Image credit: (Photo courtesy of Texas Baseball)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy recap the fourth weekend of action around college baseball. For the ACC and Big Ten, the weekend featured more conference play. For the rest of the major conferences, it provided one more tuneup opportunity before conference play begins in earnest.
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Among the big topics discussed on this episode are:
- The huge series win for Texas over South Carolina that featured two outstanding pitching performances over the first two days of the weekend. On Friday, righthander Ty Madden shut down the Gamecocks. On Saturday, it was the duo of Tristan Stevens in a starting role and Palmer Wenzel out of the bullpen. Certainly, Texas looks like a completely different team now than the one we saw struggle so mightily right out of the gate at the tournament in Arlington.
- Vanderbilt’s impressive series win on the road over Oklahoma State. The Commodores got excellent pitching of their own from Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter in both ends of a Saturday doubleheader. For the season, that pair has combined to throw 43 innings. In those innings, they have given up just one run on 15 hits.
- The somewhat disappointing nature of the Big 12 so far this season. Texas is playing well now and Texas Tech has also rebounded nicely from a tough weekend to start the campaign, but Texas Christian has come out of the gate slowly, as has Oklahoma. And while Oklahoma State has been good, its upcoming series on the road against Texas Tech will go a long way toward proving that it’s a real Big 12 title contender and not simply a very good team that will hang around the top of the standings.
- The lack of a clear best team in the Pac-12. Depending on how you define “best,” cases could be made for UCLA, Arizona and Oregon at this point, and the likes of Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon State have all made early statements as well.
- Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Oregon entering the rankings. It’s the first time in the rankings for Oregon since 2017 and the first time for Notre Dame and Pitt since 2013.
- Michigan and Indiana perhaps separating from the rest of the Big Ten in the conference pecking order after impressive weekends.