College Top 25: March 3

DURHAM, N.C.—The top three teams in Baseball America’s Top 25 stayed in place this week as Virginia, Florida State and South Carolina all had winning weekends while four teams, including Sam Houston State, entered the rankings.

Preseason No. 1 Virginia (9-2) kept its place atop the rankings after a 3-1 week, including sweeping Monmouth in a weekend series truncated by rain. The Cavs got strong pitching from Nathan Kirby (6 IP, 1 R) and Brandon Waddell (6 IP, 2 ER).

The Seminoles (8-1) went 2-1 against rival Miami, rallying after losing the opener Friday. Jose Brizuela had three hits Saturday and three more Sunday to lead the offense.

In the most-anticipated weekend series, which our Aaron Fitt attended, South Carolina continued its recent dominance of Clemson with a three-game sweep. Grayson Greiner’s grand slam on Friday turned that contest in the Gamecocks’ favor, and then South Carolina punctuated the series with an improbable comeback on Sunday, scoring four runs in the ninth to beat the Tigers.

The first mover in the poll was Cal State Fullerton, which jumped over Oregon State to fourth with a sweep of Oregon. Pitching led the Titans over the Ducks as Thomas Eshelman (8 IP, 0R) and Justin Garza (8 IP, 2 ER) turned in strong performances.

Oregon State had a 3-1 week, but dropped to fifth, with N.C. State staying sixth after a 3-1 week, including winning two of three at the Irish Classic in Cary, N.C.

Louisiana-Lafayette moved to seventh by taking two of three from Alabama as Austin Robichaux threw his second career shutout in Friday’s opener; Cal Poly moved to 11th despite splitting a doubleheader Sunday at Southern California.

Big movers include Mississippi State, the preseason No. 8 team, which this week moved to 12th from 18th after a 6-0 week. The Bulldogs swept the Diamond Classic in Starkville, beating Michigan State and Eastern Illinois twice each.

UCLA vaulted to No. 13 from No. 19 after an impressive showing at the Irish Classic. The Bruins got dominant pitching from James Kaprielian (8 IP, 1 H, 11 K vs. Notre Dame), Grant Watson (8 IP, 3 H) and Cody Poteet, who struck out 13 to beat Michigan.

Texas moved into the Top 10 with a 4-0 week, which included sweeping the Houston College Classic. It marks UT’s first appearance in the top 10 since the final rankings of the 2011 season.

Sam Houston State moved into the Top 25, going 3-1 for the week, including wins over Rice and TCU. Sam Houston State is ranked for the second time in program history (the first time was in 2012). Kentucky came in at No. 23 after a 4-0 week; Fresno State is No. 24 after sweeping Texas A&M to move to 9-2; and Mississippi is No. 25 after a 5-0 week that included a sweep of Central Florida.

Four Southeastern Conference teams—Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Florida—dropped out after losing weekends.

The staff of Baseball America determines the Top 25 rankings. Records do not include ties.

Team W-L Last Week Previous Ranking
1. Virginia 9-2 3-1 1
2. Florida State 8-1 2-1 2
3. South Carolina 10-0 3-0 3
4. Cal State Fullerton 7-3 3-0 5
5. Oregon State 9-3 3-1 4
6. North Carolina State 9-2 3-1 6
7. Louisiana-Lafayette 10-2 3-1 10
8. Vanderbilt 10-2 3-2 8
9. Louisiana State 9-2 2-2 7
10. Texas 9-3 4-0 15
11. Cal Poly 8-2 2-1 13
12. Mississippi State 10-4 6-0 18
13. UCLA 7-4 3-1 13
14. Oregon 8-3 1-3 9
15. Clemson 6-4 1-3 11
16. Miami 5-5 1-2 16
17. Indiana 4-5 2-0 17
18. Rice 7-5 1-3 12
19. Louisville 8-3 3-1 20
20. Sam Houston State 10-2 3-1 NR
21. North Carolina 7-3 4-0 22
22. Texas Christian 7-4 1-3 16
23. Kentucky 9-2 4-0 NR
24. Fresno State 9-2 3-0 NR
25. Mississippi 11-1 5-0 NR
Dropped out: Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Florida