College | Story | 5/14/2021

Weekend Preview: Week 13

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Mississippi State Baseball (MSU Athletics)
The college season rolls on, and while a majority of the top-ranked teams have established themselves closing the season out, there still remain more questions than ever when looking at specifics. From Regional hosts to player health there’s still a ton of factors that will undoubtedly affect who is holding the Omaha crown in a little over a month’s time. With that being said let’s dive into this week’s top storylines.

Rank Team Opponent Location
1 Arkansas at No. 5 Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn.
2 Mississippi State vs. Missouri Starkville, Miss.
3 Vanderbilt at No. 22 Ole Miss Oxford, Miss.
4 Texas N/A N/A
5 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Arkansas Knoxville, Tenn.
6 Notre Dame N/A N/A
7 Florida vs. Georgia Gainesville, Fla.
8 Texas Tech at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.
9 TCU vs. ULM Fort Worth, Texas
10 Florida State vs. Clemson Tallahassee, Fla.
11 Stanford at California Berkeley, Calif.
12 East Carolina at Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio
13 Louisville at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C.
14 Indiana at Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.
15 Arizona vs. Washington Tucson, Ariz.
16 Oregon at Utah Ogden, Utah
17 Liberty at Kennesaw State Kennesaw, Ga.
18 Charlotte at Rice Houston, Texas
19 UC Irvine vs. UC Riverside Irvine, Calif.
20 South Carolina at Kentucky Lexington, Ky.
21 Southern Miss at Florida Atlantic Boca Raton, Fla.
22 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Vanderbilt Oxford, Miss.
23 Pittsburgh vs. NC State Pittsburgh, Pa.
24 UCLA vs./at UC Santa Barbara Los Angeles/Santa Barbara, Calif.
25 Old Dominion vs. Western Kentucky Norfolk, Va.

Regional Host Sites Revealed
Per D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers, the NCAA is expected to reveal 20 teams/sites that will be under consideration to host Regionals come the start of the NCAA tournament. There’s been a lot of fluidity to the overall situation as the NCAA announced about midway through the year attendance caps at NCAA sanctioned events, which would be every postseason game following conference tournaments. The host sites could contain some surprises but it’ll be interesting to see which teams/colleges aren’t announced as potential host sites. Regardless, this weekend’s expected announcement from the NCAA is the next major step to the Field of 64.
Death, Taxes, and Pitcher Injuries
It was a particularly brutal week for pitching injuries and rumored injuries as Ole Miss announced that expected top-10 pick Gunnar Hoglund was going to undergo Tommy John surgery and likely finish out his Rebels career injured. Another potential day-one pick, Ryan Webb of Georgia, is going to be shutdown for the rest of the season with an elbow injury and potential No. 1 overall pick Jack Leiter had his start scratched hours before first pitch last weekend. Leiter is back in the Vanderbilt rotation, slated to start on Saturday in his usual spot in the rotation, while Webb and Hoglund’s injuries are major blows to not only two contending teams but to the top of the draft as well. Hopefully things clear up for Leiter, who has arguably the biggest start of his career coming up this weekend.
Big Ten Takes Center Stage
We’ve got two ranked SEC matchups this weekend, including a top-five affair between No. 1 Arkansas and No. 5 Tennessee, but arguably the biggest series of the weekend will take place in Ann Arbor, Mich., as Indiana heads to Michigan as two of the top-three teams in the conference will duke it out this weekend. The Big Ten has endured a very weird year of baseball but the Hoosiers and the Wolverines, along with Nebraska, have established themselves as the top of the conference as we wind down the season. There are likely at-large bids on the line but both clubs will be looking to take the series and secure the driver’s seat in the conference heading into its final weeks.
Arkansas’ Latest Test
The Razorbacks have been the No. 1 team in the country from about the third or fourth week onward but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been tested. They’ve gone down to the rubber match in more than a handful of series and have had some memorable games against pretty good opponents. Dave Van Horn’s squad has their latest test on deck as they head to No. 5 Tennessee, who has been one of the bigger stories of the year and a surefire SEC contender. Patrick Wicklander has really locked down Friday nights for the Razorbacks as he’s helped solidify the rotation, while fireman reliever and reigning Pitcher of the Week Kevin Kopps has been arguably the most important arm in the conference. Tennessee hasn’t lost since dropping their series to Vanderbilt a few weeks ago, but Tony Vitello’s team will have another shot at a top-five opponent as they’ll give the Razorbacks all they can handle.

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