Missouri State at Arkansas
Baum Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
2 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Razorbacks had a field day yesterday in blasting MSU 18-5, but don't take that to mean this series is merely a formality. Missouri State will send Matt Hall and his 163 strikeouts to the hill to try to even up the series.
Arkansas is going with its top ERA starter Keaton McKinney (3.21) to counter. It's hard to point out any potential weak spots for the Hogs after Friday's demolition. The Razorbacks excelled in pitching, hitting, and defense. It took them some time to get going, but once Razorback batters had seen Jon Harris once, they were able to start getting to him. After all, they've seen plenty of great pitchers throughout SEC play. It may take them a little time to get used to Hall too, but if yesterday was any indication, they should find some success by the middle innings as well.
The record home crowd helped power the Razorbacks on Friday, and a similar environment today will make things very tough on the Bears.
Texas A&M at TCU
Lupton Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
3 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Aggies and Frogs each come into this one after dramatic regional championships. With similar records and national ranks, it should be a close Super Regional between teams that have a long shared history. Righty Grayson Long, who has yet to lose a decision on the year, will get the start for A&M, while TCU is going with lefty Tyler Alexander.
TAMU got through its regional in large part thanks to the strength of its pitching, but its bats will need to wake up against the formidable TCU staff. The teams did not play each other in the regular season, but for what it's worth, A&M is undefeated against teams from the state of Texas on the year including a nice home win over Rice. The team has a 10-4 record away from home, with its best such win coming at the end of April at LSU.
The D1baseball.com series preview sees a fairly evenly matched pair of teams, though it gives the Aggie offense a big edge. If A&M takes it this weekend, it will have eliminated the Big 12's final representative.
Florida State at Florida
McKethan Stadium, Gainesville, FL
5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Gators ran out to a large lead before giving some of it back late in the first game of this Super Regional, but it was a dominant win nonetheless. They have a chance to sweep it and punch a ticket to Omaha this afternoon.
Yesterday's win pushed UF to 2-0 at home against FSU this year, and they'll send out lefty flamethrower A.J. Puk to try to get that up to 3-0. The Seminoles will counter with steady right hander Mike Compton, and he will need to do better than his predecessor yesterday. That said, FSU's offense was silent most of the way, picking up seven of its 11 hits in the final two innings when the game was already over. The Gators' pitching will try to slam the door on the series, and it could do it even if their offense isn't as potent today.
In front of a home crowd with all the pressure on the Seminoles following the Game 1 blowout, it's not hard to imagine a sweep completing today.
Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU
Alex Box Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
8 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Tigers are no surprise in this game, fulfilling their lofty expectations with a successful season. ULL is back in the Super Regionals despite needing to replace key figures, and they've rode three freshman arms to a somewhat unexpected appearance here.
Paul Maineiri is playing coy with his pitchers, choosing not to reveal who will go after star freshman Alex Lange takes the hill today. Jared Poche looms as the team's other great starter, but we won't know if we'll see him tomorrow or (if necessary) Monday. Lafayette will go with Wyatt Marks, one of the three rookie starters who's led the squad in 2015. LSU won the only matchup between the teams this year 8-6, with Alex Bregman going 3-3, a double short of the cycle.
Given the rivalry between these teams, there won't be a lack of juice in the Box this weekend. The D1baseball.com preview gives all edges to the Tigers, as is understandable, and the young Cajun pitching staff might wilt on the big stage and in the hostile environment. ULL does carry some potent bats, though, and they can certainly keep the team in it if they can get to LSU's pitchers. It should be a wild one either way.
Vanderbilt at Illinois
Illinois Field, Champaign, IL
8 p.m. ET, ESPNU
The Commodores are on track to try to defend their 2014 CWS championship after barely breaking a sweat in their regional. They now get the upstart Illini, who basically forgot how to lose back at the end of March.
VU isn't messing around by going with SEC Pitcher of the Year Carson Fulmer and his 1.92 ERA today. Illinois is going strength against strength by starting Kevin Duchene and his 1.46 ERA. The Illini are a veteran team that will have the home field advantage in the series, but Vandy has more talent across the board. These are a pair of complete teams that just don't have many glaring weaknesses.
The D1baseball preview gives Vandy all of the edges except for bullpen, where it says the Illini might have the country's best. It won't be easy going on the road in this Super Regional, but the battle tested Commodores shouldn't be intimidated by the task.