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College | Story | 5/13/2022

Week 13 College Picks and Preview

Craig Cozart      Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Gavin Cross (Virginia Tech Athletics)
Picks and Breakdowns

Matchup Vin's Picks Cozy's Picks
#8 Louisville at #3 Virginia Tech
#15 Texas Tech at #4 Oklahoma State
#5 Miami at #11 Florida State
Liberty at Florida Gulf Coast
Nevada at San Diego State
Coastal Carolina at Troy
Ole Miss at #9 LSU

No. 8 Louisville at No. 3 Virginia Tech



Cozy's Pick: 
Virginia Tech

If you love explosive offense, then Blacksburg is the place to be this weekend. The Cardinals (34-13-1) are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and sit atop the ACC Atlantic Division with a 15-8-1 record. This team scores runs in bunches and do it with a rare combination of power and speed. They are 20th in the nation with 104 doubles, 24th with 73 home runs and 25th with 83 stolen bases. However, things get dicey on the mound with their 6.14 ERA in conference play and allowing an OBA of .276 while surrendering almost 10 free bags per game as a defense. The Hokies (34-10) are 9-1 in their last 10 and are second in the Coastal Division. They have arguably the most complete offense in the nation, with their 117 doubles good for 5th in the nation, their 86 home runs good for 8th in the nation and they have swiped 60 bags as well. They have a distinct advantage playing at home this weekend and they are the better defensive club as well. Their in-league ERA is almost 2 full points less than Louisville and they are 10th in the nation with a .981 fielding percentage. This will be an intense and entertaining series, but I think Virginia Tech wins at least 2 out of 3.

Vin’s Pick: Virginia Tech

This looks like a fantastic matchup on paper as two of the best offenses in the country will slug it out as Louisville enters with the 7th best scoring offense while the Hokies have the 14th. Both offenses will be entertaining to watch but Virginia Tech is better equipped to limit scoring on the other end as they have a staff ERA just over 4.00, good for 29th in the country. Both in terms of limiting runs and stuff the Hokies have some intriguing options including three relievers with ERAs under 3.00 and at least one save.

No. 15 Texas Tech at No. 4 Oklahoma State

Cozy's Pick:
Oklahoma State

It will be another huge weekend in Stillwater as the battle for the Big 12 regular season crown still revolves around the Cowboys. They welcome Texas Tech (32-16), who is in 3rd place in the league, just two games out of first at 11-7. The Red Raider offense continues to do damage with 123 doubles, which is 3rd in the nation, and they are 25th with 71 total home runs. They also bat an impressive .307 as a team in conference games. Their team ERA in league is a bit elevated at 5.51 and they do allow opponents to hit .274 against them. Oklahoma State (34-14) is at the top of the league standings right now at 13-5. While they have a well-rounded offense with 95 doubles, 64 home runs and 46 bags, they assert their dominance on the mound where they punch opponents out at the rate of 11.1 Ks per game, a total of 529 on the year, good for 5th in the nation. They are also sparkling with the glove, fielding .982, which makes them the 6th best fielding team in the college game. This series has significant post season implications with Texas Tech trying to elevate their RPI and the Cowboys looking to lock in their chance to be a host for the NCAA Tournament. I believe Oklahoma State wins another big series this weekend.

Vin’s Pick: Texas Tech

Oklahoma State has established themselves as legitimate national title contenders while the Red Raiders have been inconsistent since their series win over Texas about a month and a half ago. They’ve bounced back nicely though since they were swept by TCU and I like their top ten offense to carry the series. Justin Campbell on Friday night looks like the game they’ll drop but the Cowboys’ starting staff outside of Campbell has been hittable and I think that Texas Tech will take a big road series.


No. 5 Miami at No. 11 Florida State

Cozy's Pick:
Miami

One of the oldest rivalries in college baseball will see action this weekend in Tallahassee. This will be the battle of the pitching staffs, as both teams feature high octane arms that know how to miss barrels at an elite level. The Hurricanes (36-12) are 17-7 in ACC play and hold the top spot in the Coastal Division. Their pitching staff holds a 2.75:1 K/BB ratio, and their gloves are solid and allow less than 7 free bases per game. Offensively they are well balanced, pressure opposing teams with nice power/speed and are generating over 7 runs per game in league play. The Seminoles (30-17) are currently 3rd in the Atlantic Division with a 13-11 record. They are fine with the sticks, play station-to-station but are averaging less than 6 runs per game on the year. Their well-renowned arms are averaging over 12 strikeouts per game and possess a 3.2:1 K/BB ratio and allow less than 7 free bases per game. This is a really tough call as Miami is better offensively and they play the glove at a higher level. However, we all know FSU plays well at Dick Howser and they do have the advantage on the mound by a bit. I think Miami will figure out a way to generate more offense and win the series this weekend.

Vin’s Pick: Miami

I think the difference here is that Miami is a more well-rounded team on the whole than Florida State is at this point and that balance will be key for the Hurricanes to take two of three. The FSU pitching staff is among the best in the country with Parker Messick leading the way on Fridays as he’ll matchup against Miami ace Carson Palmquist. Look for relievers Wyatt Crowell for the Noles and Andrew Walters for Miami to be thrust into key situations but I like the Miami pitching staff against the Florida State offense to be the deciding factor.


Liberty at Florida Gulf Coast

Cozy's Pick:
Liberty

The Flames (30-17) have had their ups and downs this season, but they find themselves on the top of the ASUN East at 16-8. They are playing at a high level right now and they succeed by playing clean, fundamentally sound baseball. They are fielding .974 and only allow 7 free bags per game and their arms carry an impressive 3:1 K/BB ratio. The offense can be spotty as they are only hitting .256 as a team but they play in a spacious ballpark at home so their power numbers can be deceiving. They grind out at-bats, have struck out almost 100 times fewer than their opponents forcing them to make plays on the move. Florida Gulf Coast (30-18) is sitting 3rd in the East with a 14-10 conference record. They are a high-powered offense with 99 doubles and 67 home runs on the season and they average over 8 runs per game. However, their defensive squad is well below average with a .951 fielding percentage and their staff has an ERA that is almost 5.00 in league competition. Liberty thrives on other teams’ mistakes, and I think this will be the deciding factor in the series as the Flames win the weekend.

Vin’s Pick: Liberty

Both teams are near the top of the ASUN as Liberty is up two games over FGCU, and just one game over Kennesaw State. Both teams look solid with the Flames throwing a bit more of a punch thanks to their left-handed dup of Joe Adametz and true freshman Garrett Horn. The offense is a veteran one led by Aaron Anderson and Derek Orndoff and on paper the Flames should roll down in Fort Myers.

Nevada at San Diego State

Cozy's Pick: 
Nevada

Nevada (25-21) has put together a nice season and sits 2nd in the Mountain West at 15-9 going into the weekend. They have work to do on the RPI side if they hope for an at-large bid, but they have the offense to do it. They are batting a very loud .322 in the league, with 54 doubles, 27 home runs and 30 bags inside the league as they average almost 10 runs per game. The offense is a must since their team ERA is a 7.32 and they allow an OBA of .309 while only fielding .969 as a team. The Aztecs (16-34) have had an uncharacteristically bad year and are sitting 8-16 in conference competition. They swing it alright and are one of the best clubs in the nation on the bases with 50 stolen bases in just 24 league games. The problem is they struggle significantly with the glove fielding .957 and they allow over 10 free bags per game. This looks like another series win for Nevada with a good chance to take all three games.

Vin’s Pick: Nevada

Nevada is in second place in the Mountain West while the Aztecs are currently in last place so Nevada should be able to handle this series despite being on the road. The Wolfpack’s pitching hasn’t been great but they’re well over .300 in terms of team batting average and their bats should be able to handle the San Diego State pitching.

Coastal Carolina at Troy

Cozy's Pick: 
Coastal Carolina

The Chanticleers (29-16-1) have been a team on our radar for a few weeks now and are on the brink of breaking into our Top 25 for the first time all season. They are one of the hottest teams in the nation, have won 8-of-10 and are 4th in the Sun Belt at 16-7-1. Their offense has gotten consistently better all season and form a legitimate threat with the long ball, 58 home runs and with their foot speed as they have swiped 69 bags. The most important stat is that they are averaging almost 8 runs per game in conference play. They are an average overall defensive unit, but they have over a 3:1 K/BB ratio on the mound inside the league, so they eliminate scoring threats. Troy (29-18) plays very well in the friendly confines of Riddle-Pace Field where they are 19-6 and they sit 5th in the league at 13-11. Their offense closely mirrors Coastal, with 86 doubles, 46 home runs and 49 bags. However, their run production is only 6 runs per game, putting some pressure on their pitching staff. They pick it well with a .973 fielding percentage, but their team ERA is a 5.39 in league and they allow an OBA of .260 in conference games. Troy gets excellent fan support and RPF no easy place to play but I think the Chants are surging towards the postseason. Coastal needs this road series win to get on the right side of the at-large bubble and I think they will take the series.

Vin’s Pick: Coastal Carolina

The Chanticleers have been inconsistent at times this season but have looked like a borderline Super Regional candidate at times. Sitting at 4th place in the Sun Belt and in the 40s in terms of RPI, the Chants will take care of business and take two out of three against a tough Troy team. The Trojans have lost four in a row after getting swept by Georgia Southern but they should be able to take a game at home in this one.


Ole Miss at No. 9 Louisiana State

Cozy's Pick:
 Louisiana State

The Rebels (28-19) unexpectedly find themselves in 5th place in the SEC West at 10-14 and currently on the wrong side of the bubble from an at-large bid standpoint. They need a big weekend and have played better on the road in conference play this year than they have at home. There is still a ton of offensive firepower in the lineup as they are averaging almost 2 home runs per league game but are generating less than 6 runs per game somehow. That doesn’t leave much margin for error when their team ERA is 5.72 inside the SEC. They have fielded it better of late, so we’ll see how that plays out. The Tigers (33-15) seem to have figured some things out over the past month and are probably a series win away from locking up an opportunity to host the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Their offense has found its power stroke and their 87 home runs puts them 10th in the nation. Plus, they are averaging right at 8 runs per game. However, the defense continues to be porous and that is often overcome by the pitching staff’s ability to punch opposing hitters out at a high rate. They are 22nd in the nation in Ks per 9 with a total of 488 on the year. Ole Miss desperately needs this series, but they are catching LSU at the wrong time and I think the Tigers win the series in convincing fashion.

Vin’s Pick:
Ole Miss

Ole Miss is very much on the fringes of not only the field of 64 but also in terms of making the cut for Hoover. They got a big win last week by sweeping Missouri to get them to 10 conference wins and their midweek win over Southern Miss helped jump their RPI by about 10 points. The Rebels have to win these next two series’ if they want to make the NCAA tournament and I think they’ve got a chance at a big upset in Baton Rouge.

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