What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (2/25)
Top 25 Schedule
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)||TV||Notes|
|2||Notre Dame||vs. Marist (Fri.), Monmouth (Sat.), Marist (Sun.)||YouTube.com/GreenvilleDrive||Greenville, S.C.|
|3||Oklahoma State||Wright State (Sat.-Sun.)||ESPN+|
|4||Virginia||Cornell||ACC Network Extra|
|5||Stanford||vs. Louisiana (Fri.), (9) Arkansas (Sat.), Indiana (Sun.)||FloSports|
Karbach Round Rock Classic, Round Rock, Texas
|6||Long Beach State||Sacramento State||ESPN+ (Fri., Sun.)|
|8||Mississippi State||Northern Kentucky||SEC Network+|
|9||Arkansas||vs. Indiana (Fri.), (5) Stanford (Sat.), Louisiana (Sun.)||FloSports|
Karbach Round Rock Classic, Round Rock, Texas
|10||Mississippi||Virginia Commonwealth||SEC Network+|
|11||Louisiana State||Towson (Fri., Sun.), Southern (Sat., Sun.)||SEC Network+|
|12||Oregon State||vs. Xavier (Thurs.-Sat.)||FloSports||Surprise, Ariz.|
|13||Florida State||Samford||ACC Network Extra|
|14||Arizona||Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Thurs.-Sun.)||Pac-12 Network Plus|
|16||North Carolina State||Quinnipiac||ACC Network Extra|
|19||Florida||Georgia State||SEC Network+|
|20||Georgia Tech||Gardner-Webb||ACC Network Extra|
|21||UCLA||UC Riverside||Pac-12 Network Plus|
|22||Bryant||at Davidson||ESPN+ (Fri.)|
|24||Miami||Harvard||ACC Network Extra|
|25||East Carolina||at/vs. North Carolina||ACC Network Extra (Fri.-Sat.), ESPN+ (Sun.)|
What To Watch
Karbach Round Rock Classic
(9) Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, (5) Stanford
This weekend’s top tournament brings a solid four-team field to Dell Diamond, the home of Double-A Round Rock, and will feature the weekend’s lone Top 25 matchup when Arkansas takes on Stanford on Saturday. The Razorbacks (2-1) are coming off a series win against Illinois State, though they are still looking to unlock their potent offense. Arkansas did get solid efforts on the mound all weekend, especially from freshman Hagen Smith, who threw six scoreless innings in his debut. Stanford (3-1) last weekend won a series against Cal State Fullerton, but similarly is looking to get its offense going. Freshman Braden Montgomery has been a standout both at the plate and on the mound, as he is 4-for-8 with two home runs and four runs as a hitter and has four strikeouts in two perfect innings on the mound, earning one save. Louisiana (3-1) got off to a strong start last weekend with a series win against UC Irvine, the reigning Big West champion. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ aggressive offense will be difficult for opponents this weekend—they already have stolen 10 bases—but getting locked in on the mound will be critical given the offenses they will face. Indiana (0-3) was swept at Clemson and was outscored 33-8 on the weekend—although that score line was somewhat skewed by a particularly poor 19-4 loss Saturday. Little went right last weekend for the Hoosiers, but they will have to clean things up on the mound after allowing 29 hits and 36 walks against the Tigers. Indiana has the talent to quickly turn things around, but given the level of competition this weekend, it will need to improve in all facets.
Virginia Commonwealth at (10) Mississippi
VCU last season finished its season in the Starkville Regional after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament and now is back in the Magnolia State this weekend. The Rams (2-2) will take on Ole Miss (4-0), which is off to an outstanding start to the season. The Rebels have outscored their opponents 47-11, showing off what might be the best offense in the country. They rolled through the first week of the season thanks to a team effort at the plate. The best news may have actually come on the mound for Ole Miss, where starters Derek Diamond, Josh Gaddis, Drew McDaniel and Jack Washburn have all been solid. The level of competition, however, has not challenged the Rebels. This weekend, with the A-10 favorites in town, led by All-American slugger Tyler Locklear (.333/.444/.933, 3 HR), Ole Miss should face a stiffer test—though its biggest challenges are still down the line.
(25) East Carolina at/vs. North Carolina
The season last weekend got off to a rocky start for ECU (1-3), which was swept at home by Bryant. It marked the first time since 2018 that the Pirates were swept in Clark-LeClair Stadium. After beating Campbell on Tuesday, ECU now faces a weekend series against North Carolina (4-0). The Tar Heels are coming off an Opening Weekend sweep of Seton Hall and have outscored their opponents 45-4 so far this season. Freshman Vance Honeycutt (.462/.588/1.231, 3 HR, 3 SB) and sophomore Johnny Castagnozzi (.600/.647/1.000, 3 2B) have been at the heart of the Tar Heels’ offensive explosion and are representative of their young lineup. As well as things have started for UNC, ECU will represent a significant step up in competition. The Pirates will again be without Preseason All-American lefthander Carson Whisenhunt, who is suspended due to a violation of team rules. But with Jake Kuchmaner and Garrett Saylor still in the rotation, ECU has solid pitching to lean on. The series is split between Chapel Hill and Greenville, with UNC hosting the first two games before the series concludes Sunday at ECU.
Tulane at Louisiana Tech
These two in-state foes meet in Ruston, La., for what should be a tight, competitive series. Tulane (4-0) comes to town after last weekend sweeping Massachusetts-Lowell and on Wednesday beating Nicholls State and will now get challenged by LaTech (4-0). The Bulldogs opened the season with a sweep of Wichita State and on Wednesday beat No. 11 Louisiana State. Led by Trevor Minder (.429/.500/.786) and Bennett Lee (.313/.389/.438), the Green Wave offense is off to a strong start but will now face a difficult pitching staff on the road. The Bulldogs are led on the mound by ace Jonathan Fincher and closer Kyle Crigger, who has nine strikeouts in five hitless innings this season.
Nevada at UC Santa Barbara
Both Nevada and UCSB made regionals last season and again have that kind of potential in 2022. The Wolfpack (2-2) are coming off a series win at Grand Canyon on Opening Weekend, while the Gauchos (3-1) last weekend won a series at San Francisco. Nevada has a powerful offense, and second baseman Joshua Zamora is off to a sensational start at the plate. He is 9-for-16 with two doubles, three home runs and six runs through four games. Slowing him and the rest of the Wolfpack hitters will fall on the shoulders of the talented Gauchos pitchers. Sophomore righthander Cory Lewis struck out 10 batters in 4.2 innings against USF on Opening Day and is the top arm to watch for UCSB.