NCAA Top 25 Podcast: Florida Sweeps Miami, Moves to Number One
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy recap a somewhat unexpected wild weekend around college baseball and the new Top 25 rankings.
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The biggest series coming into the weekend was the one in Coral Gables between rivals Florida and Miami. Florida not only won the series for the sixth straight year, but they swept it and took over as the new No. 1 team in the country.
The Gators sweeping the series validates early-season expectations for them, while the Hurricanes will be tasked with establishing more consistent offensive production against top-flight pitching as the season rolls on.
The one new team to join the rankings is No. 21 Central Florida after they went on the road to Auburn and swept the then-No. 12 Tigers. Knights lefthander Colton Gordon out-pitched Auburn's Tanner Burns on Friday night in a close 3-1 game, and UCF turned the last two games into relatively non-competitive affairs.
One upset within the top 25 occurred when Dallas Baptist hit the road up to Chapel Hill and took two out of three from North Carolina. After getting run off the field 9-0 in the first game, the Patriots bounced back to win the final two games by 6-3 and 3-0 scores.
Junior college transfer righthander Dominic Hamel was particularly effective for the Patriots in game 3, throwing seven innings, giving up one hit and one walk with ten strikeouts. In a season when DBU might be a little bit less offensive than they normally are, it would be a huge boon to have Hamel be this type of pitcher all season long. In the long run, this series win opens up the path for Dallas Baptist to challenge to host come June.
Teddy and Joe also discussed the good news to come out of Greensboro, N.C. last weekend, when UNC Greensboro head coach Billy Godwin returned to the dugout.
Over opening weekend, when the Spartans were playing in a tournament at Coastal Carolina, Godwin suffered a stroke. Early in the week, there was plenty of optimism that he would be back with the team sooner rather than later, but he was still just taking it one day at a time. As the week wore on, he attended practice and felt good, so there he was, back in uniform for his team's series with Fairfield.
To put icing on the cake, UNCG won both ends of a doubleheader with the Stags on Saturday and his team threw a combined no-hitter in the first game of the day, the first no-hitter in the history of the program.