One week is in the books, let’s see who’s thriving early in the season.
1) San Diego State University (3-1)
It was a tough call to decide between SDSU and Nevada for the top spot, but I finally decided to go with the Aztecs due to their consistent offensive production over the course of their four opening games. In a three game set against San Francisco, the team went 2-1. Winning the first game 8-4, losing the second 8-9, and winning the last 9-3. They then won their last of the four against UC Irvine 9-3. In four games, they racked up 31 total runs. This offensive explosion was good enough to mask a so-so pitching performance. They gave up 19 runs to their opponents over this four game set. At 3-1, the Aztecs find themselves in the #1 spot in our week one rankings. They begin their next set of games on Friday, opening with a game against Utah.
Top Hitter: Julian Escobedo vs. San Francisco (3-4, HR, 2B, 5 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Logan Boyer vs San Francisco (5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 10 K)
2) Nevada (3-1)
The defending champs find themselves in the second spot in this week’s rankings. Their performance over the first four games was impressive to say the least. They opened their season with a 16-4 blowout over #24 Missouri State. They then followed that up by shutting out Texas State 4-0. Their only lost came against Utah, 3-6. Then they wrapped up their four game set with a 5-4 win over UC Davis. The Wolf Pack looks to continue their dominance this weekend against Long Beach State.
Top Hitter: Keaton Smith vs. Missouri State (2-4, 2 H, 2 R, 3 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Owen Sharts vs. Texas State (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 SO, 1 W)
3) San Jose State University (3-1)
San Jose State is the third team to grace our opening list. The Spartans opened their season with three straight wins, including a wild game against Santa Clara University. In their first series against Santa Clara, they won 8-5, 4-3, and finally 20-10. Their only lost came against University of the Pacific, 1-8. Before their lost, this was the first time SJSU started 3-0 since 2011. SJSU will look to keep the ball rolling this weekend, as they open up a three game set against University of California-Riverside.
Top Hitter: Johnny Mendoza vs. Santa Clara (4-5, 4 H, 2 R, 4 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Mitchel Andrew vs. Santa Clara (4.0 IP, 0 ERA, 6 SO)
4) University of New Mexico (2-2)
Going .500 in their first four opening games isn’t a bad way to start the season when you consider who the Lobos were going up against. UNM faced Oregon State, who are the defending NCAA champions twice last weekend. In their first game, they lost a close one against Oregon State 5-6. They followed up this lost by blowing out #24 Minnesota 11-1. They secured their second win of the season against Gonzaga, 6-4. They then closed out their opening weekend with a 5-0 loss against Oregon state. Granted that they were not able to close the deal against the defending champions, they secured two wins and were able to even up their record. The Lobos open up a four game series against Niagara, beginning this Friday.
Top Hitter: Justin Watari vs. Minnesota (2-3, 3 R, 1 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Nathaniel Garley vs. Minnesota (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 SO)
5) University of Nevada-Las Vegas (2-2)
At 2-2, the Rebels are 5th on our opening list. They opened their season with a 4-0 loss against Seattle. Not the idea way you would want to start any campaign. But the Rebels bounced back with two straight wins versus Seattle. The first was a extra innings thriller that saw UNLV eek out the win, 11-10. The next game they were able to keep it from going to extra, winning 8-5 in nine. They were unable to end this opening weekend on a high note, as they fell to UC Santa Barbara in a 13-2 loss. They have another contest against UC Santa Barbara tonight, then open another weekend series against Stanford.
Top Hitter: Bryson Stott vs. Seattle (3-4, 3 H, 1 R, 2 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Cameron Jabara (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 SO)
6) Air Force (2-2)
The Falcons round out our first edition of the power rankings. It was an inconsistent start to the season to say the least. They lost their opening game 2-17 to Army, then won their second game versus Louisiana Monroe, 1-0. The lost their next contest against #1 LSU 5-17, then closed out the last game with a 13-0 win over Southern University. From shutout wins, to devastating blowout losses. For Air Force to mount a successful season, they’ve got to discover their identity. They will begin a 3 game weekend series against Navy on Friday.
Top Hitter: Nic Ready vs. Southern University (3-5, 3 H, 2 R, 5 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Steven Plaskett vs. Southern University (3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 SO)
On The Horizon
Week Two of our Power Rankings