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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (4/29)



Top 25 Schedule

RankTeamOpponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)TV
1Tennessee(21) AuburnSEC Network (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
2Oregon Stateat UtahPac-12 Network
3Miamiat Georgia TechACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ESPNU (Sat.)
4Stanfordat WashingtonPac-12 Network+
5Virginia(9) Virginia TechACC Network Extra
6Southern Mississippiat Alabama-BirminghamESPN+ (Fri.), CUSA.TV (Sat., Sun.)
7Texas Christianat (24) Florida StateACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ACC Network (Sat.)
8Oklahoma Stateat (18) TexasLonghorn Network
9Virginia Techat (5) VirginiaACC Network Extra
10ArkansasMississippiSEC Network+ (Fri.), ESPN2 (Sat.), ESPN (Sun.)
11GonzagaLoyola MarymountKHQ.com (Fri.)
12LouisvilleClemsonACC Network Extra
13Notre DameBoston CollegeACC Network (Fri., Sun), ACC Network Extra (Sat.)
14UCLAArizona StatePac-12 Network+
15Texas Techat BaylorESPN+
16Georgiaat Louisiana StateSEC Network+
17Georgia SouthernCoastal CarolinaESPN+
18Texas(8) Oklahoma StateLonghorn Network
19Texas StateSouth AlabamaESPN+ (Fri.)
20MarylandNorthwesternB1G+
21Auburnat (1) TennesseeSEC Network (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
22Woffordat SamfordESPN+ (Fri., Sat.)
23Texas A&Mat Vanderbilt (Thurs.-Sat.)SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)
24Florida State(7) Texas ChristianACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.), ACC Network (Sat.)
25OregonCaliforniaPac-12 Network+

(21) Auburn at (1) Tennessee
Stream on SEC Network+.

Both Auburn (30-12, 11-7) and Tennessee (38-3, 17-1) enter on seven-game winning streaks and are aiming to host regionals. The Volunteers have been nearly unstoppable in SEC play this season and a sweep at Florida last weekend saw them set a record for the best start in conference history. They are storming toward an SEC title and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn is coming off a sweep of South Carolina and is just a game behind first-place Arkansas in the SEC West. The Tigers have won two of their three road series this year (at LSU and Texas A&M), but a series in Knoxville is a greater challenge. The Volunteers are 27-1 at home this season, losing only to Alabama. If Auburn is to spring the season’s biggest upset, it will have to both contain Tennessee’s potent offense and conquer its pitching staff, which leads the nation with a 2.00 team ERA. First baseman Sonny DiChiara (.448/.601/.856, 12 SB), who leads the nation in batting, on-base percentage and OPS (1.457), will have to be at the heart of things for the Tigers.

(9) Virginia Tech at (5) Virginia
Stream on ACC Network Extra.

This is the biggest series between the in-state rivals in at least the 21st century and possibly ever. Virginia (32-10, 13-8) and Virginia Tech (29-9, 12-7) are both ranked in the top 10, are virtually tied for second place in the ACC Coastal Division and are both firmly in the mix to host regionals. Much is on the line this weekend as a result. This is a matchup of two of the best offenses in the country. The Cavaliers average 9.6 runs per game (third nationally) and the Hokies average 9.1 runs per game (10th nationally). They both are hitting .320 as a team and both teams hit for power, though the Hokies' 80 home runs this season are well ahead of the Cavaliers' 56. There are no shortage of hitters to watch in this series and both pitching staffs will have their work cut out for them. Virginia slugger Jake Gelof (.388/.490/.822, 16 HR) and Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross (.346/.441/.660, 9 HR), a potential top-10 pick, are two of the key players in the series. If the Hokies are to upset the Cavaliers, they will have to overcome Virginia’s significant home-field advantage. The Cavaliers are 23-2 in Charlottesville this season.

Delucia Dylan Courtesy Of Ole Miss

College Podcast: Recapping The College World Series

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(7) TCU at (24) Florida State
Stream on ACC Network Extra.

Florida State (24-15) this weekend hosts TCU (27-14) in a rare late April, Top 25 non-conference matchup. Both teams have hosting hopes and, with both teams ranked in the top 30 of RPI (FSU 21, TCU, 27), this series will help their resumes. Whether either or both hosts regionals will likely come down to how they finish in conference play, but this is an opportunity to boost their RPI and add another premium series win. Florida State has lost three of its last four series and will hope its rotation of Parker Messick (5-2, 2.89), Bryce Hubbart (6-1, 3.02) and Carson Montgomery (4-1, 4.38) will be able to slow down the Horned Frogs. TCU has a strong pitching staff of its own, and last weekend welcomed back lefthander Austin Krob (2-0, 4.26) to bolster a group led by Riley Cornelio (3-3, 3.81) and Marcelo Perez (4-1, 2.97).

(8) Oklahoma State at (18) Texas
Watch on Longhorn Network.

Coming off a series loss last week at home to TCU, Oklahoma State (28-13, 10-5) faces a challenging series at Texas (31-13, 9-6). The Cowboys fell out of first place, dropping behind TCU after last weekend’s series but still control their own destiny in the Big 12 title race. Texas, however, is lurking just a game behind Oklahoma State in third place and is still in the mix for the title itself. With TCU playing a non-conference series this weekend, the Cowboys and Longhorns have an opportunity to make up some ground. The series starts Friday with what should be an outstanding matchup on the mound between Oklahoma State righthander Justin Campbell (6-1, 2.89) and Texas lefthander Pete Hansen (7-1, 2.70). The Cowboys will also have to contend with slugger Ivan Melendez (.404/.528/.897, 21 HR), who leads the country in home runs. Texas is 18-4 at Disch-Falk Field this season and breaking that home-field advantage will be critical for Oklahoma State.

UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly
Stream on ESPN+.

The Big West title is on the line this weekend at Cal Poly’s Baggett Stadium. UCSB (27-10, 16-2) holds a 3.5 game lead on Cal Poly (24-16, 11-4) in the conference standings and third-place Hawaii (18-18, 11-7) is another 1.5 games back. If anyone is going to stop UCSB from winning the title, Cal Poly must win this weekend’s series. The Gauchos have won nine straight Big West games and they have lost only to Southern California and UCLA in the last three weeks. UCSB leads the Big West in both scoring (seven runs per game) and team ERA (3.94), creating a stiff challenge for Cal Poly. The Mustangs are led by shortstop Brooks Lee (.375/.480/.638), a leading candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, and righthander Drew Thorpe (6-1, 2.41), who also projects to go in the first couple rounds. Cal Poly will need more than just its stars, however, to slow down UCSB and keep its title hopes alive.

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