With conference action starting for most teams, these new college baseball top 25 rankings will be based on conference records on top of how teams have looked to this point. With the top teams taking care of business, there isn’t much movement at the top. But as we move farther down, teams start to shuffle around more. Let’s get into the fourth week of the rankings from yours truly.
1. Arkansas (16-3, 3-0)
The Razorbacks stay at number one after sweeping both of their series this week, a two-game series against Grambling State and a three-game set versus Kentucky. Arkansas has now won 11 straight games and 11 straight SEC series. All three starters in the Kentucky series, Connor Noland, Hagen Smith, and Jaxon Wiggins, had quality starts while allowing four runs total over 18 1/3 innings. Wiggins capped it off on Sunday with a career-high eight punchouts in six shutout innings. The right-hander topped his fastball off at 98 mph en route to his third quality start of the season.
Jaxon Wiggins, all the gas ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/CK48cIOhgA
— Arkansas Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) March 20, 2022
Previous Ranking: 1
2. Texas (17-5, 0-0)
The Longhorns are yet to start Big 12 play, but they took care of the business they had in front of them this week. After a disappointing and uncharacteristic week last week, they bounced back with a series sweep over Incarnate Word and a win over The Citadel. While it was teams that they should beat, they still had to show they can beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Texas outscored Incarnate Word 41-4 in the sweep. They open up Big 12 action this weekend with a huge series against Texas Tech.
Previous Ranking: 2
3. Ole Miss (15-4, 2-1)
The Rebels only went 2-2 this week, as they took 2 of three from Auburn and lost to Southern Louisiana. But a series win on the road against a conference rival is no slouch, while they outscored the Tigers 28-8 in the two wins. However, in the loss on Friday, Ole Miss surrendered 19 runs, which started with Derek Diamond allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings. The pitching is really going to have to improve moving forward, as the offense won’t be able to score 10+ runs a game against more quality opponents. Ole Miss has two games against Memphis this week before a top-five matchup with Tennessee over the weekend.
Previous Ranking: 3
4. Vanderbilt (17-2, 3-0)
Ever since their opening series loss to Oklahoma State, the Commodores have been on a tear, winning 16 games in a row. This week, they swept Missouri while outscoring them 28-6 in their SEC opening series. Freshman southpaw Carter Holton was masterful in his first SEC start on Saturday, as he went seven shutout innings while allowing just three hits and one walk. Holton also struck out 10 Mizzou bats to increase his season total to 45 strikeouts, which leads the conference.
Previous Ranking: 4
5. Tennessee (19-1, 3-0)
Tennessee began SEC play with a sweep over South Carolina and is on an 11-game winning streak. The Vols mashed 10 more homers against the Gamecocks to increase their nation-leading total to 56 bombs on the season. Freshman Drew Beam went six perfect innings on Sunday before allowing a leadoff double in the seventh. The right-hander wound up going 7 2/3 innings while striking out three and allowing just the one hit. Chase Burns struck out nine in 6⅔ innings on Friday, while Chase Dollander struck out seven in 5 innings on Saturday. Tennessee leads the country in ERA (1.87) and WHIP (0.89) so far this season.
Drew Beam’s day on the mound is over with two outs in the eighth.
He exits to a standing ovation and is greeted by his teammates in front of the dugout.
— Ben McKee (@benmckee14) March 20, 2022
Previous Ranking: 5
6. Oregon State (14-4, 4-2)
The Beavers took two of three from Arizona State this week while splitting a two-game set against Grand Canyon. Their bats were on fire in the first two games, as they won 21-0 and 12-2, respectively. Freshman slugger Travis Bazzana smashed a grand slam and drove in eight runs during the series opener on Friday. The second baseman had three more RBI on Saturday as he went 2-for-3 with another homer.
— D1Baseball (@d1baseball) March 19, 2022
Previous Ranking: 8
7. Florida State (13-6, 4-2)
The Seminoles won their second straight ACC series as they took two of three from NC State. They outlasted the Wolfpack in a marathon game on Sunday, winning 6-5 in 17 innings. That was also the second game of a doubleheader. NC State actually took the lead in the 12th, but an Alex Toral two-run blast evened the score in the bottom half. Then, in the 17th inning, freshman Jaime Ferrer ended it with a walk-off homer. Florida State has two games against UCF before another ACC series against Duke this weekend.
Jaime Ferrer’s 17th inning walk-off HR to give No. 8 Florida State a series win over NC State:
— Tomahawk Nation (@TomahawkNation) March 21, 2022
Previous Ranking: 10
8. Oklahoma State (14-6, 0-0)
Oklahoma State went 6-0 this week with a series win over Seton Hall and victories over BYU and Dallas Baptist. Jake Thompson helped to clinch the four-game sweep over Seton Hall with a tiebreaking three-run home run in the eighth inning of the series finale. It was the graduate player’s third straight day with a homer and he is on a six-game hit streak.
Previous Ranking: 12
9. Florida (15-5, 2-1)
The Gators had their game against Florida State postponed on Tuesday, but they took two out of three from Alabama. Southpaw Hunter Barco struck out 10 over eight innings while allowing just one run on four hits and no walks in Friday’s 6-4 win. The Gators mashed five homers on Saturday, including two from left fielder Wyatt Langford.
Hunter Barco's 10Ks (0 BBs) pic.twitter.com/7GCufwiT2T
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 19, 2022
Previous Ranking: 14
10. Virginia (19-1, 5-1)
After losing just their first game of the season last week, Virginia had a perfect 5-0 week which included a sweep over Boston College. The Cavaliers needed 10 innings to beat the Eagles on Friday, but then won 18-1 and 16-8 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Graduate outfielder Alex Tappen had a career day on Sunday, as he went 4-for-4 with six RBI, capped by a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Jake Gelof hit his NCAA-leading 12th homer in the 20th game of the season after two bombs on Saturday.
Jake Gelof @JakeGelof stands alone as home run king right now with his second bomb of the game he moves to 11 bombs on the young 19 game season. Dudes only a sophomore you kidding me? pic.twitter.com/hSphQZgXnZ
— Stephen Schoch (@bigdonkey47) March 19, 2022
Previous Ranking: 16
11. North Carolina (17-3, 5-1)
The Tar Heels improved to 5-1 in the ACC with a big series win on the road against rival Duke. After taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, right-hander Connor Bovair surrendered just two hits while striking out six over a season-high six innings on Sunday. One through seven in the North Carolina order went a combined 12-for-33 with each recording at least one hit. Their other ACC wins came in a sweep over Pitt last weekend.
Previous Ranking: 17
12. Miami (13-6, 4-2)
The Hurricanes took their series from Clemson which started off with Carson Palmquist striking out 11 over 6 1/3 innings on Friday. Miami has a big series this weekend against North Carolina in a top-12 matchup.
Previous Ranking: 15
13. Texas Tech (17-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 18
14. Arizona (15-5, 4-2)
The Wildcats picked up a big series win over Stanford to get their Pac-12 record above .500. It was their first series win over Stanford since 2016, which was driven by a comeback on Friday and one on Saturday. Arizona scored five runs in the eighth to win 6-5 on Saturday after a 3-2 comeback on Friday. Then on Monday, they completed the sweep behind a massive grand slam from outfielder Chase Davis.
Chase Davis does not have cheap homers. He destroyed a ball at Globe Life a few weeks ago, and he has destroyed two balls tonight against Stanford.pic.twitter.com/sprubywawo
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) March 22, 2022
Previous Ranking: 20
15. Liberty (14-4, 2-1)
Previous Ranking: 13
16. Notre Dame (12-4, 2-3)
The Fighting Irish started off the week well on the diamond and on the court. The baseball squad picked up a win over Valparaiso and the basketball team made it to the Round of 32 from the First Four in the March Madness tournament. But the luck of the Irish came to a crashing halt over the weekend, as the basketball team couldn’t get by Texas Tech and the baseball team was swept by the hands of Louisville.
Previous Ranking: 7
17. Georgia Tech (15-5, 4-2)
Georgia Tech lost two of three to Wake Forest to put an end to their perfect ACC record. They are still 4-2 in the ACC but didn’t prove to be a top 10 team with their performance. The Yellow Jackets lost 27-7 in the middle game of the series.
Previous Ranking: 9
18. TCU (14-5, 2-1)
Previous Ranking: 23
19. Maryland (16-3, 0-0)
Previous Ranking: 19
20. Louisville (16-4, 3-0)
Louisville joins the rankings after sweeping Notre Dame and winning 15 of their last 17 games. The Cardinals scored 31 runs in the series after the Irish had only given up 29 runs combined their first 13 games.
Previous Ranking: NR
21. Texas State (18-3, 3-0)
Previous Ranking: 25
22. Gonzaga (14-4, 3-0)
Gonzaga rejoins the rankings after bouncing back with a sweep of the University of the Pacific. They also swept Oklahoma State a couple of weeks ago which is great for their resume.
Previous Ranking: NR
23. Wake Forest (16-4, 3-3)
In their series win over Georgia Tech, Wake Forest smashed four homers and scored 37 runs. Leadoff hitter Nick Kurtz went 8-for-16 with eight RBI in the series. It is a big series win that earns them a spot in these rankings.
Previous Ranking: NR
24. Georgia (16-4, 2-1)
Even though they are not in the rankings anymore, the Bulldogs won the series against the defending national champions in Mississippi State. The fellow Bulldogs haven’t been the same team this year, but it is still a big conference series win for Georgia. That’s what gets them in the rankings.
Previous Ranking: NR
25. Clemson (14-4, 1-2)
Previous Ranking: 22
Falls off rankings: LSU, Stanford, UCLA, Long Beach State
Follow Alex Kielar on Twitter @AlexKielar
Main Image Credit: From 247sports.com