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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (4/22)

RankTeamOpponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)TV
1Tennesseeat FloridaSEC Network+
2Oklahoma State(15) Texas ChristianESPN+ (Fri., Sat.), (Sun.)
3Oregon StateWashingtonPac-12 Network+
4Arkansasat Texas A&MSEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)
5MiamiPittsburghACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ACC Network (Sat.)
6Stanfordvs. Grand Canyon (Fri., Sat.), at San Diego State (Sat., Sun.)None
7Southern MississippiRiceESPN+
8VirginiaNorth CarolinaACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ESPNU (Sun.)
9Florida Stateat ClemsonACC Network Extra
10OregonWashington StatePac-12 Network+
11Virginia Techat Boston CollegeACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ACC Network (Sat.)
12Gonzagaat Saint Mary'
13LouisvilleNorth Carolina StateACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)
14Notre DameWake ForestACC Netowrk Extra
15Texas Christianat (2) Oklahoma StateESPN+ (Fri., Sat.), (Sun.)
16UCLAat CaliforniaPac-12 Network+
17Texas TechWest VirginiaESPN+
18Georgiaat AlabamaSEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
19Georgia Southernat South AlabamaESPN+
20TexasBaylorLonghorn Network
21Texas StateArkansas-Little RockESPN+
22Marylandat IllinoisBig Ten Network (Fri., Sat.), B1G+ (Sun.)
23AuburnSouth CarolinaSEC Network+
24Woffordat MercerESPN+
25Dallas BaptistSouthern

(1) Tennessee at Florida
Stream on SEC Network+.

Top-ranked Tennessee (34-3, 14-1) hits the road this weekend for a tricky series at Florida (23-14, 6-9). The Gators have been up and down this season and this weekend will be without ace Hunter Barco, who is out injured. But they have been tough to beat at home this season. Florida is 15-6 in Gainesville and two weeks ago won a home series against Arkansas, handing the Razorbacks their first series loss of the season. The Volunteers are dealing with some key absences of their own this weekend. Coach Tony Vitello will miss the first two games of the weekend as he completes a four-game suspension for bumping an umpire last weekend against Alabama. Tennessee will also be without No. 2 starter Chase Dollander, who was hit in the arm by a comebacker in his start last Saturday. Nothing has yet knocked Tennessee off its game this season, but Florida represents a real challenge this weekend.

(15) TCU at (2) Oklahoma State
Stream on ESPN+ Friday and Saturday and on Sunday.

This weekend’s biggest series is a showdown between the two teams atop the Big 12 standings. Oklahoma State (26-11, 9-3) holds a half-game edge on TCU (25-12, 10-5) and this weekend welcomes the Horned Frogs to O’Brate Stadium. Both teams are coming off big series wins a week ago—Oklahoma State won its series at West Virginia and TCU swept Texas Tech—to set up the 1 vs. 2. This series features some high-end pitching. Friday’s matchup of Oklahoma State righthander Justin Campbell (5-1, 2.98) against TCU righthander Riley Cornelio (3-2, 2.87) will be one of the best of the day. The rest of the weekend’s pitching matchups are exciting, and both teams have star closers. TCU’s River Ridings (2-1, 2.35, 10 SV) and Oklahoma State’s Trevor Martin (1-2, 4.01, 9 SV) rank first and second in the Big 12 in saves. Runs may be at a premium this weekend but watch out for TCU’s Tommy Sacco (.387/.470/.650, 6 HR, 8 SB) and Oklahoma State’s Griffin Doersching (.327/.406/.636, 3 HR), two veterans with game-changing potential.

Wake Forest at (14) Notre Dame
Stream on ACC Network Extra.

Notre Dame (22-8, 8-7) last week was stunningly swept at Duke, which came into the series just 3-12 in ACC play. The Fighting Irish’s RPI didn’t suffer much, as they remain in the top 10 of the metric. But Notre Dame can’t feel secure in its chances to host regionals for the second straight season as it enters the second half of the ACC season. It needs to bounce back this weekend against Wake Forest (28-9, 10-8), which itself suffered an upset last weekend when it lost a series to Clemson, which came into the series at 2-9 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons aren’t far outside the hosting mix themselves thanks to a top-20 RPI. One of these teams is going to get a much-needed series win this weekend, while the other will suddenly be staring at a mid-season skid. That raises the stakes at Frank Eck Stadium.

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(22) Maryland at Illinois
Watch on Big Ten Network on Friday and Saturday. Stream on B1G+ on Sunday.

The Big Ten title race heats up this weekend as Maryland (30-7, 7-2) travels to Illinois (19-15, 10-2), which is off to a hot start in conference play. The Terrapins have established themselves as the conference’s best team to this point thanks to a premium rotation of Nick Dean (3-1, 3.94), Ryan Ramsey (7-0, 2.59) and Jason Savacool (6-2, 2.39). The Illini have turned things around after a slow start to the season and their 1-2 punch of Cole Kirschsieper (4-2, 2.75) and Riley Gowens (4-1, 3.97) has been a big part of that. Runs may be at a premium this weekend in Champaign. In addition to the implications this series will have on the Big Ten race, this weekend presents both teams with an opportunity to boost their NCAA Tournament resumes. Illinois’ slow start has it trying to make up ground and beating Maryland would provide a big RPI boost, which would be significant for its at-large chances. Maryland, meanwhile, is in the hosting race, but likely will need to win the Big Ten to earn a home regional, meaning it can’t afford to fall behind Illinois.

(24) Wofford at Mercer
Stream on ESPN+.

This is the series of the year in the Southern Conference. Both Wofford (28-9, 6-0) and Mercer (31-6, 6-0) have been outstanding so far this season and swept their first two conference series. They both are on track to make the NCAA Tournament, as they both rank in the top 30 of RPI, and this weekend will have an outsized influence on which team wins the regular-season title. Wofford has never won the SoCon regular-season title and Mercer is aiming for its first since 2017. The Bears have home-field advantage and are 21-2 at OrthoGeorgia Park, but Wofford comes in on an eight-game winning streak and has more than proven itself on the road this season. It is 8-3 in road games and won a series at Dallas Baptist. This weekend promises to be a blockbuster.

Arizona State at Arizona
Stream on Pac-12 Network+ on Friday. Watch on Pac-12 Network on Saturday and Sunday.

The Territorial Cup comes to the diamond this weekend in Tucson and there are plenty of storylines to track. Arizona (26-12, 11-7) has lost back-to-back Pac-12 series, falling to Washington State and Utah. The Wildcats got a boost earlier this week with two wins at Creighton, but now must keep that momentum going on the weekend against their in-state rivals. Arizona State (19-19, 8-7) will carry a five-game winning streak into this weekend’s series. The Sun Devils have gotten back into the periphery of the Pac-12 title race—while they are just two games behind the leaders, they are also in sixth place—and a series win this weekend would push them more into the mix. Arizona State beat Arizona, 10-6, two weeks ago in a midweek, non-conference game in Tucson, adding to the weekend’s intrigue.

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