still ahead on the schedule.
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