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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (4/1)



Top 25 Schedule

RankTeamOpponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)TVNotes
1Tennesseeat (11) VanderbiltESPN2 (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
2Oregon State(24) StanfordPac-12 Network
3VirginiaGeorgia TechACC Network Extra
4ArkansasMississippi StateSEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)
5Florida State(14) Notre DameACC Network Extra
6Oklahoma Stateat Kansas StateESPN+
7Texas Techat KansasESPN+
8Louisvilleat PittsburghACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)
9Mississippiat KentuckySEC Network+
10Texasvs.OklahomaSoonerSports.TV (Fri.), ESPN2 (Sat.), ESPN (Sun.)Arlington, Texas
11Vanderbilt(1) TennesseeESPN2 (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
12Arizonaat WashingtonPac-12 Network+
13Miamiat DukeACC Network Extra
14Notre Dameat (5) Florida StateACC Network Extra
15North CarolinaVirginia TechACC Network Extra
16Floridaat Georgia (Thurs.-Sat.)SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)
17GonzagaPepperdineStadium
18Dallas BaptistWoffordPatriotBroadcastingNetwork.com
19Texas Stateat Appalachian StateESPN+
20Oregonat UCLAPac-12 Network+
21Louisiana StateAuburn (Thurs.-Sat.)SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)
22Libertyat JacksonvilleESPN+ (Fri.), YouTube (Sat., Sun.)
23Charlotteat Texas-San AntonioCUSA.TV
24Stanfordat (2) Oregon StatePac-12 Network
25MarylandPenn StateBig Ten Network+

What To Watch

(1) Tennessee at (11) Vanderbilt
Watch on ESPN2 on Friday and SEC Network on Saturday. Stream on SEC Network+ on Sunday.

This rivalry is growing in stature every year. Last year, the Volunteers and Commodores met as top-10 teams in Knoxville. Vanderbilt (20-4, 4-2) is just outside the top 10 this season after last week losing a series at South Carolina, but the series gets added juice from Tennessee (24-1, 6-0) this week climbing to No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25 for the first time in the 42-year history of the rankings. The Volunteers enter the weekend on a 16-game winning streak and are just the sixth SEC team ever to go unbeaten over the first two weeks of conference play since 1996, when the SEC adopted a 30-game schedule. The Volunteers lead the nation in scoring (11.1 runs per game) and team ERA (1.86) and have incredible all-around depth that has fueled their start to the season. Vanderbilt, however, will be ready this weekend. The Commodores have not lost a series to their in-state rival since 2016 and haven’t lost a home series to the Volunteers since 2009. Vanderbilt ranks fifth in the country in team ERA (2.50) and its offense averages 8.1 runs per game, 31st nationally. Slowing Tennessee’s powerful offense—it leads the nation in home runs—will be critical and Vanderbilt’s pitching staff has the talent to do so.

(24) Stanford at (2) Oregon State
Watch on Pac-12 Networks.

This series features the top two teams in the preseason Pac-12 coaches’ poll, but it hasn’t quite lived up to that hype. Oregon State (19-5, 6-3) looks the part of Pac-12 favorite and has won its first three conference series, but Stanford (12-8, 4-5) has yet to find its stride. The Cardinal lost their first two conference series (vs. Oregon, at Arizona) before last weekend sweeping Washington State. It’s a difficult start to conference play to have to face the Ducks, Wildcats and Beavers in the first month, but if Stanford is going to compete for a conference title, it needs a couple wins this weekend in Corvallis. Oregon State averages 9.9 runs per game, the sixth most nationally, and will present a big challenge for the Stanford pitching staff. Carter Graham (.382/.435/.671, 6 HR) and Brett Barrera (.364/.417/.682) lead the Cardinal lineup.

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(14) Notre Dame at (5) Florida State
Stream on ACC Network Extra.

This series is a key showdown in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Florida State (16-8, 6-3) has won its first three conference series and is looking to keep pace with Louisville at the top of the division. Notre Dame (13-5, 2-4) started the year on a flying 12-1 start but has slipped since and has lost its last four conference games. If the Fighting Irish are to recover in the division race, they will need a response this weekend. It won’t be easy, as Florida State boasts the top trio of starters in the conference in lefthanders Parker Messick (4-1, 2.84), Bryce Hubbart (5-1, 2.17) and Ross Dunn (1-1, 2.00), with a strong bullpen behind them, including Davis Hare (0-0, 0.90) and Jonah Scolaro (1-1, 4.11). Notre Dame ranks 20th nationally in scoring at 8.7 runs per game and it will need that offense this weekend in Tallahassee.

(10) Texas vs. Oklahoma in Arlington, Texas
Stream on SoonerSports.com on Friday. Watch on ESPN2 on Saturday and ESPN on Sunday.

The Red River Rivalry this weekend comes to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Rangers. Texas (19-8, 1-2) has had a tough few weeks, losing close series at South Carolina and Texas Tech and on Tuesday falling to rival Texas A&M. Now, it'll face another rival in Oklahoma (15-8, 2-1), which last week opened its Big 12 campaign with a key series win against Baylor. The Sooners are spending their third weekend in Arlington, having opened the season spending two weeks at Globe Life Field, where they went 2-1 in the State Farm Showdown and won a series against Northwestern State. A Big 12 series against Texas, however, is another matter. Oklahoma’s rotation has been solid, led by lefthander Jake Bennett (2-0, 1.45), and getting a strong weekend out of that group will be critical. Texas has shown impressive offensive firepower, with veterans Murphy Stehly (.472/.517/.811, 7 HR) and Ivan Melendez (.412/.531/.922, 13 HR) leading the way.

(20) Oregon at UCLA
Stream on Pac-12 Networks Plus.

Oregon (18-7, 7-2) has raced out to first place in the Pac-12 standings after the first three weeks of conference play, having won series against Stanford, Utah and Southern California. The Ducks will look to continue that hot start this weekend as they travel to Westwood to take on the Bruins (16-8, 3-3). It’s been a bit of an up-and-down start to the season for UCLA, which has a very young roster. It is coming off a big series win at Arizona, however, and now returns home. This series will be a contrast in styles, as UCLA is led by its pitching staff and ranks fourth nationally in team ERA (2.48). Its rotation of Jake Brooks (4-2, 2.09), Max Rajcic (2-3, 2.92) and Thatcher Hurd (2-0, 1.07) is especially formidable. Oregon is still dealing with some key injuries on the mound, including to Opening Day starter Adam Maier. That’s shifted the focus for the Ducks to their offense, which ranks second in the Pac-12 at 8.9 runs per game. Outfielder Colby Shade (.412/.500/.635) leads the way for the Ducks and there’s plenty of depth beyond him.

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