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2017 Week 5 College Baseball Top-25

March 13, 2017

LHP Luke Heimlich improved to 3-0 with a 0.31 ERA as the Oregon State Beavers ascended to the top of the College Baseball Top-25. (photo courtesy of Scobel Wiggins/Oregon State Athletics)

While Mother Nature played a big part in Week 4 of the NCAA Division-1 baseball schedule, a trip out west took its toll on the top half of last week’s rankings, resulting in a new number one team in the nation.

Oregon State takes over the top spot after a 4-0 week. Following inclement weather forcing the cancellation of a mid-week tilt vs. Portland, the Beavers swept visiting Ball State in a four-game set at Goss Stadium. Bryce Fehmel opened the series by blanking the Cardinals on one hit over eight innings in a 2-0 victory that gave skipper Pat Casey his 800th career win. Luke Heimlich opened the Friday doubleheader by allowing only two hits over eight innings while striking out 11 in a 2-0 win while DH Trevor Lamach drove in three runs in the 5-1 nightcap victory. Jake Thompson capped the series by allowing one run and three hits over 7.1 innings in Saturday’s 8-4 triumph, the ninth straight for the 2006-2007 College World Series champions.

Louisville, the only undefeated team in Division-1 baseball, moves up two places to second after a 4-0 Week 4 campaign. After Tuesday’s one-game roadie at Eastern Kentucky was washed out, the Cards beat up Fort Wayne 12-2 as SS Devin Hairston tallied five RBI on a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Brendan McKay opened the team’s ACC schedule with a brilliant 15-strikeout performance over seven innings as Louisville blanked Pittsburgh 3-0. Hairston, CF Logan Taylor and C Colby Fitch, each, drove in two runs in Saturday’s 8-2 victory and Nick Bennett allowed, only, two hits over six innings in the 3-1 series finale.

TCU drops to third, following a 2-2 week. Cam Warner’s walk-off RBI single gave the Frogs a 3-2 win in ten innings on Tuesday before heading west. UC Irvine starting pitchers Louis Raymond and Cole Spear held the TCU offense in check to clinch the series win with 11-2 and 6-3 victories on Friday & Saturday before the former #1 team in the nation rode four RBI, each, from LF Josh Watson and CF Nolan Brown in a 16-7 Sunday win.

LSU swept Wichita State to cap a 3-1 week and inches up one spot to fourth. On Wednesday, 3B Josh Smith went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, but the Tigers lost a 5-4 nail-biter at McNeese State. Returning to Alex Box Stadium, the six-time College World Series champs beat the Shockers 6-1 as Alex Lange allowed two hits and struck out nine over eight innings. Greg Deichmann, Zach Watson and Michael Papierski, each, homered in Saturday’s 12-5 series-clinching win and Eric Walker blanked the visitors over six innings en route to a 9-2 Sunday victory.

Florida State returns to the top-five after an impressive two-game mid-week road sweep of #10 Central Florida and a series win over Boston College to open their ACC schedule. 1B Quincy Nieporte delivered three RBI in the Noles’ 5-2 win on Tuesday and four pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout for a 5-0 Wednesday victory. After taking an 8-5 loss to the Eagles to open the weekend, impending weather forced a Saturday doubleheader that saw FSU win easily, 11-1 and 13-0. Tyler Holton improved to 4-0 in the lid-lifter with six shutout innings while C Cal Raleigh and LF/SS Tyler Daughtry laced three hits and CF J.C. Flowers added a 3-run homer. Drew Parrish added another six-inning shutout starting performance and SS Taylor Walls went 3-for-6 with two runs and three RBI in the nightcap.

Arizona moves up a spot to fifth after a roller-coaster 3-1 week which included a double-digit loss and two 20+ run outbursts in a 63-run weekend. The four-time College World Series title holders were embarrassed, 13-1, at #14 Texas Tech on Tuesday before the offensive onslaught at home against Hartford. The Wildcats dismantled the Hawks 21-5 and 25-3 before edging the visitors 17-13 on Sunday. For the weekend, DH Alfonso Rivas hit .900 (9-for-10) with two doubles and a homer, scored eight runs and drove in eight while RF Cal Stevenson hit .700 (7-for-10) with a double and a triple while scoring 11 runs, driving in five and walking five times. CF Jared Oliva added two doubles and a homer with 11 RBI over the three games.

Baylor moves up two places into seventh on the strength of their weekend starting pitching which carried the squad to a 3-1 week, including a series win over Houston. The Bears started the week on a winning note as Kameron Esthay launched a 2-run homer in a 6-5 Tuesday win over Sam Houston State at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, TX. Returning to Waco, Nick Lewis allowed a run and four hits over 6.2 innings to pace Baylor to a 2-1 Friday night victory. Montana Parsons blanked the Cougars on four hits over 7.1 innings in Saturday’s 2-0 shutout for the series win, but the offense sputtered in the finale as Houston’s John King out-dueled Cody Bradford by twirling a complete-game three-hitter to blank the hosts 2-0.

Clemson breaks into the top-ten, at #8, with a 4-0 week. Seth Beer launched a fifth-inning grand slam as Monte Lee’s troops walloped #17 Michigan State 9-2 at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC and the winning continued into the weekend. The Tigers swept Notre Dame 4-1, 6-5 and 4-0 to kick off their ACC schedule. Charlie Barnes earned his first win over the year by holding the Irish to four hits and an unearned run over 6.1 innings in the series opener while Brooks Crawford blanked the visitors over 4.2 innings of relief to give Clemson the series win on Saturday. Alex Eubanks scattered four hits over seven innings on Sunday to send the Doug Kingsmore Stadium faithful home with smiles on their faces.

Texas A&M used a 5-0 week to return to the top-ten, putting the specter of last weekend’s bullpen implosion behind them. Five players drove in two runs on Tuesday and the Aggies rallied from an early 3-0 deficit on Wednesday to sweep UT Rio Grand Valley 16-7 and 7-4. Brig Hill gave up four runs on eight hits on Friday, but improved to 4-0 on the season as a 5-run second inning was the difference in a 6-4 win. Following Saturday night’s game being suspended due to weather issues, Austin Homan’s walk-off bases-loaded walk gave the hosts a 3-2 victory early Sunday and Mitchell Kilkenny finished off the winless Bears with seven strong innings in a 5-1 triumph.

Texas Tech makes it two Big 12 teams in the top-ten, after blasting last years College World Series runner-up and edging out UTSA at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock, TX. The Red Raiders pummeled #6 Arizona, 13-1, as four pitchers combined to allow an unearned run on eight hits while DH Cameron Warren doubled twice and drove in three runs. CF Tanner Gardner went 4-for-4 and added two RBI as Tech held off the visiting Roadrunners 7-6 on Friday. Mason George gave the visitors its only victory of the weekend with a bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth in a 3-2 decision and Orlando Garcia’s 2-RBI double proved to be the difference in Sunday’s 8-4 series-clinching victory.

Oklahoma holds steady in 11th, North Carolina vaults 12 places to 12th after a series win over Virginia, Florida tumbles 11 spots to 13th after a 2-3 week, South Carolina moves up one to 14th and Virginia drops seven positions to 15th.

East Carolina remains in 16th, Central Florida falls seven spots to 17th, South Florida and Mississippi, each, advance two positions to 18th and 19th, respectively, and Saint Louis retreats two places to 20th.

St. John’s and Louisiana-Lafayette, both, inch up one spot to 21st and 22nd, respectively, Florida Gulf Coast makes its 2017 debut at #23, Southern Mississippi gains one place to 24th and Wright State rounds out the rankings, falling six from #19.

Michigan State, ranked #17 last week, falls out of the top-25 after an 0-3 week at Clemson and South Carolina.

1. Oregon State (14-1, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (3): at Arizona State (9-7, 0-0 PAC-12) 3/16-18
(LW – 3) Last week (4-0): vs. Portland (2-11, 0-0 WCC) CCD; vs. Ball State (8-8, 0-0 MAC-W) W 2-0, W 5-0, W 5-1, W 8-4

2. Louisville (15-0, 3-0 ACC-A) This week (4): vs. Xavier (7-9, 0-0 Big East) 3/15; vs. Boston College (6-8, 1-2 ACC-A) 3/17-19
(LW – 4) Last week (4-0): at Eastern Kentucky (8-8, 1-2 OVC) PPD; vs. Fort Wayne (3-12, 0-0 Summit) W 12-2; vs. Pittsburgh (7-7, 0-3 ACC-C) W 3-0, W 8-2, W 3-1

3. TCU (12-3, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): at Long Beach State (6-8, 0-0 Big West) 3/14; vs. Kansas (7-8, 0-0 Big 12) 3/17-19
(LW – 1) Last week (2-2): vs. Dallas Baptist (9-5, 0-0 MVC) W 3-2 (10); at UC Irvine (9-5, 0-0 Big West) L 11-2, L 6-3, W 16-7

4. LSU (12-4, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (5): vs. Louisiana College (13-4, 4-2 ASC-D3) 3/14; vs. New Orleans (9-7, 0-3 Southland) 3/15; vs. Georgia (7-9, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/17-19
(LW – 5) Last week (3-1): vs. San Diego (10-3, 0-0 WCC) CCD; at McNeese State (12-4, 3-0 Southland) L 5-4; vs. Wichita State (8-6, 0-0 MVC) W 6-1, W 12-5, W 9-2

5. Florida State (13-3, 2-1 ACC-A) This week (5): at #13 Florida (12-5, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/14; at #23 Florida Gulf Coast (14-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/15; at Virginia Tech (10-8, 1-2 ACC-C) 3/17-19
(LW – 7) Last week (4-1): at #10 Central Florida (14-3, 0-0 AAC) W 5-2, W 5-0; vs. Boston College (6-8, 1-2 ACC-A) L 8-5, W 11-1, W 13-0

6. Arizona (13-2, 0-0 PAC-12) This week (4): at Cal State Fullerton (9-5, 0-0 Big West) 3/15; at UCLA (6-8, 0-0 PAC-12) 3/17-19
(LW – 6) Last week (3-1): at #14 Texas Tech (14-3, 0-0 Big 12) L 13-1; vs. Hartford (1-9, 0-0 America East) W 21-5, W 25-3, W 17-13

7. Baylor (14-2, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): at Dallas Baptist (9-5, 0-0 MVC) 3/15; vs. West Virginia (8-7, 0-0 Big 12) 3/17-19
(LW – 9) Last week (3-1): at Sam Houston State (11-5, 3-0 Southland) W 6-5; vs. Houston (9-5, 0-0 AAC) W 2-1, W 5-0, L 2-0

8. Clemson (12-3, 3-0 ACC-A) This week (5): vs. Yale (3-5, 0-0 Ivy-Rolfe) 3/14-15; vs. #15 Virginia (13-3, 1-2 ACC-C) 3/17-19
(LW – 12) Last week (4-0): vs. #17 Michigan State (9-4, 0-0 Big Ten) W 9-2 **at Fluor Field – Greenville, SC**; vs. Notre Dame (3-11, 0-3 ACC-A) W 4-1, W 6-5, W 4-0

9. Texas A&M (14-3, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (4): at Texas (12-6, 0-0 Big 12) 3/14; vs. Kentucky (11-6, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/17-19
(LW – 13) Last week (5-0): vs. UT Rio Grande Valley (10-5, 0-0 WAC) W 16-7 W 7-4; vs. Brown (0-6, 0-0 Ivy-Rolfe) W 6-4, W 3-2, W 5-1

10. Texas Tech (14-3, 0-0 Big 12) This week (4): at UT Arlington (8-8, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/14 **Globe Life Ballpark – Arlington, TX**; at Texas (12-6, 0-0 Big 12) 3/17-19
(LW – 14) Last week (3-1): vs. #6 Arizona (13-2, 0-0 PAC-12) W 13-1; vs. UTSA (8-7, 0-0 C-USA) W 7-6, L 3-2, W 8-4

11. Oklahoma (17-2, 0-0 Big 12) This week (5): at Georgia Tech (10-4, 1-2 ACC-C) 3/14; at Georgia State (9-7, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/15; at Kennesaw State (7-8, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/17-19
(LW – 11) Last week (4-1): vs. Wichita State (8-6, 0-0 MVC) L 4-2; vs. Buffalo (4-9, 0-0 MAC-E) W 16-10, W 1-0, W 11-0, W 5-1

12. North Carolina (12-4, 2-1 ACC-C) This week (4): vs. Maryland (9-5, 0-0 Big Ten) 3/14; at Georgia Tech (10-4, 1-2 ACC-C) 3/17-19
(LW – 24) Last week (3-1): vs. VCU (10-6, 0-0 Atlantic 10) W 8-2; vs. #8 Virginia (13-3, 1-2 ACC-C) W 9-4, L 2-1, W 12-2

13. Florida (12-5, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (4): vs. #5 Florida State (13-3, 2-1 ACC-A) 3/14; at Auburn (12-5, 0-0 SEC-W) 3/17-19
(LW – 2) Last week (2-3): at/vs. Florida Gulf Coast (14-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) L 7-3, L 3-2; vs. Seton Hall (7-8, 0-0 Big East) W 8-0, L 3-2 (13), W 4-3

14. South Carolina (11-5, 0-0 SEC-E) This week (4): at Furman (8-7, 0-0 Southern) 3/14; at Tennessee (11-2, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/17-19
(LW – 15) Last week (4-0): vs. The Citadel (4-10, 0-0 Southern) W 12-5; vs. Winthrop (7-8, 0-0 Big South) W 8-6; vs. #17 Michigan State (9-4, 0-0 Big Ten) W 3-2, W 5-2, CCD

15. Virginia (13-3, 1-2 ACC-C) This week (4): vs. Monmouth (2-10, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) 3/14; at #8 Clemson (12-3, 3-0 ACC-A) 3/17-19
(LW – 8) Last week (2-2): at George Washington (6-10, 0-0 Atlantic 10) W 7-1; at #24 North Carolina (12-4, 2-1 ACC-C) L 9-4, W 2-1, L 12-2

16. East Carolina (12-4, 0-0 AAC) This week (4): at Duke (10-8, 2-1 ACC-C) 3/14; vs. Mercer (13-4, 0-0 Southern) 3/17-19
(LW – 16) Last week (4-1): at College of Charleston (8-8, 0-0 CAA) W 12-7, W 15-12; vs. Charlotte (10-6, 0-0 C-USA) L 2-0, W 10-7 (10), W 3-0

17. Central Florida (14-3, 0-0 AAC) This week (4): vs. Bradley (4-8, 0-0 MVC) 3/14; vs. Jacksonville (9-9, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) 3/17-19
(LW – 10) This week (3-2): vs. #7 Florida State (13-3, 2-1 ACC-A) L 5-2, L 5-0; vs. Central Michigan (5-10, 0-0 MAC-W) W 21-1, W 7-3, W 5-4

18. South Florida (15-1, 0-0 AAC) This week (4): vs. Harvard (5-3, 0-0 Ivy-Rolfe) 3/17-19
(LW – 20) Last week (5-0): vs. Jacksonville (9-9, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) W 12-5; vs. Villanova (2-11, 0-0 Big East) W 8-1; vs. Valparaiso (6-8, 0-0 Horizon) W 11-2, W 8-1, W 6-5

19. Mississippi (11-5, 0-0 SEC-W) This week (4): vs. Nicholls State (9-6, 2-1 Southland) 3/14 **at Biloxi, MS**; vs. Vanderbilt (11-6, 0-0 SEC-E) 3/17-19
(LW – 21) Last week (4-1): vs. Georgia State (9-7, 0-0 Sun Belt) W 1-0, L 2-0 (11); vs. Furman (8-7, 0-0 Southern) W 2-0, W 5-0, W 1-0

20. Saint Louis (13-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10) This week (5): vs. Missouri State (12-3, 0-0 MVC) 3/14; vs. Western Illinois (1-12, 0-0 Summit) 3/15; at Butler (9-6, 0-0 Big East) 3/17-19
(LW – 18) Last week (3-1): vs. SIU Edwardsville (10-6, 2-1 OVC) W 12-3; vs. Northern Illinois (3-12, 0-0 MAC-W) W 8-1, W 10-5, L 2-0

21. St. John’s (12-2, 0-0 Big East) This week (4): at New York Tech (2-9, 0-0 IND) 3/14; vs. Holy Cross (2-10, 0-0 Patriot) 3/18-19
(LW – 22) Last week (2-1): at Iona (4-6, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) PPD; at Liberty (9-6, 0-0 Big South) W 5-4 (10), W 4-2, L 7-6

22. Louisiana-Lafayette (9-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) This week (4): at Louisiana Tech (13-2, 0-0 C-USA) 3/15; vs. Appalachian State (6-9, 0-0 Sun Belt) 3/17-19
(LW – 23) Last week (3-0): at Tulane (3-12, 0-0 AAC) CCD; vs. Saint Peter’s (0-4, 0-0 Metro Atlantic) W 10-0, W 6-1, W 4-0

23. Florida Gulf Coast (14-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun) This week (4): vs. #5 Florida State (13-3, 2-1 ACC-A) 3/15; vs. Rutgers (6-9, Big Ten) 3/17-19
(LW – NR) Last week (4-1): vs. #2 Florida (12-5, 0-0 SEC-E) W 7-3, W 3-2; vs. Ohio State (6-8, 0-0 Big Ten) W 10-9, W 13-1, L 5-4

24. Southern Mississippi (11-4, 0-0 C-USA) This week (5): vs. Columbia (0-6, 0-0 Ivy-Gehrig) 3/14-15; at Louisiana Tech (13-2, 0-0 C-USA) 3/17-19
(LW – 25) Last week (3-1): at New Orleans (9-7, 0-3 Southland) W 6-0; vs. Xavier (7-9, 0-0 Big East) L 2-0, W 2-0, W 10-0

25. Wright State (9-6, 0-0 Horizon) This week (4): vs. Cincinnati (6-8, 0-0 AAC) 3/14; vs. Valparaiso (6-8, 0-0 Horizon) 3/17-19
(LW – 19) Last week (2-2): at Kentucky (11-6, 0-0 SEC-E) L 15-1;**Dayton/Wright State Tournament at Dayton, OH** vs. Ohio (8-6, 0-0 MAC-E) W 6-1, L 4-3 (11); vs. Dayton (5-8, 0-0 Atlantic 10) W 5-4 (12); vs. Western Illinois (1-12, 0-0 Summit) CCD

Dropped Out: #17 Michigan State

Also Receiving Consideration:

Arkansas (12-4, 0-0 SEC-W), Houston (9-5, 0-0 AAC), James Madison (11-3, 0-0 CAA), Kansas State (12-4, 0-0 Big 12), Louisiana Tech (13-2, 0-0 C-USA), McNeese State (12-4, 3-0 Southland), Mercer (13-4, 0-0 Southern), Michigan (12-3, 0-0 Big Ten), Michigan State (9-4, 0-0 Big Ten), Missouri (15-1, 0-0 SEC-E), Missouri State (12-3, 0-0 MVC), New Mexico (11-3, 6-0 MWC), Sam Houston State (11-5, 3-0 Southland), San Diego (10-3, 0-0 WCC), Stanford (11-5, 0-0 PAC-12), Tennessee (11-2, 0-0 SEC-E), Texas (12-6, 0-0 Big 12), UC Irvine (9-5, 0-0 Big West), Vanderbilt (11-6, 0-0 SEC-E), Wake Forest (12-5, 2-1 ACC-A)

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