Conference USA Weekend Preview (May 2nd-4th)

ConferenceUSALogoThe CUSA season is getting close the end and things are starting to shake up as you would expect with the Rice Owls atop the conference. However, the conference has been balanced and several teams remain in the mix for the regular season crown. With just three weeks left there will be some interesting matchups as some teams try to pad their postseason resume.

FIU (11-10, 31-12) @ East Carolina (13-8, 28-18)

FIU has been great out of conference and struggled in CUSA play, but still, their 30 wins are impressive. They stepped out of the conference last weekend and got a 4-game sweep over St. Peter’s. They remain first in the conference in average (.299) and ERA (1.93). Aramis Garcia will try to continue his great season as he’s hitting .353 in 153 at-bats with 7 home runs and 35 RBIs. Mike Franco will take the mound on Friday night with a 0.95 ERA in 11 starts with 89 strikeouts in 75.2 innings.

ECU has established themselves as one of the best teams in the conference. They carry a season batting average of .276 and team ERA of 2.89. They’ve won two straight conference series and look to take another step towards the top of the rankings this weekend against FIU. Jeff Hoffman sits atop a good ECU pitching staff with an ERA of 2.94 in 10 starts and 72 punch outs in 67.1 innings.

Friday, 6 p.m. ET

Saturday, 6:30 ET

Sunday, 1 p.m.  ET

 

UTSA (12-9, 28-18) @ MTSU (11-10, 23-22)

UTSA has had an outstanding season thus far and would like to continue that success against the Blue Raiders this weekend as they look to build their potential playoff resume. They’re third in the conference in average (.282) and third in ERA (2.65). However, they’ve dropped two conference series in a row so this weekend is especially important for the Road Runners.

MTSU is trying to stay in this conference race and a series win over UTSA would do just that. They sit in the middle of the pack in average at .265, but their pitching has let them down with a team ERA of 4.38 over the season; although that number has increasingly gotten better since conference play started. Trent Miller leads the offense with a .343 average, 5 home runs and 35 RBIs. Zac Curtis has been their best pitcher with an ERA of 2.08 and 98 strikeouts in 82.1 innings.

Friday, 6 p.m.

Saturday, 4 p.m.

Sunday, 12 p.m.

 

FAU (10-14, 22-22) @ Old Dominion (13-11, 27-18)

FAU has had a disappointing season, but it’s not too late to turn things around. Both their hitting and pitching sits in the middle of the pack in CUSA, but for some reason they haven’t been able to turn that into wins.

ODU is another team sitting in the middle of the pack hoping to separate themselves with a weekend series win. They’re fourth in CUSA in average at .279, and the pitching has been decent with an ERA of 3.41.

Friday, 6 p.m. ET

Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

 

Sothern Miss (14-7, 27-19) @ Tulane (6-13, 18-24)

Southern Miss suffered their first CUSA series loss of the season last week when they only managed one win against Rice. Other than that, Southern Miss has been excellent during conference play and they’re also coming off a mid-week win over Ole Miss.

Tulane has had a disappointing season to say the least, but they have won three of their last four games. They rank last in the conference in average, and they’re pitching hasn’t been much better with a team ERA of 3.75. Randy LeBlanc has been solid posting an ERA of 2.44 in 11 starts.

Friday, 6:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, 2 p.m. CT

Sunday, 1 p.m. CT

 

UAB (13-8, 27-19) @ Charlotte (6-14, 14-26)

UAB was struggling, having lost two conference series in a row to the two teams that are now ahead of them in the standings before sweeping Marshall last weekend. UAB has had one of the best starting pitching rotations in the league all year and as a team they rank forth in ERA at 2.86. Friday night starter Chase Mallard is having perhaps one of the best seasons in all of college baseball with an ERA of 1.11 in 11 starts, striking out 78 in 81 innings. Saturday starter Alex Luna has been great as well with an ERA of 1.71 in 11 starts.

Charlotte has been one of the worst teams in CUSA all year, but they have won two CUSA series in a row and have won six of their last eight games. They rank towards the bottom of the conference in average (.249) and ERA (3.78).

Friday, 5 p.m. CT

Saturday, 1 p.m. CT

Sunday, 12 p.m. CT

 

La Tech (4-17, 14-27) @ Marshall (8-12, 18-24)

The La Tech baseball team has taken a turn for the worst, only managing four conference wins. But they did go out of conference last week and swept Alabama A&M, and then won a mid-week game against Northwestern State. So they’re currently riding a 4-game win streak as they head on the road to play Marshall this week. Richie Navari has been great all year carrying an ERA of 1.80 into the weekend series.

Marshall has dropped three straight conference series and now finds themselves towards the bottom of the CUSA standings. They still have nine games left against foes in the middle of the standings, but wins in bunches need to start happening quick for this team to turn it around.

Friday, 7 p.m. ET

Saturday, 11 a.m. ET

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

* Rice is off this weekend