Top 25 Calendar
|Rank||Team||Opponents (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)||TV||Remarks|
|2||Vanderbilt||(19) Oklahoma State||SEC+ network|
|3||Mississippi State||Long Beach State||SEC+ network|
|4||our Lady||against Manhattan, Stetson, Delaware||YouTube.com/HatterVision (Friday, Sunday), ESPN+ (Saturday)||Hatter Classic, DeLand, Florida.|
|5||Virginia||vs. Bellarmine, Gardner-Webb, New Jersey Tech||Jerry Bryson Classic, Boiling Springs, North Carolina|
|7||Stanford||State of California Fullerton||Pac-12 Plus Network|
|8||Arkansas||state of illinois||SEC+ network|
|9||Mississippi||South Charleston||SEC+ network|
|ten||state of louisiana||Maine||SEC+ network|
|11||Oregon State||vs. New Mexico (Friday, Monday), Gonzaga (Saturday, Sunday)||FloSports||Surprise, Arizona.|
|12||state of florida||James Madison||Additional ACC network|
|13||Arizona||vs. Kansas State, Oklahoma, (23) Texas Tech||FloSports||State Farm Showdown, Arlington, TX|
|16||North Carolina State||Evansville||Additional ACC network|
|17||Tennessee||South Georgia||SEC+ network|
|18||UC Irvine||in Louisiana-Lafayette||ESPN+|
|19||Oklahoma State||at (2) Vanderbilt||SEC+ network|
|20||Nebraska||to Sam Houston State||ESPN+ (Friday)|
|21||Georgia Technology||Wright’s State||Additional ACC network|
|22||UCLA||State of California Northridge||Pac-12 Plus Network|
|23||Texas technology||vs. Michigan, Auburn, (13) Arizona||FloSports||State Farm Showdown, Arlington, TX|
|25||Miami||Towson||Additional ACC network|
What to watch
(19) Oklahoma State to (2) Vanderbilt
Opening Weekend delivers a hit series, as Oklahoma State heads to Nashville. The Commodores won this series in Stillwater a season ago, but that was with Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter leading the way. Now Vanderbilt will deploy its new rotation for the first time, turning to right-handers Chris McElvain and Nick Maldonado – both of whom mainly threw in relief in 2021 – and freshman left-hander Carter Holton. The good news for Vanderbilt is that while the trio lack starting experience, they are not lacking in talent and they will be backed up by a powerful and veteran offense. Leading hitter Dominic Keegan and dynamic leadoff hitter Enrique Bradfield Jr. are back to lead the lineup and there’s plenty of depth around the diamond for the Commodores.
Oklahoma State has the potential to challenge Texas for the Big 12 title this spring, but it also has plenty of new things in both roster and pitching personnel. Right-hander Justin Campbell returns to lead the rotation and veteran slugger Jake Thompson is back in the lineup. But the Cowboys need newcomers like right-hander Victor Mederos and freshman Roc Riggio to get going and comebacks like third baseman Nolan McLean and right-hander Trevor Martin to advance. If they can do it this weekend, it could be the start of a special spring for the Cowboys.
Long Beach State to (3) Mississippi State
The reigning national champions won’t have time to rest on their laurels this weekend with the arrival of the Dirtbags at Dudy Noble Field. Beach upset Mississippi State at home in this series in 2020 before the season was halted and he had a regionals-worthy resume in 2021, despite being snubbed by the selection committee. The Dirtbags are set for a breakthrough season in 2022, led by a strong pitching team led by ace Luis Ramirez and closer Devereaux Harrison. Announcing this breakout on opening weekend in Starkville won’t be easy, though. Mississippi State will look to preseason American right-hander Landon Sims to set the tone with his Friday night debut after last season as the team’s relief ace. Mississippi State replaces several key players from last season, including SEC Player of the Year Tanner Allen and College World Series Most Outstanding Player Will Bednar, but the Bulldogs aren’t lacking in talent and won’t overlook the Dirtbags this weekend.
State Farm College Baseball Showdown, Arlington, Texas
(13) Arizona, Auburn, Kansas State, Michigan, Oklahoma, (23) Texas Tech
This tournament caused a stir a year ago in its inaugural season, as it brought together a field of six teams ranked in the top 15 of the pre-season standings – a group that ultimately produced the Big 12 champion (Texas) , the Big 12 Tournament Champion (Texas Christian), SEC Regular Season and Tournament Champion (Arkansas), and National Champion (Mississippi State). This year’s field isn’t as strong, but it’s not lacking in interest.
Arizona begins the season under first-year coach Chip Hale, who is returning to his alma mater after a long career as a major league coach and manager. Auburn and Oklahoma are looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons that saw them finish below .500 and miss the NCAA Tournament. Kansas State has made some progress in 2021, but is now replacing the program’s first-ever first-round pick. Michigan is also replacing several key players from its 2021 regional team and will be eager to start this season strong against top-notch competition. Texas Tech has the best player on the field in All-American second baseman Jace Jung, but much of the roster around him is untested. No matter how the tournament plays out on the pitch, all six teams should come away from the weekend with a better idea of where they stand.
College Baseball Takeaways: Upheavals Abound on Opening Day
Upsets abounded on opening day, with Long Beach State’s 3-0 win over No. 3 Mississippi State headlined Friday’s action.
(18) UC Irvine in Louisiana-Lafayette
Two teams with big aspirations for the 2022 season will open the year against each other. UCI enters the season as Big West favorites after winning the conference title a season ago, while UL last season won the Sun Belt Conference West Division. This weekend presents a big opportunity for both teams – the Anteaters are looking for what should be a solid series win and one that would provide an RPI boost and the Cajuns have a chance to score early with a series win over a ranked opponent. An intriguing underlying storyline is that this will mark a return to UL for new UCI DH Ben Fitzgerald, who traded over the summer after leading the Cajuns with 12 homers last season. Also keep an eye out for UCI outfielder Nathan Church, who hit .369/.424/.583 last season to lead the team at bat.
South Florida Round Robin, Tampa
Charlotte, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida
With no ranked team on the field, this tournament is flying a bit under the radar. But of all the tournaments this weekend, only this one features a trio of teams from the NCAA Tournament from a year ago — and the only team on the field to miss regionals is a powerhouse in Louisville. All four teams have intriguing upsides in 2022 and hopefully this weekend will help provide quick answers surrounding them. Charlotte is looking to build on its 2021 momentum after moving to regionals for the first time in a decade and fires Conference USA Player of the Year Austin Knight, but must replace several key elements of the Team of the Year last. UConn last season won the Big East in its first season back in the conference, but between the draft and the injury this fall of dynamic two-way player Reggie Crawford, the Huskies are also replacing a lot of talent. Louisville suffered a late-season swoon in 2021 and missed the NCAA Tournament and must now replace first draft pick Henry Davis. USF, on the other hand, had a Cinderella run in the playoffs – first winning the American Athletic Conference tournament as the No. 6 seed to advance to regionals, then winning the region. of Gainesville, rocking Florida and Miami along the way – and now it’s looking to build on that success.