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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (5/16/19)

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Navy righthander Noah Song (Photo by Billie Weiss, Getty)
RankTeamOpponentTV
1UCLAWashingtonPac-12 Network
2Vanderbiltat KentuckySEC Network+
3Stanford(11) Oregon StatePac-12 Network
4Arkansasat (18) Texas A&MESPNU (Thurs.), SEC Network+ (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.)
5Mississippi StateSouth CarolinaSEC Network+
6GeorgiaAlabamaSEC Network+
7East CarolinaMemphisPirates All-Access
8Georgia TechPittsburghACC Network Extra
9Texas TechTexas ChristianFox Sports Southwest (Thurs.), Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Fri.), ESPNU (Sat.)
10LouisvilleFlorida StateACC Network Extra
11Oregon Stateat (3) StanfordPac-12 Network
12UC Santa Barbaraat HawaiiBigWest.TV
13North Carolina Stateat (20) North CarolinaACC Network Extra (Thurs., Fri.), ESPNU (Sat.)
14MiamiDukeACC Network Extra
15Baylorat (16) Oklahoma StateFox Sports Oklahoma (Thurs.), Fox Sports Plus (Fri., Sat.)
16Oklahoma State(15) BaylorFox Sports Oklahoma (Thurs.), Fox Sports Plus (Fri., Sat.)
17Mississippiat TennesseeSEC Network (Thurs., Sat.), SEC Network+ (Fri.)
18Texas A&M(4) ArkansasESPNU (Thurs.), SEC Network+ (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.)
19West VirginiaGeorge WashingtonMountaineerTV
20North Carolina(13) North Carolina StateACC Network Extra (Thurs., Fri.), ESPNU (Sat.)
21MissouriFloridaSEC Network+
22Louisiana StateAuburnSEC Network+
23Dallas Baptistat Southern IllinoisNone
24Brigham Youngat Santa ClaraTheW.tv
25Fresno StateNevada-Las VegasNone

Series To Watch

(11) Oregon State at (3) Stanford

There’s a three-way tie atop the Pac-12 with Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA all square at 19-5. UCLA has already won its series against both Oregon State (34-15-1) and Stanford (38-9), so this series is imperative to keep pace with the Bruins going into the final weekend. It also is likely a de facto elimination series for a top-eight overall seed because both the Beavers and Cardinal need the RPI boost that will come with winning this series. That, along with establishing themselves as a top-two team in the conference, should be enough to keep the winner in the mix, while the loser should still be in position to be a regional host. On the field, Stanford has the more dynamic offense, as Andrew Daschbach highlighted Tuesday when he hit four home runs in a win against Cal Poly, and the Cardinal are averaging 6.96 runs per game. Oregon State, meanwhile, stands out on the mound and ranks third in the nation with a 3.03 team ERA.

(4) Arkansas at (18) Texas A&M

This week’s SEC West showdown pits division-leading Arkansas (39-13, 19-8) against Texas A&M (34-18-1, 14-12-1). The Razorbacks hold a one-game lead on Mississippi State (as well as the tiebreaker) but will need a series win in College Station to feel comfortable about clinching the division title. Their status as a top-eight overall seed is all but secured at this point, but the Aggies need a series win here to grab a spot as a regional host. They’ve had mixed results over the last two months and been about a .500 team since winning their first two SEC series. But if they can finish the regular season on a high note, they can still secure postseason baseball in Blue Bell Park.

(13) North Carolina State at (20) North Carolina

NC State (39-14, 16-11) will make the trip along Tobacco Road from Raleigh to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina (37-15, 16-11) in a pivotal rivalry series. The series winner will be in pole position to host a regional but may still need to avoid a flameout at the ACC Tournament to secure a host spot. The Tar Heels have won the last two series and haven’t lost a series to the Wolfpack in Chapel Hill since 2004. UNC is also chasing a third straight ACC Coastal Division title, though it enters the weekend a game behind Georgia Tech in the standings. NC State, however, is coming in with some momentum and is 5-2 in May.

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Pac-12 Stock Watch

Team-by-team analysis for every team in the Pac-12, as well as the trajectory of the program this season.

(15) Baylor at (16) Oklahoma State

The Big 12 title comes down to this series and Texas Christian’s visit to No. 9 Texas Tech. Baylor (33-13, 14-6) enters the final weekend holding a half-game lead on Texas Tech in the Big 12 standings and needs a series win to feel good about its chances to hold on to the title. It also needs that title if it's going to host a regional, because its RPI currently is only No. 26. A series win at Oklahoma State (30-17, 12-9), a likely regional host itself, would help push that number toward the top 16. But that’s easier said than done right now. The Cowboys have won five of their last six games—all away from home against Oregon State and Oklahoma. This will also be an emotional weekend for Oklahoma State as it looks to close Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on a high note. The Cowboys are in position to play postseason baseball at the 38-year old stadium, but this will be the final regular season series they play at their longtime home before next season moving into O’Brate Stadium.

Army at Navy, Patriot League championship series

It’ll be one of the best rivalries in college sports in the Patriot League Tournament championship series, as Army (32-23) travels to Navy (38-15) with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line. It’s a rematch of last year’s championship series, also held in Annapolis, which the Black Knights won. Army won the season series, going 3-2 against Navy, including a series win in Annapolis last month. The Midshipmen will turn to ace righthander Noah Song (11-0, 1.03), who leads the nation in strikeouts with 150 in 87 innings, to start the series off. He is 2-0 against the Black Knights this season, but they are 3-0 in all other games against the Midshipmen and have a strong pitching staff of their own led by seniors Daniel Burggraaf (5-2, 2.96) and Tyler Giovinco (8-4, 3.29). Army is seeking its second straight regionals appearance, while Navy is looking for its second in four years.

Columbia at Harvard, Ivy League championship series

The Ivy League title comes down to Harvard (25-13, 14-7) and Columbia (19-21, 13-8). The Crimson won the regular season series, clinching it with a 10-9, walk-off win in 14 innings in the series finale. Harvard, led by first baseman Pat McColl (.403/.472/.742, 11 HR), is aiming for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005, while Columbia is looking to repeat as Ivy League champion and make its fifth trip to regionals in seven years.

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