DI Baseball Weekend Preview
Miami hosts Florida State while Oklahoma travels to Austin
No. 8 Florida State at No. 19 Miami (Fla.)
The Sunshine State will be the site of another huge rivalry series as the Seminoles and Hurricanes battle in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown beginning Friday. Florida State is riding a seven-game winning streak, and sits on top of the league’s Atlantic Division standings by three games with a 14-7 mark. The Hurricanes are also playing stellar ball, and have won 14 of their last 16 games. Miami is in third place in the ACC Coastal Division standings, two-and-a-half games behind No. 1 Virginia. The Seminoles are one of the top run-scoring teams in the nation, crossing the plate an average of 7.8 times per game, which is ninth in the nation. FSU also leads Division I in doubles (106) and base on balls (272). The Hurricanes’ strength is their pitching – they entered the week ranked eighth nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (8.9) and ninth in hits allowed per nine innings (7.34). FSU junior lefty Sean Gilmartin (7-1, 1.38 ERA), who is coming off a 13-strikeout complete-game performance against Duke, will face Miami freshman left-hander Brad Radziewski (6-2, 3.23 ERA) in Friday’s series opener. Florida State leads the all-time series 138-120-4.
Schedule: April 29 at 7 p.m. ET (CSS); April 30 at 7 p.m. ET (CSS); May 1 at 1 p.m. ET (CSS).
No. 13 Oklahoma at No. 5 Texas
The Sooners and Longhorns will clash in one of the most-anticipated Big 12 series of the season, as third-place Oklahoma looks to gain some ground in the standings against second-place Texas. Oklahoma is riding a four-game winning streak, including a 7-4 victory at No. 7 TCU on April 26. The Sooners are the top hitting team in the Big 12 with a .334 batting average, led by third baseman Garrett Buechele, who ranks second in the league with a .395 average and paces the conference with 1.24 RBI per game. Texas will do its best to temper Oklahoma’s offensive prowess with the league’s top pitching staff, which also ranks fourth in the nation with a 2.22 ERA and boasts a .196 opponent batting average. Friday night’s pitching match-up will feature Texas junior right-hander Taylor Jungmann (9-0, 1.00 ERA) against Oklahoma senior right-hander Michael Rocha (8-1, 1.19 ERA). Offensively, Erich Weiss leads the Longhorns with a .384 batting average, and enters the series on a 13-game hitting streak, in which he is batting .431. Texas head coach AugieGarrido will be looking for his 1,800th win during the series. Texas holds a 120-40-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Schedule: April 29 at 6 p.m. CT; April 30 at 11:30 a.m. CT (Fox Sports Southwest); May 1 at 1 p.m. CT (ESPNU).
No. 9 Oregon State at No. 20 UCLA
Two of the best pitching staffs in the nation will meet in a three-game series between two of the top three teams in the Pac-10 Conference. Oregon State has lost just two games in league action, but just one-and-a-half games separate the Beavers and third-place UCLA in the standings. The Bruins pace the Pac-10 with a 2.35 ERA and leads Division I in strikeouts per nine innings (10.3) and hits allowed per nine innings (6.09). OSU boasts a 2.80 ERA, and has won 12 of its last 13 contests. The two squads are just three points apart in team batting with OSU having the edging with a .274 average. RHP Gerritt Cole (4-4, 2.78 ERA) will likely start for the Bruins on Friday’s contest, tangling with Oregon State RHP Sam Gaviglio (7-1, 1.68 ERA). UCLA’s Trevor Bauer should start on Saturday, who will bring the nation’s top strikeout count (127) to the mound against the Beavers. UCLA leads the all-time series 31-21.
Schedule: April 29 at 6 p.m. PT; April 30 at 2 p.m. PT; May 1 at 1 p.m. PT.
Auburn at No. 3 South Carolina
Both Auburn and South Carolina will be battling for ground in their respective divisions in this Southeastern Conference cross-divisional clash. The Tigers are tied for first-place in the West with Arkansas and Mississippi, while the Gamecocks are knotted with Florida and Vanderbilt for first place in the East. South Carolina ranks second in the SEC with a 2.63 ERA, while Auburn has struggled on the mound this season with a last-place 4.99 ERA. The Tigers are third in the league with a .303 batting average, while the Gamecocks check in at fifth at a .293 clip. Auburn tops the SEC with 90 doubles, and ranks third in slugging percentage (.444). South Carolina sophomore first baseman Christian Walker, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, ranks third in the league with a .374 batting average and is second in slugging percentage (.639) and RBI (43). Auburn RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.90 ERA) and South Carolina LHP Michael Roth (9-1, 1.26 ERA) will match up in Friday’s meeting. South Carolina leads the series 34-19.
Schedule: April 29 at 7 p.m. ET (SportSouth); April 30 at 7 p.m. ET (SportSouth); May 1 at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Hawaii at No. 15 Fresno State
The top two squads in the Western Athletic Conference will go head-to-head this weekend as Hawaii heads to Fresno State to start an eight-game road trip. The Rainbows hold just a half-game lead over the Bulldogs in the WAC standings after posting a 7-1 record against WAC opponents. Fresno State and Hawaii boast the top two pitching staffs in the league as the Bulldogs carry a 2.41 ERA into the series, and the Rainbows take a 3.18 ERA into the weekend. Hawaii ranks 13th in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings with 2.51 – the best of any team in the league. Junior second baseman Kolten Wong paces the Rainbows offensively and is second in the WAC with a .400 batting average, five homers and 33 RBI. Fresno State senior pitcher Greg Gonzalez tops the WAC in ERA (1.31) and strikeouts (77) will meet Hawai’i RHP Matt Sisto (3-4, 2.48 ERA) in Friday’s contest. The Bulldogs lead the overall series against Hawai'i 73-48.
Schedule: April 26 at 6:05 p.m. PT; April 30 at 6:05 p.m. PT; May 1 at 1:05 p.m. PT; May 2 at 6:05 p.m. PT.