What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (3/4)

Image credit: Miami lefthander Carson Palmquist (Photo courtesy of Miami/Richard Lewis)

Top 25 Schedule

Rank Team Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.) TV Notes
1 Texas vs. (16) Tennessee (Fri.), (8) Louisiana State (Sat.), (23) UCLA (Sun.) Astros.com Shriners College Classic, Houston
2 Stanford Cal State Northridge Pac-12 Network Plus  
3 Notre Dame vs. Illinois (Fri.), Michigan State (Sat.), Minnesota (Sun.) Big Ten Network+ Cambria College Classic, Minneapolis
4 Oklahoma State Gonzaga OkState.com/watch  
5 Virginia Penn State ACC Network Extra  
6 Mississippi at Central Florida ESPN+  
7 Vanderbilt at Hawaii ESPN+ (Fri., Sun.)  
8 Louisiana State vs. Oklahoma (Fri.), (1) Texas (Sat.), Baylor (Sun.) Astros.com Shriners College Classic, Houston
9 Oregon State UC Irvine Pac-12 Network Plus  
10 Arkansas Southeastern Louisiana SEC Network+  
11 Mississippi State at Tulane ESPN+  
12 Florida State California ACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sun.)  
13 Arizona Texas State Pac-12 Network Plus  
14 Georgia vs./at (19) Georgia Tech ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network+ (Sat.)  
15 North Carolina State Northeastern ACC Network Extra  
16 Tennessee vs. (1) Texas (Fri.), Baylor (Sat.), Oklahoma (Sun.) Astros.com Shriners College Classic, Houston
17 Liberty Canisius ESPN+  
18 Florida at (25) Miami ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ACC Network (Sun.)  
19 Georgia Tech vs./at (14) Georgia ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network+ (Sat.)  
20 Maryland vs. Michigan (Fri.), Indiana State (Sat.), East Carolina (Sun.) ESPN+ (Sun.) Keith LeClair Classic, Greenville, N.C.
21 Sacramento State Houston Baptist ESPN+  
22 Long Beach State North Dakota State ESPN+ (Fri., Sun.)  
23 UCLA vs. Baylor (Fri.), Oklahoma (Sat.), (1) Texas (Sun.) Astros.com Shriners College Classic, Houston
24 Old Dominion Bryant CUSA.TV  
25 Miami (18) Florida ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ACC Network (Sun.)  

What To Watch

Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, Houston
(1) Texas, (8) Louisiana State, (16) Tennessee, (23) UCLA, Baylor, Oklahoma
Stream on Astros.com.

College baseball’s most storied non-conference tournament again has a premium field, as it brings six prominent teams to Minute Maid Park. The tournament format this year pits a trio of Big 12 teams against LSU, Tennessee and UCLA, making for an exciting weekend. No. 1 Texas (9-0) is the tournament’s headliner, but the field’s depth and overall quality really make it jump. No. 8 LSU (8-1) and No. 16 Tennessee (8-0) come to Houston with just one combined loss, but this weekend will represent a step up in competition for the SEC duo. No. 23 UCLA (5-2) has some of the best young talent in the country after this fall bringing in the top-ranked recruiting class and those players will now face a big test on a big stage. Oklahoma (5-2) already went 2-1 in a similar tournament at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Opening Weekend and now gets the opportunity to make a bigger statement, while Baylor (4-4) is coming off a series win against a talented Duke team. Expect excellent baseball all weekend long in Houston.

UC Irvine at (9) Oregon State
Stream on Pac-12 Networks Plus.

Oregon State returns to Corvallis from its home away from home of Surprise, Ariz., where it went 7-0 and ran over its competition by a combined score of 83-21. While the Beavers get back to their friendly confines, they will do so against stiffer competition. UCI (5-3) is the reigning Big West champion and again has a regional-caliber team. But the Anteaters are off to a slow start at the plate, hitting .224/.337/.360 as a team. If their pitching staff isn’t able to contain a potent Beavers lineup led by Jacob Melton (.536/.533/.964), it could be a long weekend. But if they’re able to meet the challenge, this could be a taut series.

(14) Georgia vs./at (19) Georgia Tech
Stream on ACC Network Extra on Friday and Sunday and SEC Network+ on Saturday.

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate returns to the diamond this weekend in a series split across three ballparks—opening Friday at Georgia Tech, before moving to Georgia on Saturday and concluding Sunday at Coolray Field, home of Triple-A Gwinnett. Both the Bulldogs (8-0) and Yellow Jackets (8-1) are off to strong starts to the season and excitement for the series is high, adding to the atmosphere of the weekend. The series represents a sharp contrast in styles, as Georgia Tech is led by its potent offense, averaging 10.67 runs per game, while Georgia stands out for its run prevention, holding opponents to 2.25 runs per game. Something has to give this weekend and the matchup of the Bulldogs’ pitchers against the Yellow Jackets’ lineup will be crucial.

(18) Florida at (25) Miami
Watch on ACC Network Extra on Friday and Saturday and ACC Network on Sunday.

The Gators and Hurricanes again square off in their heated rivalry. Florida (8-2) is on a seven-game winning streak since it was upset on Opening Weekend by Liberty, while Miami (7-1) is also off to a strong start. The Gators have controlled this rivalry for the last decade, but last year the Hurricanes won the series in Gainesville and now have a chance at back-to-back series wins in the rivalry for the first time since 2008-09. To do so, however, Miami will need to step up after last weekend getting pushed at home by Harvard, including an 11-6 loss on Friday and a 2-1 victory Saturday. Florida is still working out its best arrangement on the mound behind Preseason All-American lefthander Hunter Barco and is working around some early injuries as it goes through that process. Still, Friday night will produce a very intriguing matchup as Barco will face All-American lefthander Carson Palmquist, who will make his first Friday start after last season closing and opening this season as Miami’s No. 2 starter.

Clemson vs./at South Carolina
Watch on SEC Network+ on Friday, ACC Network Extra on Saturday and ACC Network on Sunday.

The Reedy River Rivalry rates as one of college baseball’s best and this year’s edition promises to be a fun one. The series starts in Columbia before moving Saturday to Greenville, S.C., and concluding Sunday at Clemson. This series has the potential to reveal a lot about both teams. Clemson (8-0) is off to a perfect start and has shown off a high-powered offense, but this weekend represents a tough test. South Carolina (7-1) has also swung the bats well but has yet to face a team with a winning record. Both of these teams came into the season projected as middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences, but this weekend’s winner will have built strong momentum in non-conference play and could be headed for more.

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