What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (3/6)

Image credit: Patrick Bailey (Photo by Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Top 25 Schedule

Rank Team Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.) TV Notes
1 Florida South Florida SEC Network+  
2 Texas Tech Rice TexasTech.TV (Fri., Sat.), Fox Sports Southwest+ (Sun.)  
3 Vanderbilt at (5) UCLA, at Southern California, vs. (22) Texas Christian Pac-12 Network+ (Fri., Sat.) Southern California College Baseball Classic
4 Georgia Massachusetts SEC Network+  
5 UCLA (3) Vanderbilt, (22) Texas Christian, at Southern California Pac-12 Network+ (Fri., Sat.), Pac-12 Network (Sun.) Southern California College Baseball Classic
6 Louisville at Wake Forest ACC Network Extra  
7 Miami Pittsburgh ACC Network (Fri.), ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)  
8 Arizona State Fresno State Pac-12 Network+  
9 Mississippi Princeton SEC Network+  
10 Michigan at Pepperdine Stadium  
11 Oklahoma San Diego State SoonerSports.TV  
12 Mississippi State Quinnipiac SEC Network+  
13 Arkansas South Alabama SEC Network+  
14 Florida State at (16) Duke ACC Network Extra  
15 North Carolina State at Virginia ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ACC Network (Sun.)  
16 Duke (14) Florida State ACC Network Extra  
17 Long Beach State Xavier None  
18 Tennessee Wright State ESPN3  
19 Central Florida Butler UCFKnights.TV  
20 Louisiana State Massachusetts-Lowell SEC Network+  
21 Dallas Baptist Oral Roberts PatriotsBroadcastingNetwork.com  
22 Texas Christian at Southern California, at (5) UCLA, vs. (3) Vanderbilt Pac-12 Network+ (Fri., Sat.) Southern California College Baseball Classic
23 Clemson Boston College ACC Network Extra (Sat., Sun.)  
24 Auburn Chicago State SEC Network+  
25 East Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte49ers.TV (Fri., Sun.)  

Southern California College Baseball Classic, Los Angeles

This tournament, co-hosted by Southern California and UCLA, is typically known as the Dodger Stadium Classic because it hosts the tournament’s final day, highlighted by a showdown between the Trojans and Bruins. But with Dodger Stadium undergoing renovations ahead of this summer’s All-Star Game, it isn’t available. No. 5 UCLA and USC will host the first two days of the tournament against No. 22 Texas Christian and No. 3 Vanderbilt before the action concludes at USC’s Dedeaux Field. Though this tournament won’t get the grand stage of Dodger Stadium, it figures to be an exciting tournament. UCLA’s (11-1) game against Vanderbilt (11-3) on Friday night could be an Omaha preview and figures to be a very well-pitched affair. TCU (10-2) is off to a strong start and entered the rankings for the first time this week, while USC (7-4) has something to prove under the direction of first-year coach Jason Gill. All of that is sure to make for a fun-filled weekend in LA.

(10) Michigan at Pepperdine

Just up the coast from Los Angeles, Pepperdine (10-2), one of the season’s best early stories, will host Michigan (7-5), which is completing a California swing. The Wolverines have come back to earth since their blockbuster 3-0 start that included wins against Arizona State and Vanderbilt but remain one of the nation’s best teams. The Waves are 9-0 on weekends and count some solid wins in that group, but this is their biggest test to date. Pepperdine this season has scored runs in bunches and is averaging 7.5 runs per game. If it can keep that up against Michigan’s impressive pitching staff, it could be in for a banner weekend.

(14) Florida State at (16) Duke

The ACC begins conference play this weekend and opens with a top-20 showdown between the Seminoles (9-3) and the Blue Devils (10-2). Florida State is in the midst of a difficult part of its schedule, coming off four games last weekend against Florida Atlantic and Texas Tech with a game at Florida on tap Tuesday, followed by a series against Georgia Tech. The pesky Blue Devils and their stout pitching staff (1.42 team ERA) make for a tough start to conference play. Duke is coming off back-to-back super regional appearances and is pitching at a high level. The Seminoles’ young lineup is still rounding into form and now faces a road trip for the first time this year.

(15) North Carolina State at Virginia

With Virginia outside the Top 25, this series doesn’t have quite the same level of hype as Florida State at Duke. But it should present a fascinating matchup, nonetheless. The Wolfpack (12-0) are one of four undefeated teams left in the nation and have shown off an impressive offense that’s averaging 10.4 runs per game. They’ll face a good challenge on the road at Virginia (10-3), which has a 3.38 team ERA and is led on the mound by Andrew Abbott (3-0, 0.00), Griff McGarry (3-0, 1.12) and Mike Vasil (2-0, 2.25). The Cavaliers haven’t faced strong competition since an Opening Weekend series against Oklahoma in Pensacola, however. NC State’s offense, led by Preseason All-American catcher Patrick Bailey (.308/.472/.744, 5 HR), will be a step up. Both teams figure to answer some significant questions this weekend.

San Diego at Indiana

In another West Coast Conference-Big Ten showdown, San Diego (9-3) travels to Indiana (7-3). The Toreros have played well to this point and are 8-1 in weekend games (the lone loss coming on Opening Day against Pepperdine). The Hoosiers, the reigning Big Ten champions, have been strong in the early going as well, holding their own Opening Weekend at Louisiana State and then playing well in back-to-back tournaments. Their only losses to date, in fact, are against SEC competition. This is a four-game set that will test both teams and should look good on both of their NCAA Tournament resumes in May. A potential X-factor is the weather. While it’s supposed to warm up throughout the weekend, Friday’s high in Bloomington is forecasted to be a balmy 39 degrees, a far cry from San Diego’s 66.

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