top of page
  • Reed Simpson

College Baseball Week 2: Ten Thoughts

1. The Shiners Childrens' Hospital College Classic in Houston proved that TCU and Arkansas have simply reloaded.

Two teams that lost incredible amounts of talent and experience from 2015 College World Series rosters were questioned by College Baseball writers early this season. Those questions are over. These two teams are legit.

The Horned Frogs and Razorbacks each went 3-0 in the Houston College Classic this weekend, beating ranked opponents all three times. TCU outscored their opponents 27-2 this weekend and the Hogs outscored their opponents 27-11.

Both the Razorbacks and the Horned Frogs showed the presence of extremely balanced lineups this weekend, each scoring 27 runs in three games. Both pitching staffs looked good, but TCU's looked a bit better. It was incredible to see what Kirk Saarloos and Jim Schlossnagle have done with their talented freshmen arms in such a short amount of time. No wonder they've been the best pitching program in the country over the last two seasosns.

2. Florida's pitching depth is unreal.

I know I said something along these lines last week, but I feel like I need to reiterate it after a weekend in which the Gators won a series at No. 6 Miami.

Logan Shore rolled on Friday. Florida's Saturday starter, AJ Puk, got hit around a little bit but he's still the consensus #1 Overall pick this June. The most impressive part of the weekend, to me, was Alex Faedo on Sunday. Keeping in mind Miami was the sixth ranked team in the country, Faedo no hit them through 6.1 innings. The Florida bullpen then took over and held the Hurricanes hitless until a ninth inning single broke up the Gators' combined no hitter. Impressive, nonetheless.

3. The North Carolina Tar Heels are back.

I hope none of you forgot about the College Baseball powerhouse that resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, because, boy, are they back. Don't look now but Mike Fox has his Heels sitting with a 5-1 record after a series win vs. UCLA in Los Angeles and a series sweep of then-top-ten Oklahoma State. The sweep of OSU came by way of three walk off singles, which just cool to see as a baseball fan.

Nothing, in particular, has stood out about these Tar Heels, besides the fact that they are finding ways to beat postseason-caliber teams. That's impressive in itself.

4. UCLA's struggles might've been greatly exaggerated.

I'll admit it. I'm not a huge supporter of this UCLA team. In fact, I think most UCLA teams are overrated. I just don't think they can ever hit. They won the National Championship in 2013 during the worst offensive season, statistically in College Baseball history. But I digress. I was nervous for UCLA after their weekend series and even more so after their mid-week pumbling, courtesy of Long Beach State.

But I have to give it to the Bruins, They got a good series win this weekend against a very quality Cal Poly team. On Saturday, the Bruins exploded for 19 runs. I still don't think this team is anywhere near Omaha potential, but to think they aren't going to make a regional is just silly. It's still UCLA.

5. Oklahoma State is a good team that has gotten very unlucky.

Yeah, this team lost three games this weekend on walkoff singles. The talent is there, which is why they get the benefit of the doubt in the rankings, but they've been extremely unlucky thus far. That being said, they do need to find a way to win those tight games.

6. LSU isn't LSU this year. Yet.

There is something missing with this team. They aren't LSU. Sometimes they look like LSU, but the early season domination just isn't there. Yet. The bats haven't woken up. Yet. And their pitching staff is extremely shaky beyond RHP Alex Lange. Paul Manieri is one of the best coaches in the country and the talent is there, but the Tigers are going to have to get some things figured out before they begin Southeastern Conference play.

7. Ole Miss is very for real this year.

Last year was a somewhat dissapointing year for a program coming off a College World Series appearance. But in 2016, the Rebels are legit. This team is led by infielder, Tate Blackman, JB Woodman and rangy, athletic shortstop Errol Robinson. These three have led the Rebels to series wins vs. Florida International and No. 2 Louisville. The only question is, how will they play away from Swayze Field? We will find out soon enough.

8. The SEC's depth is incogitable.

(Yeah, I think that's a word) Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt. There are probably 3-5 of these teams that aren't going to make the tournament, and that's a shame. Florida is the No. 1 team in the country. Vanderbilt, LSU and Texas A&M are also top 10 teams. Arkansas has reloaded an Omaha team from a year ago. Kentucky, and Georgia have friday night guys that could beat anybody in the country. Auburn has been good early on. Tennessee has the preseason player of the year. South Carolina is still a Titan of the sport. Missouri has one of the best 1-2 punches in the country and is second in the nation in wins (7). Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are some of the toughest places to play in the country.

Something's gotta give. I don't know what it is. For now, let's just sit back and enjoy the incredible talent that resides in this conference.

9. East Carolina is here to stay.

Winning a series at the defending national champion is all well and good, but ECU didn't just take a series from the Virginia Cavaliers. They handled to Hoos with relative ease in many aspects.

The Pirates are a team I was very bullish on coming into the season; I had them in my pre-season Top 25. But some people weren't convinced. They should be now. ECU is 6-1 on the young season and is in the top 25 to stay, in my opinion.

The good thing about ECU is that they won't be disrespected at the end of the season because of their schedule. In addition to a tough early season non-conference slate, the Pirates are in the American Athletic Conference, which is probably the best mid-major conference this season. I like the Pirates to outlast Houston and UCONN to win the AAC.

10. February has come and gone, having blessed us with excelent weather.

God bless you, February. You were kind to baseball fans across the country. My Missouri Tigers have been in Florida the last two weeks, in anticipation of bas weather here in mid-Missouri. However, they could've easily played all nine games at home this month. Until next year, thank you, February.

Here's to March.

  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  FEATURED  POSTS         
  RECENT POSTS               
  FOLLOW US                     
bottom of page