Image credit: Ole Miss lefthander Doug Nikhazy (Courtesy of Ole Miss)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview week 8 around college baseball.
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Before they get into previewing games, though, they discuss a couple of pieces of recent news. One is the return of Georgetown to the field with a midweek game this week, leaving just two MAAC teams, Marist and St. Peter’s, and all but Penn in the Ivy League, as teams that intended to play this season that have not yet begun.
They also discuss the recent news that regional host sites will be announced several weeks early in an effort to allow ample time for the selected sites to prepare not only for the games, but also for setting up Covid-19 testing leading up to the event.
The series previewed on this episode are:
- No. 1 Arkansas traveling to Oxford to take on No. 3 Mississippi. The last time Arkansas visited a team in the Magnolia state this season, it went pretty well, with the Razorbacks sweeping Mississippi State in Starkville. Ole Miss will look to avoid the same fate, but to do so, it will have to get good pitching all the way through to Sunday, because playing behind with a lineup without Tim Elko against the Arkansas pitching staff is not a recipe for success.
- No. 11 Texas Tech hosting No. 14 Texas Christian. Texas Tech is incredibly tough to beat in Lubbock, so if TCU is able to pull that off this weekend, it probably signals that the Horned Frogs are to be taken seriously alongside Texas as favorites in the Big 12 season. In order to accomplish that feat, the Frogs will have to stay on schedule on the mound because the Red Raiders’ lineup can really tax your pitching depth and that might be where TCU is most vulnerable right now.
- No. 7 Tennessee welcoming No. 10 Florida to Knoxville for the most anticipated series between the two rivals in a long time. The Vols have quietly marched through their schedule and jumped out to a 25-5 start thanks in large part to a deep, versatile pitching staff that has been able to weather some injuries. The Gators, either using a traditional rotation or the tandem starting setup they were using last weekend, holding down the top of the Tennessee lineup is the clearest path for a Florida series win this weekend.
- No. 24 Michigan hosting rival Ohio State. The Buckeyes made a huge statement last weekend in sweeping Indiana, in the process making a big jump toward establishing itself as a contender in the Big Ten. Michigan hasn’t been as consistent as it would have liked to this point of the season, so a series win here to hold off hard-charging OSU would be a very welcome result.
- Murray State hosting Southeast Missouri State in a matchup of two teams near the top of the condensed OVC standings. SEMO is one of the most talented teams in the conference, even if it hasn’t exactly played like it yet, so the Racers winning this series would make it clear that they have staying power at the top of the league. A series win for the Redhawks, meanwhile, might be evidence of that team beginning to hit its stride.