Every week, we’re previewing crucial match-ups across the SEC and ranking teams based on their performance and potential. All stats and records are through games on Wednesday February 18.
All rankings are provided by D1Baseball.com.
The return of baseball didn’t mean the end of cold weather in the South. Numerous games throughout the week have been moved or cancelled because of bad weather.
Despite the cold weather, many teams were able to play their full weekend series. There was not much movement in this week’s power rankings because many teams faced inferior opponents.
Early on, I’m impressed with Mississippi State. Don’t be surprised to see the Bulldogs make a similar run to 2013 when they reached the College World Series final.
Baseball Quote of the Week:
Why does everybody stand up and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” when they’re already there? ~Larry Anderson
Key Weekend Series:
#2 Florida at #14 Miami (FL) – Florida travels to Miami for a three game series with the Hurricanes. Miami is 4-1 on the season including a weekend sweep of Rutgers. They dropped their last game at Florida Atlantic on Wednesday night. Miami’s offense was red-hot last weekend, scoring 48 runs in the four game series. For the Canes, keep an eye on sophomore catcher Zack Collins. Collins was the 2014 National Freshman of the Year and was named a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game, Collegiate Baseball, and D1Baseball.com. Junior outfielder Harrison Bader leads the way for the Gators. He earned the SEC Player of the Week honors when he hit three home runs against Rhode Island last weekend.
Prediction: Florida wins 2 of 3
#20 Alabama at #7 Houston – The Crimson Tide will travel to Houston this weekend to take on the Cougars. Houston swept Minnesota this weekend, but they struggled at the plate at times, only mustering a .260 average. Much of their offense came from newcomers Connor Wong, Chris Iriat, and Ian Rice. The trio hit a combined .394 with four home runs last weekend. A player to watch in this series is Alabama junior 2B Kyle Overstreet. He improved in SEC play last season and is off to an excellent start in 2015. The 2013 Gold Glove winner tallied 10 RBI over the weekend in a sweep of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Prediction: Houston wins 2 of 3
Top 25 Rank: #1
Weekend Series: vs. Indiana State
No need to panic in Nashville. The ‘Dores hit .324 against Santa Clara over the weekend while the pitching staff held the Broncos to a .194 average. Right-handed ace Carson Fulmer overcame some control issues with a solid outing spreading three walks over five innings of scoreless work.