What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (3/11)
Top 25 Schedule
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)||TV||Notes|
|1||Texas||at South Carolina||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)|
|2||Stanford||Oregon||Pac-12 Network Plus|
|3||Notre Dame||at (25) North Carolina State||ACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)|
|4||Mississippi||Oral Roberts||SEC Network+|
|5||Virginia||at Duke||ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ACC Network (Sat.)|
|6||Oklahoma State||vs. Brigham Young||Facebook.com/BYUBaseball||Arlington, Texas|
|8||Oregon State||at Washington State||Pac-12 Network Plus|
|10||Florida State||at Wake Forest||ACC Network (Fri.), Bally Sports (Sat., Sun.)|
|11||Tennessee||Rhode Island||SEC Network+|
|13||Florida||Seton Hall||SEC Network+|
|14||Georgia Tech||Virginia Tech||ACC Network Extra|
|15||UCLA||Southern California||Pac-12 Network Plus (Fri., Sat.), Pac-12 Network (Sun.)|
|16||Louisiana State||Bethune-Cookman||SEC Network+|
|17||Arizona||at California||Pac-12 Network Plus|
|19||Gonzaga||at Long Beach State||None|
|20||North Carolina||Pittsburgh||ACC Network Extra|
|21||Clemson||Northeastern||ACC Network Extra|
|22||Maryland||Georgetown (Fri.), Cornell (Sat.), at Georgetown (Sun.)||Big Ten Network+ (Fri., Sat.)|
|24||Old Dominion||Stony Brook||CUSA.TV|
|25||North Carolina State||(3) Notre Dame||ACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)|
What To Watch
(3) Notre Dame at (25) North Carolina State
Watch on ACC Network on Friday, stream on ACC Network Extra on Saturday and Sunday.
ACC play begins this weekend with a Top 25 series highlighting the action. Notre Dame (9-1) is the reigning conference champion and heads to Raleigh to take on NC State (9-4), which last season reached the College World Series. This weekend’s series lost a bit of luster last week when the Wolfpack were swept at home by Northeastern, but they remain a dangerous opponent for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame has excelled at run prevention this season and comes into the weekend ranked No. 2 in the country in team ERA (1.41) and first in the nation in fielding percentage (.992). If it can keep up that level of pitching and defense against the powerful NC State lineup, it should continue to roll. If, however, Tommy White (.456/.516/.965, 9 HR) and company can get the offense humming again, the Wolfpack have what it takes to upset the Irish. One subplot to watch this weekend is NC State second baseman J.T. Jarrett facing his father Link Jarrett, the Notre Dame head coach.
(10) Florida State at Wake Forest
Watch on ACC Network on Friday, Bally Sports on Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend’s series at David F. Couch Ballpark presents an intriguing matchup with contrasting styles. Florida State (8-4) is led by one of the best rotations in the country, while Wake Forest (12-1) features a powerful lineup. The Seminoles’ lineup and the Demon Deacons’ pitching staff should not be overlooked and both units have talented prospects, but the matchup of the weekend will be the Florida State pitchers against the Wake Forest hitters. Lefthanders Parker Messick (2-0, 1.80) and Bryce Hubbart (3-0, 0.96) and righthander Ross Dunn (0-0, 1.46) have been outstanding for Florida State, but this weekend marks their first road test of the year. The Demon Deacons are hitting .360/.471/.629 as a team but haven’t yet faced anything like the Seminoles’ pitching staff. Jake Reinisch (.459/.588/.784) leads Wake Forest in batting and Preseason All-American third baseman Brock Wilken (.333/.426/.569) is one of the best hitters in the conference. The matchup of Florida State pitching and Wake Forest batting will likely decide the series.
Quick SEC Tournament Exit Leaves Ole Miss Playing Waiting Game
Ole Miss was eliminated from the SEC Tournament with a loss to Vanderbilt in its opening game. Now, the Rebels wait to learn their NCAA Tournament future.
Southern California at (15) UCLA
Stream on Pac-12 Network Plus.
Pac-12 play begins this weekend with several intriguing matchups, highlighted by this rivalry showdown in Los Angeles. USC (9-2) is off to a solid start to the season, though it’s played just one team (Santa Clara) with a winning record. We’ll find out a lot more about the Trojans this weekend as they make the crosstown trip to Jackie Robinson Stadium. UCLA (9-4) is coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston, where the Bruins finished the weekend with a win against No. 1 Texas. They have a very young team, but more than looked the part of Pac-12 title contender last weekend. Not surprisingly, it all starts on the mound for the Bruins, with a rotation of Jake Brooks (2-1, 0.90), Max Rajcic (1-1, 3.38) and Kelly Austin (1-0, 0.52). USC hitters will have their hands full dealing with that trio.
(19) Gonzaga at Long Beach State
A bad weather forecast in the Midwest led both the Zags and Dirtbags to rearrange their schedules and instead of playing at Missouri and Nebraska, respectively, they will meet at Blair Field. The short notice the series came together on means it unfortunately won’t be streamed, but it’s worth tracking anyway. Gonzaga (10-2) entered the Top 25 this week and is on an eight-game winning streak, including a sweep at Oklahoma State last weekend. Long Beach State (5-6) last weekend snapped a six-game skid with a series win against North Dakota State and on Tuesday beat Pepperdine. Snapping out of the funk was significant, but a series win here would be a big boost before Big West play begins. Runs are likely to be at a premium this weekend.
Michigan at Louisville
Stream on ACC Network Extra.
While ACC play begins for most teams this weekend, Louisville (9-3) has one final week of non-conference action and will host Michigan (7-5). Since going 1-2 on Opening Weekend in a tournament at South Florida, the Cardinals have gotten back on track and take a six-game winning streak into this weekend. This weekend, however, figures to be a big step up from Dartmouth and Akron, their last two weekend opponents. Michigan has been up and down this year, going 1-2 at both the State Farm Showdown in Arlington, Texas, and the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., so this is also a big weekend for the Wolverines. Both teams have an opportunity this weekend to add what should be a solid series win to their postseason resume and get a boost before heading into conference play.