What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (5/7)
Top 25 Schedule
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)||TV||Notes|
|1||Arkansas||Georgia||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)|
|2||Notre Dame||(14) Florida State||ACC Network|
|4||Mississippi State||at (15) South Carolina||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network (Sun.)|
|5||Texas Christian||(9) Texas||ESPNU (Fri., Sat.), ESPN+ (Sun.)|
|6||Tennessee||at Missouri||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)|
|7||Arizona||at (19) Stanford||Pac-12 Network+|
|9||Texas||at (5) Texas Christian||ESPNU (Fri., Sat.), ESPN+ (Sun.)|
|10||Florida||at Kentucky (Thurs.-Sat.)||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)|
|11||Mississippi||at Texas A&M||SEC Network+ (Fri.), ESPNU (Sat., Sun.)|
|13||East Carolina||Tulane||ESPN+ (Fri., Sun.), ECUPirates.com (Sat.)|
|14||Florida State||at (2) Notre Dame||ACC Network|
|15||South Carolina||(4) Mississippi State||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network (Sun.)|
|16||Pittsburgh||Boston College||ACC Network Extra|
|18||Louisiana Tech||at Florida International||CUSA.TV|
|19||Stanford||(7) Arizona||Pac-12 Network+|
|20||Old Dominion||at Texas-San Antonio||CUSA.TV|
|22||Southern Mississippi||Middle Tennessee State||CUSA.TV|
|23||Indiana||at Rutgers (Fri.-Sat.), vs. Nebraska (Sat.-Sun.)||Big Ten Network+||Big Ten Pod in Piscataway, N.J.|
|24||UC Irvine||at UC Santa Barbara||BigWest.TV (Fri.-Sun.), ESPNU (Game 2 Sat.)|
(14) Florida State at (2) Notre Dame
Notre Dame (24-8, 21-8) holds a four-game lead over second-place Louisville in the ACC standings and is tracking toward its first conference championship since winning the Big East in 2006. The Fighting Irish are also on track to host regionals for the first time since 2001. Florida State (23-16, 15-12), meanwhile, is trying to separate itself from the middle of the pack in the conference. Becoming the first team this season to win a series against the Fighting Irish would accomplish just that. This weekend also brings together two of the top power hitters in the country, in Florida State’s Mat Nelson, who leads the nation with 20 home runs, and Notre Dame’s Niko Kavadas (15 home runs). But with strong pitching staffs on both sides, runs may be hard to come by.
(4) Mississippi State at (15) South Carolina
South Carolina (27-15, 11-10) comes into this weekend on the heels of back-to-back series losses against Arkansas and at Mississippi and now faces another SEC West heavyweight. With the field of potential regional host sites set to next week be pared, the Gamecocks could use a statement win this weekend. It won’t be easy, however. Mississippi State (33-10, 14-7) has only lost two series this year, both against the SEC’s division leaders, Arkansas and Vanderbilt. To join that list, South Carolina will need to awaken an offense that has been held to 30 runs over its last nine SEC games.
(9) Texas at (5) Texas Christian
The Big 12 championship is on the line this weekend in Fort Worth. TCU (33-10, 15-3) holds a two-game lead on Texas (36-11, 13-5) with six games to play. A series win for the Horned Frogs would clinch the title, which would be their third since joining the conference in 2013 and first since 2017. A week ago, it appeared that the Longhorns’ position going to Fort Worth wouldn’t be so dire, but they were last weekend upset at home by Texas Tech and fell off the pace. Texas will be eager to return the favor in TCU and extend the title race to the final weekend of the regular season. One piece to watch is lefthander Pete Hansen (5-1, 2.05) making his return to the rotation. He’s this season mostly worked as the midweek starter for Texas but threw 7.2 innings in relief last Sunday in a win against Texas Tech and is now slated to start the finale at TCU. He could give the Horns a boost this weekend and beyond.
No. 1 Arkansas Upset By NC State, Falls Shy Of College World Series
After playing like the best team in the country throughout the regular season, No. 1 Arkansas was upset by NC State in super regionals, bringing an end to its special season.
(7) Arizona at (19) Stanford
The top two teams in the Pac-12 standings will meet on The Farm with a lot on the line. Arizona (31-11, 15-6) has created some separation at the top of the Pac-12 standings, holding a two-game lead on second-place Stanford (24-9, 10-5) and 2.5 games on Oregon and Oregon State. A series win this weekend would see the Wildcats firmly in control of the conference, as they eye their first title since 2012. A series win for the Cardinal, meanwhile, would send Stanford ahead of Arizona in the loss column and spark a spring to the finish for the Pac-12 championship. The Wildcats have the best offense in the country and average 8.8 runs per game. Stanford has some firepower of its own and averages 6.9 runs per game, but it will have its work cut out for it to keep up with Arizona.
Tulane at (13) East Carolina
ECU (30-9, 12-4) has spent much of the season ranked in the Top 25 and as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference. But after splitting their last two series – against Central Florida and at Wichita State – the Pirates have slipped into second place, behind Tulane (24-14, 13-2). The Green Wave are on an excellent run and put together a 13-game winning streak before losing last weekend’s finale against Houston. With just three weeks to play, this weekend’s showdown could make or break both team’s title chances. ECU is also playing for the chance to host a regional and likely needs a series win this weekend to stay in the running. Tulane, meanwhile, is on the NCAA Tournament bubble now thanks to a subpar RPI, but this weekend gives it a good chance to improve that mark.
(24) UC Irvine at UC Santa Barbara
UCI (26-14, 18-6) and UCSB (29-13, 20-8) are effectively tied atop the Big West standings and this weekend’s four-game series will go a long way to settling the conference championship and its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A matchup Friday of UCI’s Trenton Denholm (4-1, 3.79) and UCSB’s Michael McGreevy (6-1, 2.76) is the headliner and will be of special interest to scouts, but the series will likely turn on the depth of the team’s pitching staffs. The Anteaters have a strong bullpen, led by righthander Jacob King (2-1, 2.60, 4 SV), while UCSB’s strength is in its rotation. Runs may be hard to come by much of the weekend.