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Weekend College Baseball Preview, March 29-31

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March 29-31: Stories to watch and Open Thread.

Austin Kubitza, Rice University
Austin Kubitza, Rice University
Troy Taormina, USA Today Sports

Top 25

There aren't as many marquee match-ups between Top 25 teams this week, but there are still some interesting stories worth following.


The #2 Oregon State Beavers travel to San Diego to try and stifle the bat of draft-hawk darling Kris Bryant and the Toreros. It didn't work on Thursday as the Toreros and Bryant, took the first game of the series 7-4. Bryant was 3 for 5 in the game, including his 13th home run.


The only match-up of two Top 25 teams that goes down this weekend in the SEC happens to be in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The #13 Razorbacks, likely still flush from their sweep of South Carolina last weekend, and the resulting return to the national consciousness, host the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are headed in the opposite direction after dropping two of three games to Kentucky and dropping in the polls from 8th to 16th over the last two weeks.


While the Louisville Cardinals basketball squad tries to advance through the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this weekend, on their way to a hopeful National Championship, the Cardinals baseball team host Big East rival Notre Dame. The three game set began on Thursday with a Cardinals win, 10-5over the Fighting Irish.



Matt and John's college first-rounders:

Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University threw a complete game shutout Thursday at Washington State. Appel notched 10 strikeouts and walked one, giving up 4 hits in the win.

Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma struck out 12 in a complete game, 12-1 win, Thursday vs. Kansas. The game was televised on DirecTV. Gray was still sitting 96-97 with his fastball in the 9th inning, and his slider, at 85 MPH, looked unfair to the Jayhawks bats.

Colin Moran, 1B, North Carolina (.368 AVG, 5 HR, 32 RBI) plays Clemson.

Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Vanderbilt (1.59 ERA, .144 BA against) goes Friday against the Tennessee Vols.

Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas (2-1, 2.35 ERA in 6 starts) takes the mound Saturday.

Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State University (0.84 ERA, 41 K in 32.0 IP) travels to Missouri State and starts Saturday.

Chris Anderson, RHP, University of Jacksonville (2.21 ERA, 70/8 K/BB, 53.0 IP) gave up 8 earned runs on 11 hits in 6.0 innings against Mercer Thursday. Although he got shelled, Anderson struck out 10 and didn't walk anybody.

Phil Ervin, OF, Samford University (.391 AVG, 8 HR) battles College of Charleston in a double-header on Saturday.

Jonathan Crawford, P, Florida (0-4, 5.67 ERA) faces Ole Miss, Saturday, hoping to get the Gators, and his own season, back on track.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State (1.392 OPS) takes his bat to the Razorbacks and their nation's best team ERA..

Aaaand MY favorite:

Austin Kubitza, RHP, Rice (4-1, 1.42 ERA, 62 K in 44.1 IP) struck out six in six innings in a win against Tulane on Thursday.