The Wildcats were riding high 2 weeks ago with consecutive series victories, that is before they ran into UCLA’s Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, and weren’t able to recover this past weekend as they were almost swept by USC when visiting Dedeaux Field this past weekend and squeaking out a late victory with a 6-run 8th inning. They travel to Tempe, where they were victorious in their last meeting 2 weeks ago, 4-2. Arizona State is 7-1 since, including their most impressive road sweep of UCLA this weekend. Zack MacPhee was sick with the flu in the last matchup, and Drew Maggi laid an egg at the plate. If these two can get on base effectively in Tuesday’s matchup, I see Arizona State taking this game handily.
#9 Louisville vs. Ohio State
Louisville comes in hot after going 4-0 last week against Kentucky and in a weekend set against Rutgers where they were absolutely dominant, including a 24-6 victory in the final game of the series, and are looking to lock their spot as as regional host with solid play over the next few weeks. Ohio State is reeling with 2 straight series losses against Michigan and Penn State, but still are only a game out of first place in the Big 10. A win in this two game set can be a good confidence boost for Ohio State, who will most likely need to win the Big 10 tournament to get to the postseason since they are 78th in RPI and a terrible strength of schedule. They could use these games to find another starting pitcher to rely on since Alex Wimmers won’t be 100% for a few weeks with his strained hamstring.
SE Louisiana vs. #17 LSU
Plain and simple, LSU just needs a victory for confidence purposes after 7 straight games, including a midweek contest at home against soon to be Division III squad New Orleans. They face Sonny Gray and the Vanderbilt Commodores over the weekend, so they need to dispatch SE Louisiana. Their last two wins came against another Southland Conference opponent in Northwestern State, who has almost an identical conference record as SE Louisiana.
Portland at #21 Oregon
Portland is riding high with 10 straight wins and an 11-1 record in conference. Portland will most likely throw Chris Johnson, who got the win against Washington three weeks ago by tossing 6 shutout innings. They will host conference rival San Diego at home for the de facto West Coast Conference Title Series. Oregon will probably throw Joey Housey, who shut down Oregon State last week in their Civil War matchup. The Ducks come in winning 9 of their last 12 and travel to Corvallis to take on Oregon State over the weekend to try and finish off the Beavers postseason hopes.
Texas State at #27 Rice
This game will be a great test for the Rice Owls as they try and continue their current hot streak after sweeping East Carolina over the weekend. The biggest problem with Rice this season has been the lack of protection for Anthony Rendon. Diego Seastrunk, Rick Hague, and Steven Sultzbaugh have all had disappointing campaigns. Texas State is leading the Southland Conference. Kyle Livingstone leads the offensive attack with a .380 average while hitting 7 homers and driving in 43 runs. This game could be a preview of a possible regional matchup if Rice gains enough steam to host a regional or both schools get matched up in Austin or Fort Worth.