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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (5/3/19)



Top 25 Schedule

Rank Team Opponent TV
1 UCLA at (20) Arizona State Pac-12 Network
2 Stanford at Southern California Pac-12 Network
3 Vanderbilt at South Carolina SEC Network+ (Fri., Sun.), ESPNU (Sat.)
4 Oregon State Oklahoma State Pac-12 Network Plus (Fri.), Pac-12 Network (Sat., Sun.)
5 Arkansas at Kentucky SEC Network+
6 Mississippi State at (15) Texas A&M SEC Network+ (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.)
7 Louisville at Notre Dame ACC Network Extra
8 Georgia Florida SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
9 East Carolina at Cincinnati Bearcats TV
10 Georgia Tech Western Carolina ACC Network Extra
11 Texas Tech at Oklahoma Fox College Sports (Fri.), ESPNU (Sun.)
12 Louisiana State (18) Mississippi SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
13 UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge BigWest.TV
14 North Carolina Finals break  
15 Texas A&M (6) Mississippi State SEC Network+ (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.)
16 Baylor Kansas State Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Fri., Sun.), Fox Sports Southwest (Sat.)
17 West Virginia Texas Christian Mountaineer All-Access (Fri., Sun.), AT&T Sportsnet (Sat.)
18 Mississippi at (12) Louisiana State SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.), ESPN2 (Sun.)
19 UC Irvine at Iowa Big Ten Network Plus
20 Arizona State (1) UCLA Pac-12 Network
21 North Carolina State Radford ACC Network Extra
22 Indiana at Illinois Big Ten Network Plus
23 Miami Bethune-Cookman ACC Network Extra
24 Missouri at Tennessee SEC Network Plus (Fri., Sun.), SEC Network (Sat.)
25 Brigham Young Loyola Marymount TheW.tv

Series To Watch

(1) UCLA at (20) Arizona State

It’ll be the nation’s top pitching staff against the nation’s top offense this weekend at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in a fascinating contrast in styles. UCLA (35-7, 14-4) leads the nation with a 2.62 ERA and righthander Ryan Garcia (5-0, 1.10, 69 SO, 49 IP) has been electric since returning from an injury that cost him the first month of the season. But the Bruins will have their work cut out for them against the Sun Devils (32-10, 13-8), who rank second in the nation with nine runs per game. Arizona State’s offense features center fielder Hunter Bishop (.369/.498/.815, 18 HR) and first baseman Spencer Torkelson (.354/.463/.669, 15 HR), but is truly dangerous 1-through-9. The Sun Devils have been in a funk for the last few weeks and playing the top-ranked team in the country isn’t an ideal way to get out of it, but they are 25-3 at home this season.

(6) Mississippi State at (15) Texas A&M

This series was scheduled to start Thursday but storms in College Station led to the opener being postponed to a Friday doubleheader. It’s an important series for both teams as they fight for position in the SEC West race. The Bulldogs (36-9, 13-8) come in with momentum after sweeping Georgia last weekend and are aiming for a top-eight overall seed. The Aggies (31-15-1, 11-9-1) are looking to get back on track after getting swept last weekend at Mississippi. They’re still in the mix to host a regional, but it’s important for them to take advantage of being at Blue Bell Park this weekend and regain some ground in the SEC West race.

(18) Mississippi at (12) Louisiana State

The SEC West produces another premium matchup as Ole Miss (30-16, 13-8), fresh off a sweep of Texas A&M that vaulted it right back into the hosting mix, travels to LSU (29-16, 13-8), which hasn’t been at its best the last few weeks, but keeps winning series. The Tigers will again be without freshman righthander Cole Henry in their rotation as he continues to deal with soreness. That leaves the trio of righthanders Ma’Khail Hillard, Eric Walker and Landon Marceaux tasked with slowing down the Rebels’ potent offense. This series also marks the first time Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco will face his son Drew, who is a freshman infielder at LSU.

(22) Indiana at Illinois

The Big Ten’s top two teams in RPI will face off this weekend in Champaign. Indiana (30-14, 11-4) is a half-game behind first-place Michigan in the conference standings and still harbors hopes of hosting a regional. Winning a road series against a top-25 RPI team in Illinois would be a big boost. The Illini (29-15, 8-7), meanwhile have all the metrics they need for an NCAA Tournament bid and are now looking to get back into the conference title race. Both teams are coming off strong series wins last weekend – Indiana against Minnesota and Illinois at Nebraska – making this weekend even more intriguing.

Florida Atlantic at Southern Mississippi

These two teams have routinely been two of the best in Conference USA in recent years and they come into this weekend holding the top two spots again. Southern Miss (30-13, 17-4) holds a two-game lead on FAU (30-14, 15-6) and could this weekend effectively its third straight CUSA title. FAU is hoping to keep this race alive down the stretch but also boost its NCAA Tournament resume, which currently has it on the bubble. This is the Owls’ last chance to impress before the CUSA Tournament and they’ll have to do it in a tough environment against the hottest team in the country – the Golden Eagles have the nation’s longest active winning streak at nine games.

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