College Baseball Daily throughout the season will be providing our Quick Hits on games throughout the country. Special thanks to Brian Foley and Mark Rafferty for contributing to this report. As always, follow us on Twitter @CB_Daily for instant reaction and the best up to minute coverage on college baseball in the country. We will be hosting a Live Chat tonight at 8pm Eastern time.
- The season is winding down, and many teams are working on postseason bids. The Big 12 looks to have at least four teams that are already set to get bids, but the rest of the league is battling it out to get there. Texas Tech, Kansas State and Nebraska are the closest three that appear to be either headed in, or in the extreme front of the bubble. Kansas and Baylor are on the fringe, and headed in different directions. Missouri, at 129 in the RPI, are pretty much out of the race, barring a conference tournament miracle.
- Texas Tech finished a nine game road trip that saw highs and lows. The first six games saw wins against UTSA, Texas and Texas State. They lost the series to the Longhorns, 1-2, but the Saturday win in Austin was a huge RPI boost, as well as the win against Texas State in San Marcos. They suffered a close sweep in Manhattan, which put the Wildcats one spot above Tech in the RPI projections. The only positive for the Red Raiders was that the games weren’t at home. Unfortunately, no loss is a good loss when trying for a post season bid. The Red Raiders are 2-13 against teams ranked higher in the RPI, including sweeps by TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas State, but have only lost one midweek game, meaning they are not losing many games they should win.
- Kansas State has lost 12 games so far by less than three runs. That obviously means they aren’t getting blown out when they do lose. The sweep against Texas Tech will help tremendously because it improves their conference record, and will help give them a higher seed in the conference tournament. Looking at their results up to this weekend, they have a huge conference series win against Oklahoma, including a win against Michael Rocha. They lost a pair of series against Baylor and Nebraska, teams Texas Tech has secured series victories against. The losses that will hurt the Wildcats the most are the pair of games they dropped to Long Island, a team ranked in the 190’s in RPI. Their wins against Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Creighton and Texas Tech will help give them a better chance to make the field in June.
- Nebraska has only won one conference series, against Kansas State, but has avoided too many bad losses. They are 7-12 against higher ranked teams, which means they have only dropped four games against those lower ranked, all on the road (two against Sam Houston State, and two against Kansas). One bad thing I see for the Huskers is that unlike Texas Tech and Kansas State, they still haven’t played Texas or Texas A&M. Their remaining conference schedule is the hardest of the three teams mentioned, a huge disadvantage in comparison.
- If only one of these three teams makes it into the NCAA tournament, my prediction would be Texas Tech. They are all ranked fairly close together, but when you compare what each team has left on the schedule, the advantage is with Texas Tech. Of their remaining contests, their only road games are a pair in Michigan, and a three-game series at Missouri. Kansas State has a series in Stillwater against Oklahoma State, and a pair of games at Kansas and at Cal State-Bakersfield. Nebraska has to play at Creighton and travel to play Texas A&M.
- As for Kansas and Baylor, the Bears have a tough remaining schedule, and lost some midweek games they should have won. Wins against Rice, Texas State, and Kansas State are overshadows by the games they’ve dropped to UNLV, UTSA, Lamar and Sam Houston State. The series loss to Missouri this weekend is a major blow to the team’s chances. Kansas has played exceptionally well during Big 12 play, but has lost too many non-conference games against weaker opponents. With the race to get the final bids as close as it seems, those are games that should’ve been wins in the long run.
Other News Around the Country
- Stanford pulled out a dramatic victory over UCLA today in Palo Alto. The Cardinal trailed 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, but picked up four runs, capped off with a bases-loaded walk-off single from Kenny Diekroeger. The Bruins picked up a pair of quick outs, but allowed either a hit or walk to the final seven Cardinal batters. Jake Stewart kicked off the scoring with an RBI single, followed by a two-run double from Zach Jones. After a pair of pitching changes and two walks, Diekroeger worked a full count before lacing a single into right, scoring the winning run.
- We had an ACC coach state to us that Danny Hultzen would go undefeated for the entire season but that coach was wrong as Hultzen gave up six runs (two earned) as the Virginia Cavaliers dropped the first game of a doubleheader 6-2 to NC State. Rob Chamra from NC State was the star of the game by giving up four hits and two first inning runs as he lasted seven innings. Noone in their right mind could have seen the Cavaliers continue to roll through their schedule without have a couple of stumbling blocks. The Cavs did bounce back in the second game with a 3-1 win in the second game behind a good start from Tyler Wilson. He went 6.1 innings scattering six hits while giving up one run.
- The biggest shock was that North Carolina got swept in a doubleheader by the visiting Miami Hurricanes by scores of 13-6 in ten innings and 5-3 in the second game of the day between the schools.
- Also, another upset was with UAB sweeping a doubleheader against Rice by scores of 10-8 and 8-7.