#11 UCLA has dropped consecutive weekend series’ to San Jose State and Nebraska, and hopes to turn it around this weekend. St. Mary’s (CA) and Georgia travel to Los Angeles to participate in the series. It would have been great to see UCLA and St. Mary’s face off on Friday, as we would have seen Gerrit Cole go head to head with Mark Anderson, who has had consecutive stellar outings against Oregon and UC-Irvine, throwing a complete game shutout against the previously unbeaten Anteaters. UCLA swept the three games last year against Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, and USC, and could very well get it together and sweep again this year, as they’re going against three winless pitchers. USC hasn’t been playing great baseball, only amassing 9 hits against Cal State Fullerton last weekend and are losers of 8 in a row, including a sweep at Rice. Georgia is a question mark this week as they lost their left fielder Johnathan Taylor last Sunday to a serious neck injury, but picked up wins against Mercer and Alabama to improve to 5-8. They’ll have to face Gerrit Cole and Austin Wood in their first two games of the weekend, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep their momentum going after such a big loss this weekend. With the Lakers not playing a home game at the same time as the game Sunday as they did last year, the event could improve on the 14,588 who attended the Sunday action last season.
AT&T Park Tournament
Rather than listen to me talk about it, Cal Head Coach Dave Esquer was on the Razor and Mr. T show today talking not only about the Tournament, but more about reinstatement and his thoughts on Rice’s Anthony Rendon, who is playing in the tournament.
#13 Fullerton at #10 LSU
Fullerton is used to starting out of the gate slowly and then turning it on during Big West play. That’s not the case this season, asthey Titans are 8-3 to start the year with a series win at TCU and now travel to Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge to face the 11-1 LSU Tigers. I have a feeling these will be some low scoring contests as no starting pitcher in this series has an ERA over 3 to start the year. Even with the decent start, Fullerton still has a few question marks. One of those is the question of who is going to step up at the catcher position? They have only had 5 hits out of the catcher position all season, all coming off the bat of Jared Deacon. And speaking of hitting, the Titans have 0 homeruns on the year compared to LSU’s 14. Will be interesting to see if LSU’s bats can keep those power numbers up against the elite pitching Cal State Fullerton will bring at them, as LSU has only faced the likes of Wake Forest, Holy Cross and Princeton in their weekend series, while Fullerton has played much tougher competition.
Cal State Bakersfield at #4 South Carolina
DC Legg and the Cal State Bakersfield Runners are steamrolling into Columbia, with an 11-2 record, 10 of those wins coming in a row until their loss this week to Fresno State. The Runners gave up only two runs in four games last weekend, so it’ll be interesting to say the least to see if they can pick up a game in SEC territory against the defending champs. I said in our Sunday chat a few weeks back that you shouldn’t be surprised if this team takes one off South Carolina, and with their current streak I think most would believe that it’s possible after taking a game off Arizona State last weekend. South Carolina is 9-1 coming off a series split against Clemson, and will look to stop the Runners run as they throw the 3-0 Michael Roth against Mike McCarthy on Friday.
#6 Virginia at #8 Clemson
In the other Top 15 matchup of the weekend, Virgnia travels to Clemson in their first weekend of ACC play. For this game and the full slate of ACC games this weekend, check out Brian’s ACC preview and predictions for the weekend.