After nearly a year-long wait the college baseball season got underway this weekend. COVID-19 cut the 2020 season short and with the adjusted rules, many familiar faces return. It was a busy week in the league as we take a look at the headlines.
It was an up and down weekend for the league. Three teams had huge weekends in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, TX. Some others struggled and lost their opening series. The new rankings saw college baseball’s top conference dominate the headlines.
- Alabama: 3-0 vs McNeese State
- No.2 Arkansas: 3-0 vs No.10 Texas Tech, No.19 Texas, No.14 TCU
- No.21 Auburn: 3-0 vs Presbyterian
- No.7 Florida: 1-2 vs No.6 Miami
- Georgia: 3-1 vs Evansville
- Kentucky: Idle (COVID)
- No.11 LSU: 2-1 vs Air Force (1-1), Louisiana Tech (1-0)
- No.1 Ole Miss: 3-0 vs No.14 TCU, No.10 Texas Tech, No.19 Texas
- No.5 Mississippi State: 2-1 vs No.19 Texas (1-0), No.14 TCU (0-1), No.10 Texas Tech (1-0)
- Missouri: 1-3 vs Grand Canyon
- No.17 South Carolina: 3-0 vs Dayton
- No.18 Tennessee: 3-0 vs Georgia Southern
- Texas A&M: 1-2 vs Xavier
- No.3 Vanderbilt: 2-0 vs Wright State
In the midst of COVID and weather, only Kentucky and Vanderbilt were affected. Kentucky had to cancel their series against North Carolina. And Vanderbilt only got two of their three games against Wright State in.
Outside of a few teams the rest of the conference took care of business. Seven teams turned in undefeated weekends. South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt went perfect on the weekend against their lesser competition, moving up in the rankings along the way.
Four teams in the West went perfect. Arkansas and Ole Miss defeated the Big 12’s best in Arlington. Alabama and Auburn also started the season strong with perfect weekends. The updated rankings according to D1Baseball.com are below.
- No.1 Ole Miss: 3-0 +5
- No.2 Arkansas: 3-0 +6
- No.3 Vanderbilt: 2-0 +1
- No.5 Mississippi State: 2-1 +2
- No.7 Florida: 1-2 -6
- No.11 LSU: 2-1 +1
- No.17 South Carolina: 3-0 +1
- No.18 Tennessee: 3-0 +1
- No.21 Auburn: 3-0 +2
Rebels Rise to No.1 in Rankings, SEC Dominates Big12 in State Farm Showdown
The State Farm College Baseball Showdown pitted the preseason top three teams in the Big 12 against the preseason top three in the SEC West. The SEC teams dominated the Texas teams all weekend. The final tally was 8-1 in favor of the SEC, with TCU getting the lone win against Mississippi State.
Ole Miss cruised through the weekend with a mix of excellent pitching and clutch hitting. They defeated TCU 7-3, Texas Tech 5-4 in a tight one, and Texas 8-1 on Monday. They’ve vaulted to the No.1 spot in the rankings for the first time in the D1Baseball era.
Arkansas likewise dominated the weekend. They opened the weekend with a back and forth thriller against Texas Tech in a 13-9 win. The Razorbacks entered the ninth inning down one but used a huge five run inning to secure the win. Solid pitching secured the final two games in a 4-0 win against Texas and 4-1 win against TCU.
Mississippi State nearly had the perfect weekend as well. The Bulldogs won 8-3 in the opener and 11-5 against Texas Tech. The lone loss came 2-3 against TCU in a game that came down to the wire. Mississippi State was without two starting pitchers on the weekend.
No.7 Florida Drops Series to No.6 Miami
The other premiere series of the weekend took place in the Sunshine State. The series opener was a thriller that came down to the wire in a game the Hurricanes nearly stole. Tommy Mace pitched a gem but his high pitch count kept him to five innings. Miami scored four runs in the ninth but came up short in a 7-5 Florida win.
Game two was even more exciting. Florida took a 5-0 lead in the first inning and entered the seventh inning with an 8-3 lead. Sloppy pitching by the Gators allowed Miami to score five including three in the ninth to send it to extras. Miami took a two run lead in the 13th which Florida nearly overcame but came up just short in a 10-9 loss.
The Final game on Sunday nearly featured another miraculous comeback. Miami jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first four innings. Florida slowly chipped away to make it 8-6 and had the go ahead run at the plate in the eighth but ended in a double play.
Missouri, Texas A&M Sluggish In Openers
The biggest losers of the week came by Missouri and Texas A&M. The Tigers got hit all over the place by Grand Canyon. The Antelopes combined for 43 hits and 36 runs over the four games. Missouri pitching has a lot of questions that need to be addressed or they’re in for a long season.
Texas A&M pitching got eaten alive in the first game as ace Bryce Miller couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. The Aggies gave up 13 hits in a 10-6 loss. The story of the second game was a lack of hitting as the bats were held scoreless on three hits in a 2-0 loss. In the final game of the both pitching and hitting got it right as Texas A&M thumped the Musketeers in a 15-0 win.
Both teams will want quick recoveries, particularly Texas A&M. The Tigers have an idle midweek before a four game series against Omaha gets started on Friday. The Aggies head to Texas for the Round Rock Classic where they’ll face Baylor, Oklahoma and No.21 Auburn.
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