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College Baseball Weekend Roundup (April 17-19)

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Like seemingly every weekend, the number one team of the land went down opening the door for a new team to possibly slide in to the number one spot.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Where were you this weekend? I was on hand to watch game one of the South Carolina versus Vanderbilt series on Thursday. Perhaps, it's good I didn't make it out to the next two games. The Commodores dominated the Gamecocks for 12-0 win behind another excellent outing from Carson Fulmer on Thursday. The Gamecocks had their backs against the wall after Thursday's loss but responded admirably with a huge series win, highlighted by a stellar outing from Jack Wynkoop on Saturday (9 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, BB, 12 K).

In other news, Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs released his updated draft rankings. He has some interesting thoughts to share on everyone's favorite polarizing draft prospects Brady Aiken and Michael Matuella. Prep shortstop Brendan Rodgers remains number one on his draft board.

On with the weekend highlights...

(ACC Highlights)

Hot Streakin: No. 4 Lousiville is a ridiculous 20-2 in ACC play following their weekend sweep of Wake Forest.

Prospect note: Cardinals ace Kyle Funkhouser sat 93-96 MPH in his latest outing, touching 98 MPH, velocity gains that could bump him up into the Top 5 of the draft if he maintains them.

Senior Spotlight: After going undrafted last June, center fielder Jake Fincher headed back to the Cape to rehabilitate his draft stock and entered his senior year for NC State ready to bounce back from a disappointing junior campaign.

Shortstop Logan Ratledge is another senior leader for the Wolfpack and both he and Fincher have broken out in 2015 with performances at the plate that won't go overlooked by scouts this time according to this article from D1 Baseball.

(Big Ten Highlights)

Hot Streakin: Off to a school record 32-6 record, No. 12 Illinois has now won 13 games in a row and continue to lead the Big Ten with a 10-1 conference record.

No. 23 Maryland picked up a big out-of-conference series win over Cal State Fullerton.

Pitcher Spotlight: Remember the name for the 2016 draft. Terps ace Mike Shawaryn continues to dominate and had his best outing of the season (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K) over the weekend against Cal State Fullerton and leads the nation with 9 wins.

Stock Up: No. 28 Iowa improved to 10-2 in Big Ten play a series win over Northwestern.

(Big 12 Highlights)

No. 7 TCU hosted out-of-conference foe Santa Clara this weekend and handed the Broncos a sweep.

For the time being, No. 14 Oklahoma State and their 9-4 Big 12 record still pace the conference. The Cowboys will finish their series with Baylor with a doubleheader today.

(Big West Highlights)

No. 10 UC Santa Barbara are currently projected as a regional host in the tournament and picked up a series win over Cal Poly over the weekend.

Your Weekly Tate Update: Potential top five pick Dillon Tate was scratched from his start this weekend due to a lat strain.

(Mid-Major Highlights)

Mid-Major Ace Of The Week: Kyle Dowdy - RHP - Houston - Dowdy got rowdy and pitched a gem two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts against Cincinnati.

Stock Up: The Missouri Valley Conference - Believe it or not, the MVC currently has two teams - No. 17 Dallas Baptist (No. 1 RPI) and No. 26 Missouri State (No. 9 RPI) - projected by Baseball America as regional hosts.

Prospect Note: Missouri State ace Jon Harris has emerged as a bonafide 1st round talent in the 2015 draft with a fastball that has sat 91-95 mph and three average or better secondaries he can throw for strikes. He didn't fare too well in his latest outing but has strong numbers on the season: 2.29 ERA in 59 IP, 48 H, 24 BB, 71 K.

Coming To A Poll Near You: Nevada took possession of first place in the Mountain West with a sweep of San Diego State and should enter the rankings again with their impressive 31-9 overall record. Eric Sorenson was on hand to cover the series.

Pitcher Spotlight: Adam Whitt led the Cape Cod League in strikeouts last summer and the submarining righty has dominated as the Wolfpack's closer in 2015 (0.99 ERA in 27.1 IP, 22 H, 4 BB, 33 K, 12 Saves). Here's a great story on Whitt's unlikely rise to success as a walk-on player for the Wolfpack.

Stock Up: Southeastern Louisiana could knock on the poll doors soon after sweeping McNeese State over the weekend. The Lions (30-11) lead the Southland conference with their 14-4 record. Heluva season Coach Riser and the Lions are having, especially without top Southland draft prospect, catcher Jameson Fisher, who's been sidelined due to labrum surgery.

(Pac-12 Highlights)

No. 11 USC picked up a solid series win over Oregon. Perfect Game provides video highlights of Trojans top draft prospect LHP Kyle Twomey.

(SEC Highlights)

Down Goes Frazier: No. 1 Texas A&M finally went got knocked down a peg this weekend, losing their first series of the year to Arkansas. Huge upset for the unranked Razorbacks.

Will They Be Number 1? I submit this column before the rankings are updated (usually) which is why I can't inform you whether No. 2 LSU will take over the throne. I can inform you that the Tigers won both games they played at Georgia and are tied for first in the SEC West with the Aggies.

Here's a detailed game report with video from Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America covering Carson Fulmer's strong outing (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, BB, 9 K). I sat a row behind him at the game and can faintly hear some of my conversations in the background of the video he took so that's fun. I'll share my thoughts in a separate post but long story short, I'm more sold on Fulmer as a starter than Belinsky is.

Andrew Benintendi

(Photo Courtesy Of: Andy Shupe)

Hitter of the Week: Andrew Benintendi - OF - Arkansas

Meet your national home run leader at the moment with 14 and counting. This draft-eligible sophomore went 6-for-11 at the plate this weekend, playing a key role in the Razorbacks takedown of No. 1 Texas A&M. Benintendi has made a name for himself with a monster campaign (.370/.475/.733 with 30 BB/24 K in 146 AB; 19-for-22 in SB) and has been a mover on recent draft prospect rankings.

Benintendi arrived at Arkansas in 2013 after he went unsigned as a 31st rounder out of high school to the Reds. He's not a freakish athlete nor very physically imposing at 5'10", 180 pounds. But, the left handed hitter knows how to handle a bat and drive the ball with above average power for his size and has enough range to stick in center. His solid-average tools across the board and excellent college production could have Benintendi off the board as early as the 2nd-3rd round this June.

Zach Rodgers

(Photo By: Romeo Guzman)

Pitcher of the Week: Zach Rodgers - RHP - UCF

Not too long ago, No. 18 UCF was a consensus top ten program in the country with a high-powered home run hitting offense among the nation's best. But, the Knights have really scuffled in conference play, dropping three consecutive series now. On the flip side, Rodgers has mitigated the scuffle with his three consecutive complete games now, including this weekend's gem at Tulane (9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K). Here's video from said outing.

Rodgers is a senior that is undersized at 5'10", 180 pounds but has excellent command of a fastball that sits 90-92 MPH with some late tail and a decent looking curveball. He won't go high in the draft but does intrigue me as a senior that shouldn't go overlooked again this June and has strong feel for pitching.

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.