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College Baseball Weekend Roundup (March 27-29)

For the third consecutive week, the top dog in the land went down, opening the door for a new team to take over number one ranking.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

You never know what you might see when you attend a baseball game. Baseball always seems to find a new and interesting ways to surprise you just when you think you have seen it all. That was my thought at the South Carolina Georgia game Friday night when I witnessed a game-tying run score on a wild pitch during an at bat that was supposed to end in an intentional walk. The pitcher had one job, to basically play catch for four pitches, in order to send Kyle Martin, the Gamecocks leading hitter, to first base and he blew it. He missed the catchers mitt by a mile in a sequence I would've loved to hear called by Harry Doyle. The game got suspended in a 5-5 tie until Saturday due to rain and Georgia wound up with a win anyway so the crucial mistake didn't hurt the Bulldogs after all.

Here are the highlights from around the country...

(ACC Highlights)

Stock Up: No. 7 Louisville - The Cards improved to 11-1 in ACC play following their weekend sweep of Georgia Tech, making a strong impression in their debut season in the conference.

Nice Rebound: No. 12 Virginia evened out their ACC record at 6-6 following a road sweep at Notre Dame. LHP Nathan Kirby struck out 8 over 6 IP on Friday.

NC State has won six in a row following a sweep of Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Stock Down: Both Duke and their talented ace Michael Matuella have disappointed lately. The Blue Devils fell to 4-8 in ACC play following a sweep at the hands of Boston College. Matuella struggled with his control on Friday (4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K) and hasn't been pitching deep into his starts.

(Big Ten Highlights)

Big Ten race got even more interesting after this weekend's results...

Sweeper of the Week: Nebraska made another bold statement this weekend, sweeping No. 11 Texas at home. Expect the Cornhuskers to make a well-deserved debut in the polls.

Stock Up: Don't sleep on Iowa because the Hawkeyes look like yet another contender in the Big Ten now following their impressive sweep of No. 30 Indiana.

Stock Down: No. 20 Maryland took a step back this weekend as the Terrapins were handed a series loss at Michigan, who's coached by former Maryland skipper Eric Bakich (little fun fact for ya).

Prospect Note: Tyler Jay gets the most attention on No. 26 Illinois in regards to the draft, but don't forget the Illini have another intriguing prospect in Friday night starter Kevin Duchene. Also a lefty, Duchene has a low 90's fastball, power curve and plus change that could make him a candidate to go off the board in rounds 3-5. He's also sporting the 6th best ERA in the nation with a 0.82 in 33 IP along with 37 K's.

(Big 12 Highlights)

Stock Down: No. 11 Texas got dropped on the road by an upstart Nebraska squad.

Prospect Note: Longhorns shortstop C.J. Hinojosa gets a shoutout in this BA article as a college SS with top 2 rounds potential this year. If he continues to bat around .200 though, I doubt that happens even if he does bring a plus glove.

Your National ERA Leader: Corey Taylor - RHP - Texas Tech - Not to be confused with this Corey Taylor, lead singer of Slipknot. Taylor, the pitcher, carries a 0.29 ERA in 32 IP of relief work for the the Red Raiders.

Nice Rebound: No. 4 TCU fell from top ranked status last week, but could return soon if they keep picking up sweeps like the they did over Wichita State this weekend.

(Big West Highlights)

Outdueler of the Week: Let's hear it for Kyle Freidrichswhom we've profiled as pitcher of the week before. The Long Beach State righty pitched a stellar outing (9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K) on Friday night versus No. 24 UC Santa Barbara.

In that same game that Freidrich pitched, highly touted Dillon Tate was on the mound for the Gauchos, taking the hard luck loss despite one of his best outings yet (9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 10 K).

K/BB ratio leaders: Cal State Fullerton features the most sabermetrically inclined pitching staff in the country, sporting a healthy 5.05 ratio. Top draft prospect Thomas Eshelman and his pinpoint command (4 BB's in 43.1 IP) play a big factor in this honor.

Sweeper of the Week: UC Irvine swept Hawaii and now has won 8 straight after starting the season 6-10.

(Mid-Major Highlights)

Best Mid-Major Squad: No. 9 UCF and their high powered offense (.327 AVG, 3rd best in the country) picked up a series win over their main contender in the AAC, No. 19 Houston. The Knights are the real deal.

Best Pure Hitter In The Draft: Me thinks its still likely first rounder Ian Happ aka the man amongst boys in the AAC. The Cincinnati outfielder is hitting .407/.518/.733 with 7 HR in 86 at bats.

Stock Up: Coastal Carolina has cooled off in the last few years after being a mid-major powerhouse and regional host a few times the several years prior. The Chanticleers are off to a 20-7 start and picked up a big series win over an much improved Winthrop team over the weekend. They could re-enter the polls soon.

RPI Leaders: No. 23 Dallas Baptist improved to 22-3 over the weekend with a sweep of Illinois State and continue to carry the top RPI in the country, for what it's worth.

Back In The Saddle Again: Cody Ponce, a potential 1st rounder from the unlikely location of Cal State Pomona, returned to the mound this weekend. PG has a breakdown (subscription required) and prospect video of his latest outing.

Prospect Note: Kyle Holder - SS - San Diego - Here's a 2015 draft prospect that has seen his stock go up. Holder could sneak into the first round picture thanks to a glove at short that many scouts consider the best in this year's draft class. He's also batting an impressive .353/.409/.412 through 22 games.

(Pac-12 Highlights)

Sweeper of the Week: Unranked Arizona put No. 18 Oregon on Eric Sorensen's ouch list with their impressive weekend sweep of the Ducks. Look for the Wildcats to enter the polls this weekend.

Hitter Spotlight: Wildcats second baseman Scott Kingery is batting .453 on the season, good for 5th in the entire country and continues to look like one of the best college draft prospects available at his position in 2015.

Best In The West: No. 5 UCLA has won 8 straight following their sweep at Washington State and jumped out to an 8-1 conference lead in the Pac-12.

(SEC Highlights)

Making A Statement: Kentucky - The Wildcats slade the dragon (see what I did there?) this weekend pulling off a mighty big road series win over No. 1 LSU.

Who will be number one now? Thanks for asking, dear reader. Look no further than the SEC. Both No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Texas A&M picked up series wins over the weekend. Vandy began the season as the top dog but the Aggies carry the best record in the nation at 27-2. Tough choice for the voters but I'll say Vandy gets the nod.

Stock Down: No. 7 South Carolina had another disappointing weekend, dropping a home series to unranked Georgia. On the flip side, that's back-to-back series wins for the Bulldogs who could enter the polls soon.

Here's a good read from Baseball America about how we could see a record amount of college shortstops taken in this year's draft. Vandy's Dansby Swanson and LSU's Alex Bregman are the two first round locks of that group, the article mentions. Florida's Richie Martin is also mentioned.

Mandy Alvarez

(Photo By: Eastern Kentucky Athletics)

Hitter Of The Week: Mandy Alvarez - 3B - Eastern Kentucky

His name may be Mandy but he sure didn't hit like a girl this weekend. It's hard to find a better weekend performance to date then what Mr. Alvarez accomplished versus Morehead State over the weekend. Get ready for this. He finished the weekend 7-for-15 with 5 home runs, 2 doubles, and 8 RBI. He's now batting .337/.394/.651 on the season with 7 HR and 8 walks to just 9 strikeouts in 95 PA's.

He stands in at 6'1", 213 pounds and originally began his career at Florida International before transferring to Miami Dade CC for his sophomore season. The competition he's facing in the OVC isn't great but he has a good eye at the plate and an above average power tool that could get him some draft attention if he continues to rake.

Carson Fulmer

(Photo By: Vanderbilt Athletics)

Pitcher Of The Week: Carson Fulmer - RHP -  Vanderbilt

This week, we profile a pitcher well known to college baseball fans and draft followers. Fulmer tossed a gem on Friday (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 12 K) against Tennessee, improving the potential first rounder's season line to 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 42 IP, with 28 H, 21 BB, and 60 K's.

Some scouts worry about his size (5'11, 195 lbs) and max effort delivery effecting his ability to start long term. Other scouts praise his athleticism and ability to repeat his mechanics and think he will be able to make the necessary  adjustments to his delivery in pro ball to take the stress off his shoulder. However, no one questions his premium stuff which includes a 92-96 MPH fastball and the ability to hold that velocity deep into his outings. He also has a plus breaking ball in his 12-6 curve and a usable change up as well. Here's a prospect profile courtesy of MLB.com.

The latest rankings via College Baseball Writers

The latest RPI's of the season courtesy of Boyd's World.

That's it for this week. Stay classy, not crassy, everyone.