More coverage: Weekly national column | Mid-major spotlight | Q & A with OU's Pete Hughes
Florida: The Gators are playing a much better brand of baseball these days, and captured a nice 3-1 win over rival Florida State in midweek action. Gators starting pitcher Danny Young struck out two in three shutout frames, while relievers Aaron Rhodes and Bobby Poyner each shined in three-inning stints. The key for the Gators moving forward is more offensive production, and that's something I'll be looking for this weekend when they travel to Texas A&M.
Cal State Fullerton: The offense might be struggling, but the Titans continue to pitch at a very high level. Koby Gauna struck out four and allowed just a run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, as the Titans captured a very nice 2-1 win over UNLV in midweek action. Clay Williamson and Austin Diemer, both guys with upside, had two hits against the Rebels.
Rice: Remember just a few weeks ago when there was some concern about the Owls? The Owls have since played very well and captured a 14-1 midweek win over Texas State. Rice starting pitcher Caleb Smith is an interesting arm to watch after striking out 12 in six innings, while the offense shined with John Clay Reeves going 2-for-5 with three RBIs, and Michael Aquino finishing the contest with three hits and two RBIs.
Texas: The Longhorns had a rather tough weekend against Kansas, but responded in impressive fashion in midweek action with a 5-0 win over surging Dallas Baptist. The biggest story in this game was righthanded pitcher Lukas Schiraldi shining in his start. Schiraldi struck out three, walked three and allowed just two hits in eight shutout innings.
Pepperdine: I'm always interested to see how teams respond to adversity. The Waves passed that test. The Waves could've been slumping entering the midweek bout against UC Irvine after losing a weekend series to Pacific. However, they rose to the occasion in a 6-0 win with starting pitcher Matt Maurer striking out six, walking one and allowing five hits in six shutout innings.
Washington State: The Cougars went through a slump, but seem to be back on track. Wazzu took a series from Arizona last weekend, and swept a pair of midweek games from San Diego, 9-7 and 4-3. In the first game, outfielder Ben Roberts had a pair of hits (one double) and two RBIs, while in the second game, designated hitter Michael Monda had a pair of hits and an RBI. WSU has a chance to make a huge statement this weekend with a trip to UCLA.
New Mexico: It shouldn't come as a surprise, but coach Ray Birmingham's Lobos are playing well at exactly the right time. The Lobos hit the road last weekend and captured a series sweep over Fresno State, while they backed that up with a midweek series sweep over Kansas. In the first game, first baseman Ryan Padilla had two hits and an RBI, while in the second game, designated hitter John Pustay went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
West Virginia: Randy Mazey has another solid club, one that should compete for an NCAA postseason appearance the rest of the season. The Mountaineers captured a nice midweek win for the Big 12 Conference in a 5-1 triumph over North Carolina. Usual weekend starting pitcher, lefthander John Means, shined against the Tar Heels, striking out five and allowing just a run on three hits in a complete game performance.
Indiana: The Hoosiers haven't been the most consistent team so far this spring, but still have a chance to be elite, as evidenced by a 9-3 midweek win over Louisville. IU reliever Thomas Belcher tossed four shutout innings to back up Sullivan Stadler, while offensively, hard-hitting first baseman Sam Travis shined with four hits and two RBIs.
Arizona: Can the Wildcats get things turned around? That's the big question as they get into the meat of their schedule this spring. Arizona dropped to 11-12 overall with a midweek loss to Grand Canyon at home. Tyger Talley had a great performance for the Wildcats, allowing just a run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings, but the offense was unable to establish anything against GCU starting pitcher Ethan Evanko.
Tulane: Coming off a road series loss to East Carolina, the Green Wave had hoped to get back on track in midweek action. However, that didn't happen as they dropped contests to Southeastern Louisiana (6-3) and New Orleans (7-3). With those two losses, Tulane fell to 10-10 overall and now is in dire need of a home series win over Middle Tennessee State this weekend.
Southern California: The Trojans dropped a tough road series to Oregon last weekend, and had hoped to get back on track in midweek action. However, that didn't happen, as they dropped a tough 4-3 decision to Stony Brook. In somewhat of a surprise, starting pitcher Brent Wheatley didn't have a great start, allowing four runs on six hits in just four innings.
Western Carolina: The Catamounts started the season red-hot, but have since been much more beatable, as evidenced by an 11-8 overall record after losing a 12-9 decision to East Tennessee State on Wednesday. WCU starting pitcher Alex Barr allowed four runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Seton Hall: The Pirates have been consistently good this season, but suffered a 9-8 setback to Saint Peter's in midweek action. SHU starting pitcher Anthony Pacillo allowed just a run on four hits in five innings, but the bullpen was unable to take care of business the rest of the way. SHU should get back on track this weekend against Fairleigh Dickinson.k
East Carolina: Inconsistency has been the name of the game for the Pirates so far this spring. ECU captured a solid home series win over Tulane over the weekend, but went back to struggling in an 8-4 setback at home to Virginia Commonwealth. ECU righthanded pitcher Tyler Bolton allowed six runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings.