What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (Opening Weekend)
Top 25 Schedule
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)||TV||Notes|
|1||Vanderbilt||vs. No. 8 Michigan, Connecticut, Cal Poly||MLB Network, MLB.com||MLB4 Tournament, Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|2||Louisville||at Mississippi||SEC Network+|
|3||Arizona State||Villanova, No. 8 Michigan (Sat.)||Pac-12 Plus|
|5||Miami||Rutgers||ACC Network Extra|
|6||Texas Tech||Houston Baptist (Fri., Sat.), Northern Colorado (Sat., Sun.)||Fox Sports Southwest (Fri.), TexasTech.TV|
|8||Michigan||vs. No. 1 Vanderbilt, Cal Poly, No. 3 Arizona State, Connecticut||MLB Network, MLB.com, Pac-12 Plus, MLB.com||MLB 4 Tournament, Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|9||Mississippi State||Wright State||SEC Network+|
|11||Arkansas||Eastern Illinois||SEC Network+|
|12||Florida State||Niagara||ACC Network Extra|
|13||Auburn||Illinois-Chicago||SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)|
|14||Louisiana State||Indiana||SEC Network+|
|15||Duke||Army||ACC Network Extra|
|16||Oklahoma State||at Grand Canyon||ESPN3 (Fri.)|
|17||North Carolina State||James Madison||ACC Network Extra|
|18||North Carolina||Middle Tennessee State||ACC Network Extra (Fri., Sun.)|
|19||Oklahoma||vs. Virginia||None||Wahoo Classic, Penscaola|
|20||Wake Forest||Seton Hall (Fri.), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Sat. DH), Illinois (Sun.)||ACC Network Extra (Fri.)||Wake Forest Tournament|
|21||Georgia Tech||Saint Peter's (Fri.), Cincinnati (Sat.), St. John's (Sun.)||ACC Network Extra||Atlanta Challenge|
|23||Dallas Baptist||South Dakota State||DBUPatriots.com|
|24||Ohio State||vs. St. Joseph's (Fri.), Pittsburgh (Sat.), Indiana State (Sun.)||FloLive||Snowbird Classic, Port Charlotte, Fla.|
|25||East Carolina||William & Mary||ECUPirates.com|
Tournaments to watch
MLB 4, Scottsdale, Ariz.
No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 8 Michigan, Cal Poly, Connecticut
The tournament, now in its second year, has rapidly become college baseball’s best kickoff event. The main draw this year is an Opening Day rematch of the College World Series finals between Vanderbilt and Michigan, but Friday’s opener of Cal Poly vs. UConn is not to be dismissed either. The Commodores and Wolverines both have significant expectations this season and will be looking to get off to a strong start. The Mustangs and Huskies, meanwhile, will be aiming for an upset and an RPI boost for their NCAA Tournament resumes.
Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic, Surprise, Ariz.
Brigham Young, Gonzaga, New Mexico, Oregon State
Oregon State’s annual season-opening tournament is always a solid one. This year doesn’t have the cachet it has the last few years when the Beavers have been one of the best teams in the country, but it has plenty of intrigue. Oregon State is entering a new era as Mitch Canham takes over as coach and there’s been plenty of turnover on the field as well, none more notable than the departure of catcher Adley Rutschman, the 2019 Player of the Year. The new-look Beavers are the main draw, but BYU and Gonzaga are two of the favorites in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars edged the Bulldogs by one game in the standings last season and this fall brought in the No. 25 ranked recruiting class. With so much newness for several of these teams, this tournament is one to keep an eye on throughout the weekend.
Series to watch
No. 2 Louisville at Mississippi
These two teams deliver a good series every time they meet. Louisville has national championship aspirations this year thanks to a strong group of returners from a team that last year reached its bracket final at the College World Series. Ole Miss, meanwhile, has a lot of new faces in its lineup after a large core of last year’s super regional team was lost to the draft. It brought in the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country and this will be the first look at that new-look lineup. The pitching figures to be strong in this one with lefthanders Reid Detmers and Doug Nikhazy squaring off on Friday night, followed by righthanders Bobby Miller and Gunnar Hoglund. Throw in the closeness of the two programs – Louisville coach Dan McDonnell was a part of Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco’s staff for six seasons – and you have a fun Opening Weekend.
Indiana at No. 14 Louisiana State
This is a challenging opening series for LSU. The Hoosiers are coming off a Big Ten title and figure to again be strong, despite the fact they have a lot of pieces to replace this year. LSU has a new look of its own, especially in the lineup. The Tigers are going to lean on their pitching staff early in the season while the offense rounds into form. If their rotation of Cole Henry, Landon Marceaux and A.J. Labas can deliver this weekend against a powerful Indiana lineup, that would be a good sign going forward for LSU.
No. 19 Oklahoma vs. Virginia in Pensacola
The Sooners and Cavaliers are meeting in the Wahoo Classic at Blue Wahoos Stadium, the home of Double-A Pensacola. Oklahoma comes into this season with high hopes thanks to a large returning cast led by starters Cade Cavalli and Levi Prater. Virginia is looking to get back to the NCAA Tournament after missing regionals the last two years and has the overall talent to do so. This looks like it may be a low-scoring series and whichever team wins it will head home feeling good about where they stand.