College Baseball Weekend Preview Podcast: SoCal Classic, ACC Play Begins
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview week 4 of the college baseball season.
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One last blockbuster non-conference tournament sits on the calendar, and that is this weekend's Southern California College Baseball Classic, which takes place on campus at UCLA and Southern California. The No. 5 Bruins and Trojans will welcome in No. 3 Vanderbilt and No. 22 Texas Christian for what should be an outstanding event.
UCLA and Vanderbilt have already been established as two of the best teams in the country, while TCU will come into the weekend having just entered the Top 25 for the first time this season and looking to prove that it should be considered among the elite teams in college baseball.
With all four teams in the tournament boasting outstanding pitching numbers so far, it should be a well-pitched, low-scoring series of games, in the style of classic West Coast baseball.
Annually the first major conference to do so, the Atlantic Coast Conference gets going with conference play this weekend, and there are a couple of huge series on the docket right away.
One takes place in Durham, N.C. between No. 14 Florida State and No. 16 Duke. There is still some mystery around FSU, as they didn't play a tough schedule right out of the gate and then when they did go up against tough competition last weekend, they went 0-2 at home against Texas Tech.
Duke went 2-1 last weekend in a solid Cambria College Classic in Minneapolis against three Big Ten teams, but this will be by far its toughest test to this point. The Blue Devils have pitched extremely well so far this season, but a talented Seminoles lineup led by Robby Martin, Reese Albert, Elijah Cabell, Nander De Sedas and Mat Nelson will test them.
Another ACC series to watch will take place in Charlottesville between Virginia and No. 15 North Carolina State. The Cavaliers have bounced back nicely after losing their season-opening series against Oklahoma, while the Wolfpack will come in undefeated at 12-0. NC State almost always gets off to a running start to begin the season, but what might be different this year is the presence of a true ace on Fridays in lefthander Nick Swiney, who has been dominant.
To wrap up, the hosts also discussed their reporting on the American Athletic Conference's unique scheduling solution for the 2021 season and beyond.