Red-hot teams face off in league play
No. 9 ASU started the weekend right with a 17-inning victory
Pac-10 play started earlier than normal with games on Thursday night due to Easter Sunday, but those league battles are far from finished with two games left to contest this weekend. A surging Oklahoma State team looks to climb in the Big 12 standings in a tough league series at No. 7 Texas A&M. ACC Coastal Division opponents clash in Chapel Hill, while top-ranked Virginia looks to tame a pesky NC State squad.
Here's a quick look at some of the top Division I series this weekend:
No. 9 Arizona State at No. 19 California
The Sun Devils and Golden Bears were already one of the most highly-touted match-ups of the weekend, but Thursday night’s 17-inning marathon which ASU won 6-4 should put even more of an emphasis on this series. The two teams are now tied for second place with UCLA at 9-4 in the Pac-10 standings behind league-leading Oregon State. The ASU win also snapped Cal’s five-game winning streak. The series features one of the top offensive teams in the league with Arizona State (.337), while Cal is the second-ranked team in ERA at 2.74. The Sun Devils lead the all-time series 104-57.
- Schedule: April 22 at 5:30 p.m. ET; April 23 at 4 p.m. ET
No. 20 UCLA at Stanford
After dropping five consecutive Pac-10 games, the Cardinal ended the skid with a 7-4 win against the Bruins on Thursday night behind a solid performance from RHP Mark Appel and three homers in the contest. UCLA entered the week as the league’s top performer on the mound with a 2.26 ERA and 334 strikeouts. UCLA third baseman Cody Regis is riding a 14-game hitting streak into Friday night, while Stanford third baseman Stephen Piscotty leads the Cardinal with a .350 batting average. Friday’s pitching match-up will feature UCLA’s Trevor Bauer (7-1, 1.47 ERA, 110K) and Stanford’s Jordan Pries (4-3, 3.26 ERA). Bauer ranks second in the nation with 13.43 strikeouts per nine innings. Stanford leads the all-time series 149-101.
- Schedule: April 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET; April at 4 p.m. ET
No. 17 Oklahoma State at No. 7 Texas A&M
Oklahoma State has won seven of its last eight games and entered its weekend series holding down the third-place spot in the Big 12 standings with a 10-5 mark. The Pokes have risen toward the top by winning four consecutive league series for the first time since 2008. Texas A&M has lost three of its last five contests with two of those losses coming to non-conference nationally ranked foes, but remains in second place in the Big 12 standings with an 11-4 mark. OSU enters the series with the Big 12’s second-best batting average (.308), but the Aggies will counter with a pitching staff that leads the league with a 2.32 ERA. OSU’s Dane Phillips enters the weekend with a Big 12-best .405 batting average. Texas A&M right-hander John Stilson (3-1, 1.28 ERA) will face OSU lefty Mike Strong 3-0 (3.27 ERA) in Friday night’s opening contest. Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 34-27, including a 24-22 advantage since the schools became began Big 12 play in 1997. The Aggies have won five consecutive meetings with the Cowboys dating back to 2009.
- Schedule: April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET; April 23 at 3:05 p.m. ET; April 24 at 2:05 p.m. ET
No. 24 Miami at No. 10 North Carolina
The Tar Heels look to bounce back from their three-game series loss to NC State last weekend as they host Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division foe Miami beginning April 22. UNC has won 19 consecutive home games this season, while Miami has lost six in a row in Chapel Hill dating back to 2005. Miami (13-4) and North Carolina (12-6) are third and fourth, respectively, in the divisional standings behind Virginia and Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes are coming of a series sweep of Maryland, and have won 11 of their last 12 contests. Miami leadoff hitter Zeke DeVoss leads the squad with a .323 batting average and 25 stolen bases, while UNC third baseman Colin Moran tops the Tar Heels with a .359 batting average, seven homers and 52 RBIs. Miami LHP Bryan Radziewski (6-2, 2.96 ERA) will face UNC right-hander Patrick Johnson (6-1, 3.34 ERA) on the mound on Friday. Miami holds a 22-20-1 advantage in the all-time series.
- Schedule: April 22 at 7 p.m. ET; April 23 at 2 p.m. ET; April 24 at 1 p.m. ET
NC State at No. 1 Virginia
Something’s got to give as these two red-hot teams meet in Charlottesville this weekend. The Wolfpack surprised then-No. 5 North Carolina last weekend, sweeping the Tar Heels in three games. NC State is riding a five-game winning streak, and looks to gain ground in the ACC Atlantic Division from its third-place spot. The top-ranked Cavaliers have won seven consecutive entering the series, and hold first place in the league’s Coastal Division. The Cavaliers have won 12 consecutive conference series, dating back to the series loss to the Pack in April 2010. Virginia tops the ACC with a 2.26 ERA, while the Cavaliers rank third in the league with a .315 batting average. NC State’s Pratt Maynard leads the Wolfpack at the plate with a.359 batting average. NC State holds a 119-66-1 edge in the all-time series.
- Schedule: April 22 at 7 p.m. ET; April 23 at 1 p.m. ET; April 24 at 1 p.m. ET