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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (5/10/19)

Mississippi State center fielder Jake Mangum

Top 25 Schedule

1UCLAat Washington StatePac-12 Plus
2Vanderbilt(20) MissouriSEC Network+
3Stanfordat CaliforniaPac-12 Network
4Arkansas(16) Louisiana StateSEC Network+ (Fri.), ESPN2 (Sat.)
5Mississippi Stateat (11) MississippiSEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
6Louisvilleat VirginiaACC Network Extra
7Georgiaat AuburnSEC Network+
8East Carolinaat Wichita StateNone
9Texas TechFinals breakNone
10Georgia Techat DukeNone
11Mississippi(5) Mississippi StateSEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
12Oregon Stateat OregonPac-12 Network
13UC Santa BarbaraLong Beach StateBigWest.TV
14North Carolinaat PittsburghACC Network Extra
15BaylorFinals breakNone
16Louisiana Stateat (4) ArkansasSEC Network+ (Fri.), ESPN2 (Sat.)
17North Carolina StateClemsonACC Network Extra
18Miamiat Wake ForestACC Network Extra (Fri., Sat.), ESPNU (Mon.)
19Texas A&Mat AlabamaSEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), SEC Network (Sun.)
20Missouriat (2) VanderbiltSEC Network+
21West Virginiaat Kansas StateESPN3
22Oklahoma Statevs./at OklahomaSoonerSports.TV (Fri., Sat.), Fox Sports Oklahoma+ (Sun.)
23MichiganIndianaESPNU (Fri.), BTN Plus (Sat.), Big Ten Network (Sun.)
24Arizona Stateat NebraskaBTN Plus
25Brigham YoungSan FranciscoBYUtv

(3) Stanford at California

This might be the most meaningful edition of this rivalry in nearly a decade. The Bay Area rivals haven’t both made the NCAA Tournament in the same year since 2011, but right now both Stanford (35-8, 17-4) and Cal (28-15, 13-8) project to do so. The Cardinal are tied with Oregon State for first place in the Pac-12, and in addition to trying to keep pace atop the conference, it needs the RPI boost that this series would provide to help its hosting and top-eight seed chances. Cal is looking to shore up its resume as it enters a difficult final three weeks of the season. It’s coming in hot, having won four of its last five series and will be looking to capitalize on its home-field advantage. The Bears are 14-4 at Evans Diamond this year.

(5) Mississippi State at (11) Mississippi

Following Mississippi State’s series win at Texas A&M and Ole Miss’ at Louisiana State, the Magnolia State rivals are tied for second place in the SEC West at 15-9. At stake this weekend—beyond the not insignificant bragging rights—is the inside track to a top-eight overall seed. The Rebels (32-17) are also looking for revenge after the Bulldogs (39-10) beat them in the Governor’s Cup in Pearl, Miss., last month. Mississippi State has won nine of its last 10 games against Ole Miss and the Bulldogs’ seniors, led by center fielder Jake Mangum, are 11-2 in their career against the Rebels, with three series wins.

(22) Oklahoma State vs./at Oklahoma

Bedlam got kicked up a notch last weekend when Oklahoma State (28-16, 10-8 Big 12) swept Oregon State and inserted itself into the hosting race, and Oklahoma (30-18, 8-10 Big 12) got swept by Texas Tech. The Sooners are looking to work their way back to a winning conference record to help their NCAA Tournament resume and get some revenge for their 6-5 loss in Stillwater earlier this season. The Cowboys are looking to sustain success, something they’ve struggled with this season. The series begins Friday in Tulsa, moves Saturday to Oklahoma City and finishes in Norman.

Zmarziak, Bobby (Photo by Bill Mitchell).jpg

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Indiana at (23) Michigan

Michigan (36-11, 14-3) has used a 13-game winning streak, the nation’s longest active streak, to open a 2.5 game lead in the Big Ten standings on second-place Indiana (31-17, 12-6). With a sweep this weekend, the Wolverines can clinch their first Big Ten title since 2008. Even if that doesn’t happen, a series win would leave Michigan in excellent position going into the final weekend, when it travels to Nebraska. For its part, Indiana saw its slim chances to host a regional fly out the window last week with a series loss to Illinois, but it can stay in the Big Ten title hunt with a series win this weekend.

Indiana State at Dallas Baptist

For the second straight weekend, Indiana State (34-11, 11-4) will go on the road with first place in the Missouri Valley Conference on the line. It just won a series at Illinois State to claim sole possession of first place and now travels to third-place Dallas Baptist (33-15, 9-6). The Sycamores and Patriots both rank in the top 35 of RPI, meaning they’re looking good for NCAA Tournament bids, but winning the regular-season title would be a nice boost.

Sam Houston State at Southeastern Louisiana

Sam Houston State (27-19) and Southeastern Louisiana (27-22) come into the weekend tied for first place in the Southland Conference at 16-8. Neither has an RPI good enough for an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, and they’re unlikely to be able to change that this month. But this weekend’s winner will be in pole position for a conference title and the top seed in the Southland Tournament, meaning there will be plenty on the line in Hammond, La.

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