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At the close of regular season college baseball and the start of conference tournaments, the Virginia Cavaliers were unable to hold onto the No. 1 spot in any of the polls. The Cavaliers lost all three games to the North Carolina Tar Heels last week, while the new No. 1, South Carolina, took two of three from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
In Baseball America's Top 25 and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll, the Cavaliers fell to No. 5. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, the Cavs dropped just two spots to No. 3. South Carolina came in at No. 1 in all the three, while Florida, Texas and Vanderbilt all check in at various spots to fill out the rest of the top five positions. Previously No. 2, the Oregon State Beavers lost two of three to the USC and fell to sixth in the BA and CBN polls.
The TCU Horned Frogs stayed at Nos. 7 and 10 in the CBN and BA polls, respectively, while moving up two spots to No. 7 in the Coaches poll. They swept New Mexico to close out the regular season. They are the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West tournament.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25:
|9||Cal State Fullerton||37-14||9|
Dropped out: Fresno State (20), Stetson (21), Oklahoma State (22), Texas State (25)
The Virginia Cavaliers remain the No. 1 team in Baseball America's Top 25 poll for the fifth straight week. But the Oregon State Beavers are right behind the Cavalier, waiting to make that leap to No. 1 with two weeks of regular season play remaining. The Cavaliers took two of three from the Miami Hurricanes, and the Beavers picked up two wins over the Washington Huskies on the weekend. The Cavaliers have a midweek game with High Point and a three-game series with North Carolina before the ACC Tournament begins on May 25.
In the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the USA Today/Coaches Poll, the Cavaliers remain the No. 1 team as well, though the Beavers are No. 2 in the CBN (up from No. 3) and now No. 7 in the Coaches Poll (breaking the tie for the spot).
In Mountain West results, the TCU Horned Frogs are still No. 10 in BA's poll, but they moved to No. 7 in the CBN and No. 9 in the Coaches Poll. The Horned Frogs captured the regular season Mountain West title when outfielder Jason Coats scored on a wild pitch for the 2-1 victory. TCU will play Oral Roberts and New Mexico before the MWC tournament begins on May 24.
Here is Baseball American's Top 25:
|9||Cal State Fullerton||36-14||9|
Dropped out: UCLA(24)
The latest college baseball Top 25 polls are out and the Virginia Cavaliers are now No. 1 in three major polls. In Baseball America's rankings and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the Cavaliers continue to hold the top spot for another week in a row. The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper held out on Virginia last week when it had the South Carolina Gamecocks at No. 1, but this week CBN's Top 25 has Virginia at the top.
What caused South Carolina to drop from No. 1 to No. 4? Despite winning a midweek game against Wofford, the Gamecocks lost two of three to the Ole Miss Rebels (27-21). South Carolina dropped to No. 4 in BA's and CBN's rankings and stayed put at No. 3 in the Coaches poll. Oregon State and Vanderbilt float around in the top five of the polls, though in the Coaches poll they are tied for seventh with fellow Pac-10 team, Arizona State.
In Mountain West Conference news, the TCU Horned Frogs are as high as No. 8 in CBN's rankings and No. 10 in both BA and the Coaches polls. TCU swept their three-game series with the Air Force Falcons back at the start of April. Over the weekend, the Horned Frogs played an out-of-conference series with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and took two of three games. Zac Jordan's 10th inning homer proved to be the game-winner for the Horned Frogs on Sunday.
The NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Show takes place on May 30 at 10:30 a.m. MT on ESPN.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25 poll:
|9||Cal State Fullerton||33-13||10|
Dropped out: California(21), Gonzaga(23)
Depending on which college baseball poll one looks at, the top teams will be a scramble of South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Virginia. In Baseball America's Top 25 poll, the Virginia Cavaliers are No. 1 for another week in a row, and they are No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. But the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper moved the South Carolina Gamecocks ahead of Virginia for the No. 1 spot.
The wild card at the top of the rankings is Vanderbilt. While No. 4 in BA's rankings, the Commodores are No. 2 in the Coaches poll and No. 3 in CBN's. Oregon State is also in the mix. OSU's Josh Osich threw a no-hitter on Saturday against then-No. 24 (BA), striking out 13 and walking one. UCLA's Trevor Bauer struck out 15 in loss.
TCU's position has remained constant, placing No. 10 (Coaches) and No. 11 (BA) for another week and dropping one spot to No. 8 in the CBN.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25:
|10||Cal State Fullerton||30-13||10|
Dropped out: Stanford (21), Troy (22), UCLA (24)
The Virginia Cavaliers remain atop the Baseball America Top 25 rankings for a second week in a row. And that's with their ace, Danny Hultzen, taking a loss in Game 1 of their Saturday doubleheader. Hultzen allowed six run in the sixth inning, but four were unearned because a Jared King error eventually led to scoring plays for NC State. Hultzen allowed 11 hits in 7.1 innings during the 6-2 loss.
The rest of the top seven teams remained the same, though No. 4 Vanderbilt was the only team to go undefeated last week. The Commodores are tied with No. 2 South Carolina and No. 5 Florida for the SEC lead. The Gamecocks will be without OF Jackie Bradley for a few weeks after he injured his wrist.
The back of the Top 25 continues to fluctuate. Miami jumped from No. 25 to No. 16 after taking two of three from then-No. 14 North Carolina. Stanford, Troy and Connecticut entered the rankings at 21-23.
The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper kept Virginia No. 1 overall, but their rankings after No. 2 South Carolina diverge from BA's. Vanderbilt and Texas take the next two spots, but have Oregon State three spots lower than BA at No. 6. TCU is No. 7 in this poll and No. 11 in BA's.
In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Virginia is the No. 1 team, but not undisputed. Vanderbilt received three first-place votes and moved up a spot to No. 2. TCU moved four spots to No. 10.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25:
|10||Cal State Fullerton||28-11||8|
Dropped out: Arkansas (21), Arizona (23), Gonzaga (24)
A look back at the Mountain West baseball action.
TCU (25-11) Vs. San Diego State (11-25)
TCU’s sweep of San Diego State kept the Horned Frogs ahead of the Utes swept their three game set over New Mexico this weekend. The first two games of the series TCU blew out the Aztecs 11-4 and then 8-2, with the final game going to extra innings with TCU winning 7-4 in 10 innings. The Aztecs exploded with four runs in the 10th to complete the sweep:
With one out, Jason Coats drilled a double to left center to start the rally. Josh Elander followed with double to right center that put the Frogs up 4-3. The Aztecs elected to walk Jerome Pena with two outs in the inning and Aaron Schultz made the decision hurt as he singled to drive in another run. Weik cleared the bases and made it a 7-3 game with a double to left.
The Aztecs pushed across a run in the bottom of the 10th, but Erik Miller (2-6) slammed the door, getting a big strike out and a line out to end the game.
Next up for TCU is a one-game match against No. 6 ranked Texas A&M at College Station, Texas on Tuesday night.
Utah (16-13) Vs. New Mexico (10-27)
The Utes swept the Lobos to keep pace with TCU, but they are still two games back of TCU. The Utes had no trouble disposing of the Lobos by winning 7-1, 15-11 and 9-3. The second game of the series had the most drama with the 26 runs scored. The Utes started off fast by scoring five runs in the first inning by a rare inside-the-park home run byTrey Nielsen. Utah then rung up six more runs by extending their lead to 10-0 after five innings. New Mexico mad a nice comeback by scoring 11 runs through the 5th, 6th and 7th innings, but the Utes came back with five runs during the last three innings to secure the win.
Sacramento State Vs. Air Force (14-22)
The Falcons continued their road struggles this year as they took one out of four games against Sacramento State. For the year, Air Force is only 2-13 away from their home field. All of the games were close for the Falcons as they lost 2-1, 3-2 and 9-6 before finally getting their win in the finale 8-7. In their lone win against Sacramento State the Falcons were aided by a grand slam by Matt Thorne in the seventh inning to secure an Air Force win.
BYU (18-14) Vs. UNLV (24-14)
UNLV who started the season hot by playing inferior competition and then fell flat once Mountain West play began, but they may be turning the corner ever so slightly as they took two-of-three from BYU. The Rebels won 7-2, 6-5 in 10 innings and then lost the finale 9-4.
Peters worked all nine innings of last Thursday’s 7-2 win over BYU, allowing two runs on three hits without a walk. The Simi Valley, Calif., native retired the first six batters he faced, including the first four by strikeout, fanning 11 batters overall. After giving up both runs and all three hits in the third inning, Peters held the Cougars hitless over the final six frames, with just three BYU players reaching base during that span.
The Virginia Cavaliers are the new No. 1 team in Baseball America's latest top 25 results. The Cavaliers swept Duke in a three-game series, outscoring the Blue Devils, 31-6. Lefty ace Danny Hultzen continued his dominance this season with seven innings of four-hit, no-run ball. He struck out nine batters. The Cavs won midweek games against Georgetown and Coastal Carolina, as well.
Previously No. 1, Vanderbilt dropped two of three games to now-No.2 South Carolina. The Commodores dropped to No. 4. Oregon State jumped six spots to No. 3 following their three-game sweep of Stanford, the Cardinal dropping out of the top 25.
The North Carolina Tar Heels fell from No. 7 all the way to No. 14. The Tar Heels dropped a three-game series over the weekend to in-state rival North Carolina State.
In the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Virginia stayed at No. 1, while Vanderbilt dropped to No. 3 behind South Carolina. TCU is ranked No. 10 in BA's poll and No. 11 in the CBN, but there are some concerns cropping up over starter Matt Purke, who experienced a drop in velocity over the weekend.
Here is BA's top 25:
|8||Cal State Fullerton||27-9||8|
Dropped out: Stanford (17), Troy (18), Alabama (24)
The Vanderbilt Commodores remained No. 1 in the latest Baseball America Top 25 poll, having defeated Middle Tennessee State during the middle of the week and then sweeping now-No. 24 Alabama in a three-game set over the weekend. The Commodores averaged almost 10 runs per game last week. Staff ace Sonny Gray overcame three walks and three wild pitches to finish with six innings pitched and just two unearned runs in Friday's game. Grayson Garvin followed on Saturday with 7 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, striking out seven.
Virginia, South Carolina and Florida round out the top four, but then-No. 5 Arizona State had a tough week, dropping all three games to the Oregon St. Beavers. Oregon State benefited from this, vaulting 10 spots to No. 9 this week. Also making a big leap this past week was North Carolina, from No. 16 to No. 7. They took two of three from Florida State over the weekend, dropping the Seminoles out of the top 10.
Now BA's ranking of North Carolina comes in line with the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll's placement of North Carolina. In the CBN, UNC is the No. 6 team in the nation, though this ranking has Virginia still in the top spot. Oregon State also made the leap into the top 10 with the final spot there. In the Coaches Poll, North Carolina is the No. 5 team in the country, while Vanderbilt is No. 1 there.
In Mountain West rankings, the TCU Horned Frogs are still the only team from the conference ranked, unsurprisingly. At 22-10, TCU ranges from No. 11 in the CBN to No. 12 in BA to No. 14 in the Coaches poll. They defeated Texas-Pan American twice during the week and took two of three from New Mexico over the weekend. Matt Purke struck out seven on his way to the win in Saturday's game.
Arkansas was the only new team to enter the Top 25, forcing their opponent, LSU, out of the top 25. Colorado native Kevin Gausman threw eight shutout innings and struck out five in Saturday's contest. The Tigers put three on the board in the ninth to break the 0-0 tie, but a blown save and four runs later in the bottom of the inning prevented Gausman and the Tigers from picking up the win.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25:
|8||Cal State Fullerton||23-9||12|
Dropped Out: LSU, No. 17
The latest college baseball polls are out and Vanderbilt remains the No. 1 team in the nation in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. They moved up to No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polll over now No. 2 Virginia. While the Coaches Poll had numerous changes in the rankings, Baseball America kept 24 of its top 25 teams (Oklahoma State being the only new team) and the first 17 teams remained in the same order from last week.
Both polls have the same top four teams with Vanderbilt leading the way. Virginia, South Carolina and Florida complete it. The first big discrepancy to appear is with North Carolina. In the Coaches poll, UNC is the No. 7 team in the nation, but BA's top 25 has them at No. 16.
TCU remained No. 15 following their 3-1 record last week. The Horned Frogs lost midweek to Stephen F. Austin, but outscored Air Force 23-9 in a three-game series sweep of the Falcons. TCU starter Kyle Winkler struck out 15 batters in the first game while Matt Purke followed in the next game with eight innings of two-run ball (TCU won that one 3-2).
UNLV had gotten off to a good start but it now 19-10 with a 2-6 Mountain West record (1-1 against Utah with the third game canceled). They did not receive any votes in the Coaches Poll this week.
Here is BA's Top 25:
|12||Cal State Fullerton||20-8||12|
Dropped Out: Baylor (No. 19)
The second week of Mountain West play went down last week, and UNLV who was the surprise team of the Mountain West is now in a slump as they were swept by New Mexico and is now 1-5 in conference play.
UNLV (18-9) vs. New Mexico (9-15)
After a hot start, UNLV has fallen into a slump by losing six-of-eight and five straight conference games. Now they are sitting in sixth place in the Mountain West standings. UNLV played New Mexico close in all three games, but they could not get the hits when they needed. The scores in each game were 3-1, 7-6 and 9-7. The final game for UNLV was the most disappointing loss since their ace pitcher Tyler Iodence who gave up 10 hits and four runs in six innings.
Utah (10-9) vs. Air Force (11-14)
Air Force lost two games against Utah with the third being postponed due to weather. The final game which play was stopped during the seventh inning as Utah was leading 9-4. The game will be finished when Utah travels to Air force on April 29th. The game of the series was the second game that was a pitchers duel that was a 2-1 win by Utah. In that game Utah pitcher Brock Duke who pitched six innings and allowed only one run and then the relief came in and continued to shut down the Falcons bats. Air Force's Sean Carly pitched his second complete game and held Utah to six hits, but the two runs was too many for the Falcons. The two wins by Utah moved them into first place in the conference with a 4-1 record and just ahead of TCU who is sitting at 2-1.
TCU (15-8) vs. Houston
TCU took two-of-three from Houston as their bats came alive in their two wins 16-1 and 9-1 and have been on a roll and won five-of-six after losing two in a row to UNLV. Here is what TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle had to say about the series win over Houston:
"Today's win makes me feel a lot more comfortable. Considering how we lost on Friday and the comeback on Saturday, today was the most complete game for us. I would like us to be more offensive in the middle innings. But they did a good job of keeping us on our front foot and getting us to hit the ball in the air. I thought Steven (Maxwell) was as good as he has been all year at times, Stefan (Crichton) and Andrew Mitchell were excellent as well."
San Diego State (7-17) vs. BYU (12-11)
BYU won two-of-three over San Diego State in three close games. The two wins for BYU put them back in the conference race as they improved their conference record to 3-3. The final game was a 5-3 win by San Diego State in 10 innings where the Aztecs scored three runs in the top of 10th of off Blake Torgerson. In BYU's two wins they were able to get out to big leads which were too much for the Aztecs to overcome.
There's a new No. 1 team in college baseball this week. In Baseball America's latest Top 25 rankings, the Vanderbilt Commodores took over the top spot after the former No. 1 Gators dropped two of three from the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Commodores took two of three from the Arkansas Razorbacks over the weekend and won a midweek contest over Tennessee Tech.
The Virginia Cavaliers could challenge for the No. 1 spot if they aren't already. The Cavs completed a three-game sweep of Maryland over the weekend. Staff ace Danny Hultzen is 5-0 in six games. He's allowed 23 hits in 40 1/3 innings and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 71:7.
Stetson, Troy, Southern Miss and Alabama were the four new teams to enter BA's rankings this week.
In the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 25, Virginia emerged as the new No. 1 team, while Vanderbilt remained as the No. 2 team. It is the same result in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll. However, Florida is No. 3 in that one, while No. 4 in the others.
Out of the Mountain West Conference, TCU is No. 15 in BA's poll and No. 14 in the other two. UNLV received seven votes in the Coaches poll.
Here are Baseball America's top 25 teams:
|12||Cal State Fullerton||16-8||13|
Dropped Out: Clemson (19), Tulane (20), Auburn(22), Rice (25)
The Mountain West baseball league schedule got underway this past weekend as BYU played Utah, UNLV hosted TCU and San Diego State hosted New Mexico. Air Force was the only school who took on a non-conference opponent as they hosted Portland.
Utah (7-8) vs. BYU (9-11)
The Utes have started to turn their season around after losing their first five games. The Utes have now gone 7-3 since then. Utah ended up surprising BYU by winning the series two games to one and in the process Utah's C.J. Cron was named the co-Mountain West Conference player of the week:
Cron batted .667 (8-for-12) with three doubles, one home run, seven RBI and five runs scored to help lead the Utes to a 2-1 record against BYU last week. In a 3-2, series-opening win, the Phoenix, Ariz., native went 3-for-4 at the plate, including scoring the tying run in the eighth inning. Cron also went 3-for-4 with three doubles, three RBI and one run scored in a 10-8 loss to the Cougars on Friday. He ended the series with a 2-for-4 day at the plate in a 15-6 Ute victory on Saturday, driving in four runs (including a three-run home run).
The scores from the weekend series were 3-2, 8-10 and 15-6. In the middle game which Utah loss the gave up a late lead as they allowed BYU to score eight runs in the final two innings for the Cougars only win in the series.
Air Force (11-10)
The Falcons had their best series of the season as they easily swept the Portland Pilots in four games at home to bring their record above .500 The other player to share offensive player of the week awards came to the
Custons batted .520 (13-for-25) and scored 11 runs while hitting from the lead-off spot as Air Force posted a 5-1 record last week. ... During that span, registering five multi-hit games and scoring multiple runs in four contests. In a doubleheader split with Creighton, Custons went 4-for-7 (.571) with three runs scored, one RBI, one triple and one walk. He followed that performance with a 9-for-18 (.500) effort at the plate in a four-game sweep of Portland, scoring eight runs while driving in two more. Custons hit two doubles and homered twice off the Pilot pitching staff while also collecting two walks.
The Falcons also had the Mountain West pitcher of the week in sophomore Luke Dorlac:
Dorlac worked 5.2 innings in relief while helping Air Force to wins over Creighton and Portland last week. The sophomore righthander did not allow a run in two appearances, striking out five batters and walking one. On Wednesday, he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out two hitters and issuing one walk to pick up the win in a 2-1 victory over the Bluejays in game one of a doubleheader. On Saturday, he fanned three batters over three scoreless innings of work while earning the save in a 9-4 win in game two of a twinbill against the Pilots. Dorlac was part of a Falcon bullpen that did not allow a run in four games vs. Portland.
TCU (13-7) vs. UNLV (17-6)
UNLV has been the surprise team of the Mountain West, but this past weekend in a series against conference favorite TCU, the Rebels came up short going 1-2. In that victory, UNLV won in dramatic fashion with a Brandon Bayardi walk-off home run, giving the Rebels a 5-4 victory. In that same game Bayardi hit two home runs and drove in three RBI. In the other two games TCU took care of business winning in a 12-2 blow out and 8-4 in the finale. TCU star pitcher Matt Purke started, and won, the 12-2 game. Purke pitched 5 and 2/3 inning, allowed seven hits, two earned runds and struck out 11 batters.
New Mexico (4-15) vs. San Diego State (6-15)
San Diego State was able to earn their first series win of the season by taking two-of-three from the lowly New Mexico Lobos. Each game was close as the Aztecs won 7-4, 13-10 and losing the finale 6-4. In both of the Aztecs wins they had to overcome an early deficit to beat the Lobos in two of their wins. In the final game New Mexico scored five runs in the top of the sixth to erase the Aztecs three runs they scored in the bottom of the fifth. That five run sixth inning was too much for the Aztecs to come back from as they ended up losing 6-4.
The latest NCAA College Baseball rankings are out and the Florida Gators are still the No. 1 team in the nation. In Baseball America's latest Top 25 update, the Gators and the Vanderbilt Commodores are the top two teams for another week in a row. The Gators swept now No. 11 Louisiana State over the weekend, and the Commodores took two of three from the Mississippi St. Bulldogs on the strength of their pitching, highlighted by Sonny Gray's 10 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings on Friday.
Louisiana State fell to No. 11 following the series loss to the Gators, but Colorado native Kevin Gausman continued his strong freshman season for the Tigers. Despite four walks, Gausman went eight innings, struck out four and allowed one run on five hits. However, he took the loss because the Gators won the game, 1-0.
Texas A&M made a huge leap from No. 21 to No. 8 this week, defeating Cal State Fullerton during the middle of the week and taking two of three from the then No. 3 Oklahoma over the weekend. Aggies ace John Stilson took the loss on Friday, but allowed only one run and struck out nine. Fresno State made a seven-spot jump to No. 10 after defeating Washington State thrice over the weekend (the fourth game was rained out).
UNLV is 17-6 after dropping two of three games against the TCU Horned Frogs over the weekend. However, they are still outside of BA's top 25 rankings. However, they hold 12 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Florida and Vanderbilt are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in that poll as well as the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.
Baseball America's Top 25 Rankings:
|13||13||Cal State Fullerton|
Baseball America released its Top 25 college baseball rankings on Monday, and the TCU Horned Frogs dropped three spots to No. 10. It wasn't so much a drop in confidence in the team (they went 3-1 last week) as it was the emergence of two teams jumping into the Top 10. The one game that TCU lost was a Matt Purke start in which he picked up his first loss as a collegian. He allowed four runs (one earned) in 3 2/3 innings, walked three and struck out four.
Virginia moved from No. 11 to No. 7 following its three-game sweep of Clemson, but the LSU Tigers made the leap from No. 16 to No. 8 after its three-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton, the then No. 6 team in the country. The Titans fell to No. 13. LSU freshman pitcher Kevin Gausman struck out five and allowed four runs in seven innings for the no-decision.
The UNLV Runnin' Rebels are 16-3 on the season following a four-game sweep of Valparaiso and received 31 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, good for No. 32 this week. TCU remained No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 30.
Here is Baseball America's Top 25 Rankings:
Cal State Fullerton
College of Charleston
The UNLV Runnin' Rebels are still atop the Mountain West Conference baseball standings a week before conference play begins. And despite a 12-3 record, the Rebels are still outside of the Top 25 polls. Here are the current standings:
|San Diego State||2-11|
Next week, the Rebels face a real test when they start conference play against the TCU Horned Frogs, but this week they'll host a four-game series against Valparaiso. Senior outfielder Rance Roudy was named the MWC Player of the Week last week and is having a great season so far: .527/.581/.982 with five homers and four stolen bases. In the upset victory over the Arizona Wildcats Roudy went 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Valparaiso is 1-11 on the season.
The TCU offense woke up last weekend in a three-game sweep of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but pitchers Kyle Winkler and Matt Purke were also outstanding. Outfielder Jason Coats was huge part of the offensive revival and he now has two home runs on the season. Brance Rivera leads the team with a .429 batting average and has hit safely in all 12 games. Kyle Winkler still maintains a 0.00 ERA.
They will play a three-game series against Houston Baptist this weekend. The Huskies are 0-12 so far. Kyle Winkler and Matt Purke will pitch the first two games against them.
The Cougars play a three-game series against the Oregon Ducks this weekend and have already lost the first game 3-6. BYU's Chris Capper took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but wound up allowing three runs before he finished the inning.
The Ducks entered the season as a Top 25 team, but after last night's win are still under .500 at 6-7.
The Falcons are participants in another tournament; this one is the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. They will play Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green, Bradley and Bucknell. Outfielder Nathan Carter has played in all 11 games, hitting .357/.429/.595 with two triples, three home runs and 10 RBI. Evan Abrecht is 3-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three games.
The Utes started play in the Frank Gifford Memorial on Thursday with a 6-4 win over UC Davis. C.J. Cron drove in two runs, but Cody Guymon's two-run single in the eighth put Utah over the top. Starter Rick Anton allowed four runs in 7 /23 innings and struck out five.
Utah plays Santa Clara twice and San Jose State for the rest of the tournament.
While the Lobos picked up their first three wins last weekend against Texas-San Antonio, they dropped a game to New Mexico State on Tuesday. Things won't get any easier when they face the Oklahoma St. Cowboys this weekend. The Cowboys are 9-3 and fourth in the Big 12 standings.
Mitch Garver leads the offense with a .375 batting average and a .976 slugging percentage. He has a team-high 13 RBI.
San Diego State
The Aztecs have played a tough schedule so far this season, including games against Vanderbilt, UCLA, Oklahoma, California and Connecticut. All are currently or have been in the Top 25 polls at one point this season.
They started a four-game series against the No. 15 Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday and dropped the game, 12-4.
UNLV which was projected to finish 5th in the preseason conference rankings is currently sitting at 11-2 with the league's best record. The next best records belong to TCU who is ranked seventh in the latest Baseball America poll and BYU, both who currently are 7-4.
Air Force (4-7)
The Falcons completed in the Surprise Coca-Cola Classic and left Arizona with a 1-3 record. The Falcons only win came in a 10-8 win against Northern Illinois. In that first game the Falcons needed to come from behind. After trailing 5-3 entering the sixth inning Air Force erupted with a five-run sixth inning, highlighted by a two-out grand slam by sophomore Alex Bast. The other three games were against UC Riverside which was a 9-7 loss, 5-0 loss Cal State Bakersfield and the finale was a 4-1 loss against Kansas.
While BYU took two-of-three from the Washington Huskies the third game of the series was a loss which ended the Cougars five-game winning streak. In the final game BYU struggled with their pitching while losing 6-2:
"Mark (Anderson) struggled with his command today and we didn't swing the bat all that well," said BYU coach Vance Law. "The balls we hit were right at people, it was just one of those days. It is disappointing because I have such expectations for this team."
New Mexico (3-9)
The Lobos had their best series of the season by taking three-of-four games from the University of Texas San Antonio. The first game set the tone for the Lobos during that series as they outscored UTSA, 13-6, which was also their first win of the season:
"It's a step in the right direction," said head coach Ray Birmingham of the team's first win of the season. "We worked on being more aggressive and we made good outs with runners in scoring position. We moved forward against a good team."
Here are highlights from their weekend series.
San Diego State (2-9)
This past weekend, San Diego State took on a tough schedule as they played No. 3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in two games, then-No.14 ranked California and newly ranked Connecticut. San Diego State went 1-3 over the weekend with the one win coming against Cal 2-1. In The rest of the games, San Diego State was outmatched as they were shut out against Oklahoma 4-0 and again 13-5 with the other loss being at the hands of Connecticut 9-3.
TCU swept Texas Tech in a three-game series to rebound from their three-game losing streak. TCU easily won two of the games 7-0 and 8-1 with the middle game being the close game 8-6. TCU pitcher Matt Purke was back in the lineup for the third game of the series, and we was in good form as he pitched six scoreless innings while striking out six batters.
The Rebels swept their rival Nevada 9-0.10-6 and 5-0. The player of the series for UNLV was outfielder Rance Roundy had a stellar weekend in which he went 10-for-11 at the plate with a 3-for-3 day with three RBI and scored two runs. UNLV is off to one of their best seasons in years, and are looking to be better than their projected fifth-place finish in the Mountain West.
The Utes traveled to Houston to play at the Astros Minute Maid Park to take part of the Houston Classic, and they had their best weekend of the year. Utah got their first win of the year by narrowly upsetting then-No. 20 ranked Texas A&M 2-1 and then they defeated Baylor 4-3 but they dropped their finale to Kentucky 2-1.
The latest college baseball rankings from Baseball America are out and the TCU Horned Frogs moved up one spot to No. 7 this week. They swept a three-game series from the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The TCU offense finally showed up, exploding for 23 runs in three games. Outfielder Jason Coats had a huge 4-for-5, three-run, three-RBI, one home run night in the first game and then had three more hits and three more RBI over the final two games.
The pitching was outstanding with Kyle Winkler throwing eight shutout innings and striking out nine batters in the first contest. Matt Purke returned to the mound on Sunday when he threw six shutout innings, allowed only one hit and struck out six.
The top four teams remained the same with Florida, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma and South Carolina taking those spots. UCAL dropped from No. 5 to No. 13 after dropping two of three against Nebraska. UCLA's Gerrit Cole struck out eight batters in nine innings and allowed only two hits, but the game took 11 innings for UCLA to pull out the win. The other two games went into extra innings as well.
Despite an 11-2 record, UNLV is not in any top 25 poll. TCU, though, is No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 25 and No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UNLV and BYU received two votes each in the Coaches Poll.
Here is the complete BA Top 25:
|6||Cal State Fullerton||7|
|21||College of Charleston||18|
The college baseball season is only two weeks old, but the team most would have expected to be atop the Mountain West standings is off to a slow start. The No. 8 TCU Horned Frogs are 4-4 while the UNLV Runnin' Rebels are 8-2.
|San Diego State||1-7|
Air Force Falcons
The Falcons are playing in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend in Surprise, Ariz., at the Kansas City Royals' spring training facility. The tournament started on Thursday, and the Falcons won a 10-8 game against Northern Illinois. Freshman outfielder Patrick Lobo hit the first home run of his career, and Evan Abrecht picked up his third win in as many games.
The Falcons will face UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield and Kansas over the next three days.
The Cougars started their weekend series against Washington on Thursday with a 3-2 victory. Senior outfielder Stephen Wells is on a five-game hitting streak and scored twice. Ryan Bernal drove in two of the Cougars' runs, including the game-winning one. Chris Capper struck out 10 in seven innings.
New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico is still looking for their first win of the season when they take on Texas-San Antonio in a four-game series. The Roadrunners are coming off a victory over the Houston Cougars on Tuesday. The Lobos will need another big weekend out of Mitchell Garver, who was named MWC Player of the Week last week, if they hope to win a game.
San Diego State Aztecs
The Aztecs will face stiff tests this weekend as they participate in the annual USD Tournament. Oklahoma (No. 3), Cal (No. 14) and Connecticut (No. 22) are all ranked in Baseball America's Top 25 poll. The tournament started on Thursday with 4-0 loss to Oklahoma.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU's pitching has been outstanding, even with Matt Purke out with an injury. Kyle Winkler, Andrew Mitchell and Steven Maxwell are all doing their parts in keeping TCU in games, but the bats haven't been as effective early on. As a team they are hitting .260 with three homers, low-lighted by outfielder Jason Coats' .125/.243/.156 line in eight games.
They dropped two of three games against Cal State Fullerton last weekend and saw Dallas Baptist battle back in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday. They face Texas Tech this weekend, and Matt Purke is scheduled to start on Sunday.
UNLV Runnin' Rebels
The Rebels went 1-1 in a midweek series against TCU's opponent this weekend, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. They will look to improve their conference-best 8-2 record with a three-game road trip against the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Pack is 0-6 and had their Tuesday game postponed due to poor field conditions.
The Rebels' Rance Roundy is 16-for-36 with four doubles, four home runs, four stolen bases and 10 RBI.
The Utes are the other winless team in the MWC and have played the fewest games. They dropped two games to Cal to start the season and then were swept in a three-game set by Arkansas last week. Things don't get any easier this week in the Houston College Classic. They will face the Texas A&M Aggies on Friday, the Baylor Bears on Saturday and the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday.
The Friday game will have future high draft selection John Stilson duel Utah's Rick Anton. The Utes will miss Kentucky RHP Alex Meyer, who pitches on Saturday. At 6-foot-9, Meyer is armed with a mid-90s fastball.
TCU has now fallen two weeks in a row in the Baseball America rankings the latest fall is from the fourth spot to the eighth spot after losing two-of-three from Cal State Fullerton. As for Fullerton, they move up to the seventh spot from the 12th spot.
The top 10 say a lot of shake up as multiple teams lost two games with Cal State-Fullerton making the biggest jump out of any team in the poll. St. John's and Miami fell out of the rankings with Fresno State and UC Irvine moving into the polls at the 24th and 25th spot.
Here are the full week two rankings from Baseball America:
|COLLEGE TOP 25|
|7.||Cal State Fullerton||4-3||3-1||12|
|18.||College of Charleston||7-0||4-0||19|
|Dropped Out: St. John's (23), Miami (25).|
One of the biggest early season matchups in college baseball took place between No. 4 ranked TCU against No. 12 Cal State-Fullerton. All three games were close between the two schools as TCU lost two of three, and that was a theme for the Mountain West this weekend as only UNLV and BYU came out with a winning record.
All three games of the series between Cal State Fullerton were close, well-contested matchups. TCU was hoping to take two games in this series with All-American picture Matt Purke was scratched in the final game with blisters on his throwing hand. A reason for losing two games to Cal State-Fullerton was due to the the offense has not been playing up to their potential. All-American outfielder Jason Coats has started the season on a slump and so far in eight games in hitting only 4-28 with only one extra-base hit on the season. The season is still young and losing twice to Cal State-Fullerton is not a terrible thing this early in the season, but it was good to matchup with a similar team to what they will face in the NCAA post season.
Air Force (3-5)
The Falcons took on rival service academy Navy and lost two of three. The first game was the best for the Falcons as their bats were alive in an 8-2 route and were led by Alex Bast who went two of four with three RBI as well as Matthew Roberts who went two of three with two RBI. Falcon pitcher Evan Abrecht had a great outing by striking out eight batters for the win. In the following two games the Falcons bats fell quiet as they lost 6-4 and 13-3.
The UNLV Rebels were the only Mountain West team to have a winning weekend as they took three of four from Central MIchigan. The Rebels offense has been on a terror this season and it continued through the series against Central Michigan as the Rebels scored 29 runs in four games.
BYU went 3-1 this weekend by defeating Northern Illinois in two games and split two games with Texas Tech. In the one loss against Texas Tech, BYU lost 7-4 in part due to their inability to take advantage of their extra-base hits:
"I'm disappointed we didn't score more runs with all of our hits and extra bases," said BYU coach Vance Law. "We had runners at second base a lot with one out, then weren't able to get a couple of big hits. We put ourselves into a bind by walking too many and hitting a batter. Each time we scored they came back."
In the other three games BYU defeated Texas Tech 8-3, beat Northern Illinois 3-2 and 8-5.
In the rest of Mountain West action New Mexico went 0-4 against Creighton, San Diego State went 0-2 against San Diego with one game being postponed due to weather and Utah traveled to Arkansas and ended up losing all three games to bring their overall record to 0-5.
The 2011 college baseball season continues with more noon-conference games for the next several weeks. TCU's series against Cal State Fullerton is one of the top series this weekend.
BYU vs. Texas Tech, Northern Illinois (Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic)
Brooks Wallace was a former Texas Tech shortstop and coach. The Brooks Wallace Award, originally given to the top college player of the year, is now an award exclusively for shortstops.
The classic started on Thursday, with BYU dropping its opening game against Texas Tech, 4-7. Center fielder Stephen Wells and left fielder Ryan Bernal each had three hits and an RBI. BYU struck out 10 times. They will regroup for a double-header on Friday.
TCU (No. 4) vs. Cal State Fullerton (No. 12)
The Fullerton Titans went 2-2 in the first weekend of play, losing to North Carolina and then taking two of three from Long Beach State. First baseman Nick Ramirez went 7-for-17 while Joe Terry had two triples and four RBI.
TCU, meanwhile, went 2-1 against Kansas last weekend and gained a solid victory over No. 16 Baylor on Tuesday. Matt Purke was on a pitch count in his first game and will likely be on one for a few more starts. With a blister on his left index finger, Purke is scheduled to start on Sunday
Utah at Arkansas
The Utes head into SEC territory with a weekend series against the Razorbacks. C.J. Cron leads the team with three hits in eight at-bats, a solo home run and a stolen base. Rick Anton will start Friday's game and Zach Adams will likely follow on Saturday. Adams struck out nine Cal Bears in five innings last weekend.
The Razorbacks swept a three-game series against the Delaware State Hornets last weekend. Outfielder Kyle Robinson has a team-best seven hits and six RBI while fellow outfielder Jarrod McKinney follows up with five hits. D.J. Baxendale (RHP) threw five shutout innings and struck out seven in his first start of the season. Six-foot-six lefty Cade Lynch picked up a save and seven strikeouts in four innings. Freshman Brandon Moore threw six shutout innings in his collegiate debut last Sunday.
San Diego State vs. San Diego
These close rivals play a three-game series with the Toreros hosting the middle game of the series against the Aztecs. San Diego State will have a webcast of the two home games, which can be found at goaztecs.com under the "Events" label.
Air Force vs. Navy
This year's Freedom Classic between these two service academies takes place at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, N.C. The Air Force holds a 13-12 all-time series lead over Navy. Senior outfielder Nathan Carter has six hits, a home runs and six RBI.
New Mexico vs. Creighton
The Lobos were swept in a three-game series against the Arizona St. Sun Devils last week and will want to make up for that against the Creighton Bluejays. Creighton is 3-1 with wins over Toledo, Canisius and Kansas. Lobos pitchers will need to watch out for Michael Mutcheson (.500 BA, .733 OBP) and Alex Staehely (two doubles, one triple)
UNLV vs. Central Michigan
UNLV's Rance Roudy was the MWC Player of the Week for his .412 batting average with four home runs and nine RBI against Maine. Can he help the Rebels stay undefeated against the Chippewas?
The TCU Horned Frogs started the 2011 baseball season by going 2-1 against the Kansas Jayhawks and fell from the third spot to the fourth spot in the latest Baseball America's top 25 poll. TCU is the only Mountain West team in the top 25, but this past week the New Mexico Lobos were swept by the Arizona State Sun Devils who moved up from the 11th ranked spot to the number nine spot.
The San Diego State Aztecs also played a ranked team against the Vanderbilt Commodores, but the Aztecs were defeated 7-3. The Commodores switched places with TCU to take over the number three spot in the latest rankings.
TCU's next two opponents are both ranked as they take on No. 16 Baylor (2-1) in a single game this Wednesday and then they take on No. 12 Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series in Fort Worth, Texas this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Here is Baseball America' latest top 25 rankings:
The 2011 Mountain West baseball season began this past weekend with all seven teams in action. Only TCU, UNLV and Air Force were to avoid a losing record the first weekend.
Air Force (2-2)
The Falcons took part in a tournament hosted by Texas State University where the Falcons split their four games. Air Force ended up beating the Missouri State Tigers (7-2) and the Washington Huskies (16-10), but ended up losing to host Texas State Bobcats (9-4) as well as the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1).
Outfielder Nathan Carter lead the Falcon offense over the weekend, hitting 6-for-18 with four runs scored, six RBI and a home run. Air Force next takes on Navy with a three-game series starting Friday, February 25th in Kingston, N.C.
The Horned Frogs took on Kansas in a three-game series against Kansas and the Horned Frogs went 2-1. In the first game TCU had a record crowd of 6,099 in an 8-2 win in their season opener. Star pitcher Matt Purke ended up pitching four innings while giving up only one hit, no runs, three strike outs and a walk. Here is how Purke described his first outing on the season:
*It was good. I was able to work on some things. We had some long innings where I had to sit a little bit, but I got used to that and we did a good job on both sides. I was just trying to get as many guys out as quickly as possible."
The second game was also a TCU blowout as they beat Kansas 7-1, but the final game went to extra innings where TCU's comeback fell short in 14 innings as the Horned Frogs fell 4-3.
New Mexico Lobos (0-3)
The Lobos took on the No. 11 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils and as expected were swept by the Sun Devils only the second game even being competitive as they lost 7-5. The first and third game ended up 8-2 and 8-1 with the fourth game being canceled due to weather in Tempe, Ariz.
The UNLV Rebels could be the surprise team of the Mountain West this season. They swept the Maine Black Bears with an impressive offensive showing from the four-game series. The Rebels were projected to finish fifth in the Mountain West, and sweeping Maine looks to be a good start since Maine is predicted to finish second in the American East.
The 2011 college baseball season kicks off Friday afternoon with plenty of good weekend matchups. In the Mountain West Conference, the Air Force Falcons, the New Mexico Lobos, the TCU Horned Frogs and the Utah Utes highlight the weekend's schedule.
Air Force Falcons (2011 record: 13-42)
The Falcons will participate in the Texas State Tournament from Feb. 18-20 in San Marcos, Texas. They face the Missouri State Tigers on Friday at 12:00 p.m., the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and the Washington Huskies and the Texas State Bobcats in a double-header on Sunday.
Senior outfielder Nathan Carter, brother of major leaguer Chris, was recently named the Falcons' captain for the 2011 season. He is a career .290/.408/.554 with 26 triples, 20 home runs and 47 stolen bases. Evan Abrecht, moving full-time into the rotation, and Sean Carley will be the top pitchers this season.
Maj. Mike Kazlausky, a graduate of the academy, will make his coaching debut for the Falcons.
New Mexico Lobos (38-22)
The Lobos play a four-game series against the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe. Arizona State has one of the best offenses in the nation, but they have been banned from postseason play for violations under former head coach Pat Murphy. This will be a good test for New Mexico to start the season.
The Lobos will feature a very young team this season as most of their upperclassmen departed after the 2010 season. On media day, head coach Ray Birmingham recently called sophomore catcher Mitchell Garver a player who could make the big leagues. A part-time player in 2010, Garver will assume a much larger role this season.
TCU Horned Frogs (54-14)
The Horned Frogs host the Kansas Jayhawks, whom the Big 12 coaches voted to finish ninth in the league. Being ranked No. 3 by Baseball America, No. 2 in the Coaches poll and first in two other polls, TCU is head and shoulders above the rest of the Mountain West and the majority of the college baseball world.
Lefty ace Matt Purke will receive the most attention, but fellow starters Kyle Winkler (Jr.) and Steven Maxwell (Sr.), the MWC 2010 Pitcher of the Year, give TCU one of the top weekend rotations. Outfielder Jason Coats leads the team's offense as the top all-around talent among the position players.
All three games will be televised on The Mtn.
Utah Utes (23-28)
Reigning MWC Player of the Year C.J. Cron leads the Utes to Berkeley, Calif., to start the season. Cron belted 20 home runs in 2010 and should be good for at least 20 more this season. He will likely start at catcher, but he also is expected to play first base as well. Rick Anton will take over as the Friday starter.
Cal is ranked No. 17 by Baseball America, but this will be the program's last season. Cal announced previously that the school would cut the baseball program with a number of other programs, and while several programs were saved, baseball was not one of them.
Right-handed pitchers Erik Johnson and Dixon Anderson and left-handed pitcher Justin Jones will be a tough challenge for Cron and the Utes.
Rest of the MWC
Maine at UNLV
Winthrop at San Diego State
BYU at Northwestern State
With the college baseball season only one day away, USA Baseball announced its 2011 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award is given to the top amateur baseball player annually. Fifty players made the first watch list, but another one in May will follow.
TCU left-handed pitcher Matt Purke and outfielder Jason Coats both appear on the list. Utah catcher and first baseman C.J. Cron is the only other Mountain West player to appear on the preseason list. Purke was the MWC Rookie of the Year in 2010 and first-team all-conference (as was Coats). Cron was the league's player of the year and first-team all-conference at the DH/utility spot.
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is the only player to have won the Golden Spikes Award, taking it in 2009. Strasburg pitched for the San Diego State Aztecs, finishing the 2009 season with a 13-1 record, a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 105 innings. He struck out 17 Air Force Falcons in a no-hitter that season.
Though we are only days away from the start of the 2011 college baseball season, it is never too early to project who will make the NCAA baseball tournament. Baseball America's Aaron Fitt projects his field of 64, and it's good news for the TCU Horned Frogs. Under this scenario, TCU wins the Mountain West's automatic qualifier and is the No. 3 overall seed. They would host a regional in Forth Worth, Tx. The other teams in the regional are Arizona, Texas State and Monmouth. That would be an easy regional for the Horned Frogs to win.
The BYU Cougars are the only other team from the Mountain West who are likely to make the tournament, which, Fitt points outs, will be helped by their non-conference schedule. In this projection, the Cougars would make it as the No. 4 seed in the Eugene, Ore. regional hosted by the Oregon Ducks. The Miami Hurricanes and the Hawaii Warriors also make this a tough regional for BYU to advance any farther.
Let's see how this all shakes out over the next few months.
The Mountain West announced their preseason order of finish on Friday and they also announced the preseason all-conference teams as well. TCU dominated the selection by having six players on the roster named to the preseason Mountain West all-conference team. This adds to the preseason awards by sophomore pitcher Matt Purke and junior outfielder Jason Coats who were also named as All-Americans according to Baseball America. Purke was named on the first-team while Coats was placed on the second-team.
BYU comes in as the only other team besides TCU to have more then one player make the preseason list. Junior Alex Wolfe is the catcher and the other is senior Ryan Bernal who is a utility player and designated hitter
Utah senior C.J. Cron was named as the league's top first baseman, but he is a versatile player who also plays catcher and was named as Baseball America's third-team All-American at the catcher position.
The TCU Horned Frogs are once again picked to win the Mountain West Conference regular season baseball title and if they do it would mark their sixth straight Mountain West regular season title. The preseason poll is conducted by the Mountain West head coaches and the media. Besides being picked first in the Mountain West, TCU is ranked first by Baseball America and third by Collegiate Baseball.
TCU returns their entire starting pitching staff which is led by All-American Matt Purke, plus they return all seven position players off of last year's team that finished ranked third in the final polls with an overall record of 54-14.
TCU received all 16 first place and was awarded 112 points and they are well ahead of the BYU Cougars who are predicted to finish second with 84 points. Second place will be hotly contested between BYU, San Diego State and New Mexico as they were bunched together. The Air Force Falcons were picked to finish last by quite a large margin.
All seven Mountain West baseball teams start the 2011 season on Feb. 18, and Air Force takes on the Missouri State Bears in their 2011 opener. Missouri State was picked to finish sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference.
|2011 MWC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
(selected by MWC head coaches and media)
|Rk.||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|3.||San Diego State||75|
Baseball America released its 2011 preseason All-America teams, which are voted on by MLB scouting directors. Three players represent the Mountain West across the first-, second- and third-teams.
Appearing on the first team is TCU Horned Frogs left-handed pitcher Matt Purke, who went 16-0 with a 3.02 ERA and 142 strikeouts as a freshman in 2010. Purke is joined by UCLA right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole on the first team. Both are regarded as the top two college pitchers in the country and top-five selections in the coming June draft.
Making the second team is TCU outfielder Jason Coats. He hit .361/.403./.617 with 13 homers and 69 RBI last season. He will be counted on to be the top offensive performer for the Horned Frogs this season.
Utah Utes catcher C.J. Cron was voted to the third team. In 2010, Cron hit .431/.487/.817 with 20 home runs and 81 RBI, all team highs.
The only freshman to appear on any of the teams is the Stanford Cardinal's Austin Wilson, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound outfielder. The St. Louis Cardinals took a flyer on him in the 12th round last June just in case something happened, but Wilson's commitment to Stanford was that strong.
The college baseball season kicks off in two weeks on Friday, Feb. 18.
The TCU Horned Frogs were recently voted No. 3 in Baseball America's 2011 Preseason Top 25 rankings. In 2010, the Horned Frogs finished 54-14 and No. 3 in the nation (they fell to the UCLA Bruins in the College World Series' semi-final round). Collegiate Baseball ranked them No. 1 in their preseason poll back in December.
The Horned Frogs return one of the nation's strongest rotations, led by sophomore lefty Matt Purke. Purke was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of 2009's draft, but he eventually decided to head to TCU. In his freshman season, he went 16-0 with a 3.02 ERA in 116 innings pitched and 142 strikeouts. His 94-mph fastball and a good slider will make him a high draft pick this June (Baseball America already ranks him the No. 3 college player entering the season).
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Winkler and Steven Maxwell join him in the weekend rotation.
The Florida Gators and the UCLA Bruins came in first and second, respectively. The defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks came in at No. 7.
No other Mountain West team finished in the top 25. The Air Force Falcons (13-42 in 2010) begin their season on Feb. 18, 2011 against Missouri State in San Marcos, Texas. The Horned Frogs host Kansas on Feb. 18 to start their season. The two teams will place a three-game series April 1-3. Last season the Falcons went 2-4 against the Horned Frogs.
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