Sweeper of the Week: Notre Dame has now won 8 in a row after putting on their big boy pants this weekend with a big series win over No. 13 Florida State.
Injury Note: Tough break for Boston College outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw who carries one of the best power tools in this year's crop of college bats and has been generating some 1st round buzz. He broke his hamate bone over the weekend and will likely miss the remainder of the regular season.
No. 3 Louisville carries an ACC best 16-2 conference record after their series win over Duke.
Senior Spotlight: It's been a tough year for Duke but senior righty Andrew Istler is putting together an excellent season and tossed a gem (7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 10 K) in a win over Louisville. He works 90-91 MPH with his fastball with good command of three secondary pitches and fun fact alert: He's a former teammate of my brother's when they played for the Wilson Tobs in the Coastal Plain League in 2012.
(Big Ten Highlights)
Sweeper of the Week: No. 18 Illinois continues to look like the team to beat after their sweep of Purdue. They've won ten straight now.
Stock Up: No. 28 Iowa - After getting the Mike Shawaryn treatment on Friday (he's kinda good), the Hawkeyes responded with a big series win over No. 23 Maryland.
(Big 12 Highlights)
Upset specials hit the Big 12 this weekend courtesy of the state of Kansas...
Kansas State picked up a big series upset win over No. 7 TCU.
Kansas handed No. 14 Oklahoma State an unexpected series loss.
Guess who took advantage...
Sweeper of the Week: No. 19 Texas Tech did and moved into a 2nd place tie with TCU after they swept Baylor this weekend.
Your National ERA Leader: Still right-hander Corey Taylor and his minuscule 0.20 ERA. That's one earned run over 44.1 innings of relief work, folks.
Stock Down: Texas has fallen from the polls and with a 19-17 record and 88 RPI, the Longhorns are on the outside looking in for the NCAA tournament a year after making it to the CWS.
Not to pile on the Longhorns, but C.J. Hinijosa saw his average drop to .198 on the season over the weekend in what hasn't been a disappointing season for the pre-season breakout candidate.
(Big West Highlights)
Hot Streakin: UC Irvine has now gone 15-1 over their last 16 games and should hit the polls soon after a series win over Long Beach State. Shotty Spratling has notes and quotes from the series including video of Kris Paulino's walk off single on Friday.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara meanwhile remains the top dog in the conference for time being. They picked up a road series win over Cal State Northridge.
No-No Alert: UW-Milwaukee tossed a no-no this weekend on the combined effort from lefty Alex McIntosh (7 IP, 11 K) and Mike Schnieder. McIntosh wasn't even scheduled to start this outing until a late-scratch to the original starter opened up an opportunity for him to make history. Great story.
Stock Up: No. 26 Missouri State - The Bears ain't nothin to **** with lately as they have won 12 of 13 and are putting the heat of conference favorite No. 17 Dallas Baptist.
Stock Up: No. 22 College of Charleston - The Cougars have won 11 of 12 games and sit 11-1 in CAA play after a series win over Elon.
Pitcher Spotlight: Rising draft prospect Taylor Clarke continued his dominance with a 9 strikeout outing for the Cougars on Friday. He's now 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA and has struck out 81 over 62.1 IP. He sits 90-94 MPH with his fastball with a slider that has flashed plus.
DII Minnesota State scored 51 runs combined in their doubleheader wins over Bemidji State. That's fun.
Your National OBP and BB's Leader: Austin Byler, the Senior third baseman from Nevada. A 9th round pick in 2014, he'll go higher this time around as he's having an excellent season at the plate (.339/.538/.710, 9 HR, 42 BB, 40 K in 124 AB).So is 27-9 Nevada who appear on the cusp of the polls.
Stock Down: No. 16 Rice was handed a surprising series loss by UAB. On the flip side, No. 15 Florida Atlantic moved into 1st place in the C-USA. Both schools are called the Owls. It's late.
Stock Down: Arizona has lost five in a row now after No. 8 Arizona State picked up a big sweep this weekend over their in-state rival. Potential 1st rounder Scott Kingery still leads the country with a .458 average because he's awesome.
Best In The West: No. 3 UCLA proved they are still the premier west coast team with a big road series win over No. 11 USC. Eric Sorensen recaps Game 1 here.
Best In The Land: They've been red-hot all season and it was a matter of time before No. 1 Texas A&M (33-3) took over as the top ranked team in the country. The Aggies picked up a series win over Mississippi State this weekend.
Stock Down: No. 20 South Carolina - Ugh, this season has gone down the toilet real quick and may stay there with matchups with Vandy and A&M still on the docket. The Gamecocks are just 3-8 in SEC play after No. 10 Florida manhandled them for an easy weekend sweep.
Highly touted freshman catcher J.J. Schwarz had a heluva weekend at the Gamecocks expense. He's now 2nd in the nation with 12 homers. Teammate Harrison Bader, a potential top 5 round pick this year, is tied for 3rd in the nation with 11 homers.
Stock Down: Vanderbilt loses their number one ranking thanks to a series loss to unranked Ole Miss.
Pitcher Spotlight: Carson Fulmer gets the runner up for the pitcher of the week award because we've already profiled him but he had a sensational 14 K outing and here's the interesting part from a scouting standpoint: Zero walks.
(Photo Courtesy Of: Memphis Athletics)
Hitter of the Week: Tucker Tubbs - 1B/3B - Memphis
He has a plus name and plus power at the plate too. Tubbs was a wreaking ball at the plate this weekend for the Tigers, blasting four home runs while batting 7-for-12 and driving in 6 runs. He's now batting .339/.423/.653 over 118 at bats with 9 home runs, 10 doubles, 14 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Tubbs has emerged as an intriguing senior draft prospect due to the rediscovery of his in-game power stroke following a down junior campaign after he batted just .244 with 3 home runs. He stands in at 6'4", 205 pounds and has the athleticism and experience handling the hot corner to potentially sell a team on him as a "four-corners" guy that could hit enough to warrant a spot on a big league bench one day. He ought to come off the board as senior sign type during rounds 5 through 10.
Pitcher of the Week: Walker Buehler - RHP - Vanderbilt
Yep, that Vandy staff is talented. Like he teammate Fulmer, Walker Buehler turned his best outing of the season versus Ole Miss over the weekend. He worked 8 strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits and a walk, fanning 13 hitters.
Buehler is as well-rounded a pitching prospect as you'll find in this year's draft class with a real chance at being in the running for the number one overall pick. He has a quality four-pitch repertoire, highlighted by a 92-96 MPH fastball, plus 79-81 MPH curveball, along with an above-average slider and change up. He commands his repertoire well and has pitched to a 2.41 ERA in 37.1 IP with 36 hits allowed, 9 walks, and 41 strikeouts. Here's prospect video of Buehler from MLB.com. Expect to hear his name called early on draft day.
(PS: I will be on hand to watch the Vandy series this weekend. Stay tuned for my video analysis of Vandy's pitching prospects next week.)