What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (4/9)
Top 25 Schedule
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)||TV|
|1||Arkansas||at (3) Mississippi||SEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)|
|2||Vanderbilt||Georgia (Thurs.-Sat.)||SEC Network (Fri., Sat.)|
|3||Mississippi||(1) Arkansas||SEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)|
|4||Mississippi State||at Auburn||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network (Sun.)|
|5||Louisville||(18) Florida State||ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ESPNU (Sun.)|
|6||Texas||Kansas State||Longhorn Network|
|7||Tennessee||(10) Florida||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)|
|8||East Carolina||Memphis||ECUPirates.com (Fri.), ESPN+ (Sat., Sun.)|
|9||South Carolina||Missouri||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network (Sun.)|
|10||Florida||at (7) Tennessee||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)|
|11||Texas Tech||(14) Texas Christian||ESPN+|
|12||Notre Dame||(15) Georgia Tech||ACC Network Extra|
|13||Virginia Tech||at Wake Forest||ACC Network Extra|
|14||Texas Christian||at (11) Texas Tech||ESPN+|
|15||Georgia Tech||at (12) Notre Dame||ACC Network Extra|
|17||Pittsburgh||(20) Miami||ACC Network Extra|
|18||Florida State||at (5) Louisville||ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ESPNU (Sun.)|
|19||Oregon||(21) Oregon State||Pac-12 Network|
|20||Miami||at (17) Pittsburgh||ACC Network Extra|
|21||Oregon State||at (19) Oregon||Pac-12 Network|
|22||Louisiana Tech||at Rice||CUSA.TV|
|23||Oklahoma State||UNC Wilmington||ESPN+ (Fri., Sat.)|
|24||Michigan||Ohio State||Big Ten Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)|
|25||Indiana State||at Illinois State||ESPNU (Fri.), ESPN+ (Sun.)|
(1) Arkansas at (3) Mississippi
For the second time in three weeks, Arkansas is headed to the Magnolia State for a showdown against a top-three team. The first time, the series resulted in a sweep for the Razorbacks against Mississippi State. Now, Arkansas (24-4, 7-2) faces Ole Miss (23-6, 7-2). The Rebels have hit a tough stretch over the last week. First, they lost a series last weekend at Florida. Then, slugger Tim Elko, their leading power threat, on Monday suffered a knee injury that will sideline him at least for a few weeks. Now, Ole Miss must find a way to bounce back against Arkansas, which has won 12 of its last 13 games. The Razorbacks have settled into a comfortable rotation of Patrick Wicklander, Zebulon Vermillion and Lael Lockheart, with powerful relievers Kevin Kopps, Peyton Pallette and Jaxon Wiggins to back them up. Arkansas combines that staff with a deep, potent lineup, making for a tough overall matchup.
(10) Florida at (7) Tennessee
Tennessee this week rose to No. 7 in the Top 25, its highest ranking since 2006. With that lofty ranking comes the biggest meeting between the Volunteers (25-5, 7-2) and the Gators (20-9, 5-4) in well over a decade. Tennessee has been business-like all season long, with its lone hiccup being a four-game series split in February against Indiana State. The Vols have won nine of their last 10 games and lead the nation with 25 wins. Now, however, Tennessee is entering the teeth of its schedule with series against Florida and Vanderbilt coming the next two weekends. The Vols have been especially tough on the mound and their 3.19 team ERA ranks 13th nationally. How well that unit fares against Florida’s offense, which is averaging 7.1 runs per game, is this weekend’s critical matchup.
2023 College Top 25 Preview: No. 21 Southern Mississippi
If Southern Miss is to make its first trip to Omaha since 2009, it will be up to the new-look pitching staff coming together to push the Golden Eagles forward.
(14) Texas Christian at (11) Texas Tech
TCU (21-7, 6-0) travels to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech (20-6, 3-3) in a critical series for the Big 12 race. After hitting a rough patch a few weeks ago that included a home series loss to Gonzaga, the Horned Frogs have gotten back on track and then some, running off 10 straight wins. The Red Raiders, meanwhile, are coming off a series loss at Kansas State, which dropped them to .500 in conference play. But they return home to Griffin Park, where they haven’t lost a series since 2018. Runs will likely come in bunches this weekend—TCU (8.5) and Texas Tech (8.3) rank eighth and ninth in the country in scoring. Finding a way to slow down the opposing hitters will be crucial for both teams.
(21) Oregon State at (19) Oregon
These two rivals last month met for a non-conference weekend series in Corvallis. The Ducks (16-7, 3-3) won the first two games of the series, laying down a marker as they look to again challenge for the Pac-12 title after a few fallow years. It was their first series win against the Beavers since 2016. Now, as the rivalry moves to Eugene for the Pac-12 series, Oregon State (21-7, 7-2) is looking for revenge. The Beavers lead the nation in ERA (2.36) and rank second in fielding percentage (.988). With that kind of elite run prevention, it won’t be an easy weekend for Kenyon Yovan (.361/.449/.736, 8 HR) and the rest of the Ducks hitters. Finding a way to break through against an Oregon State pitching staff led by veterans Kevin Abel (3-3, 2.95) and Jake Mulholland (1-0, 0.84, 7 SV) is a must if Oregon is to double-up on its rivalry win.
Ohio State at (24) Michigan
Last week’s results tightened the Big Ten standings and this weekend now not only features the conference’s biggest rivalry, it also is a battle between second (Michigan) and third (Ohio State) place. The Buckeyes (12-7) last weekend swept a four-game series against Indiana, knocking the Hoosiers from first to fourth place in the standings. The Wolverines (13-6), meanwhile, split four games against Maryland and Northwestern. This weekend provides a big opportunity for both Ohio State and Michigan. The winner will firmly establish itself as one of the clear favorites as the midseason point approaches, in addition to having bragging rights in the rivalry. Ohio State has had the upper hand in the series over the last decade—its 15-5 against Michigan over the last decade under coach Greg Beals.