Oregon State

Oregon State looks to slide into the tournament.
Photo by Matt Pavelek/The Arizona Republic

The NCAA released its weekly college baseball Ratings Percentage Index and it’s great news for the Arizona Wildcats.

Even after losing two out of three to Stanford, even after dropping five consecutive series and 11 out of 16 overall games, the UA is #21 in the RPI.

You know what they say: Strength of schedule is a slumping team’s best friend.

Here’s how each team in the Pac-10 has looked in the PRI the past three weeks:

School May 11 May 18 May 25
ASU 1 1 1
UCLA 7 8 7
ARIZONA 25 17 21
Oregon 29 23 23
OSU 29 23 23
WSU 47 32 32
Cal 30 35 41
Stanford 39 43 43
Washington 57 55 54
USC 62 63 71

Why are so many Pac teams rated so highly? Having the #1 team in your league certainly helps.

It’s interesting that OSU is rated higher than both WSU and Stanford, two teams that appear to be in the tournament. The Beavers are very much alive for an at-large bid and they will be extremely motivated when they face Arizona this weekend.

The numbers still say the Wildcats have the third best overall resume in the Pac-10. The Cats don’t pass the eye test right now, but when you look at the proverbial “body of work” the big strings of March and April wins are making up for the May fade.

The projections continue to have the UA safely in the field of 64. Baseball America has a paragraph on Arizona that says the Cats only need to win one game at Oregon State to stay on the good side of the bubble.

But I would strongly advise against risking it.

– – – – –

Here are last week’s Pac-10 results:

ASU won two of three vs. OSU. Scores: 10-4, 6-5, 8-9
The Sun Devils are one win away from a share of the Pac-10 championship and two wins away from the outright title.

Oregon won two of three at Washington. Scores: 11-13 (11 inn.), 5-2, 5-2
In the first game the Ducks found a way to score four runs in the 10th inning…and lose.

Stanford won two of three at ARIZONA. Scores: 3-1, 8-9, 8-4
RPI! RPI!

UCLA won all three at Cal. Scores: 8-7, 12-4, 11-2
You’re never going to believe this, but Cal was involved in sweep!

WSU won all three vs. USC. Scores: 20-7, 18-4, 8-2
The Wazzu baseball team could outscore its football team right now.

How things are standing:

Place School Wins Loses Games Back
1 ASU 18 6
2 UCLA 16 8 2
3 WSU 14 10 4
4 Stanford 13 11 5
5 Oregon 12 12 5
6-T ARIZONA 11 13 7
6-T Cal 11 13 7
8-T OSU 10 14 8
8-T Washington 10 14 8
10 USC 5 19 13

Only 15 combined Pac-10 games remain with 80% of the league attempting to make the tournament for the first time ever.

All hail the RPI.