Week five delves even further in to conference play, but we still have a couple non-conference match-ups to highlight, including one that is taking our honors for being the D-II Diamond Series of the Week.
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We'll get right in to it below with our D-II Diamond Series of the Week, plus a bevy of other great match-ups. Below that, we preview the weekend schedule for every team in the most recent PerfectGame.org Top 25.
#1 Tampa (9-3, 2-1 SSC) at #15 Flagler (13-3, 3-0 PBC)
Game One (Friday, 3/3, 6 p.m. ET): UT Garrett Cave (3-0, 2.70) vs FLG Michael Maiocco (4-0, 2.08) Live Stats | Live Video
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 12 p.m. ET): UT David Lebron (1-0, 3.94) vs FLG Dustin Dye (1-1, 7.31) Live Stats | Live Video
Game Three (Saturday, 3/4, 3 p.m. ET): UT Christian Calleja (0-0, 6.61) vs FLG Cooper Wallace (3-0, 3.48) Live Stats | Live Video
(Projected pitching match-ups are based exclusively off researching the previous games' box scores and rotation. They should not be considered official in any way.)
Our D-II Diamond Series of the Week is one of our few big non-conference slates we have on the docket for the season. The traditional powerhouse Tampa against the rising Flagler. Numbers-wise, it is a very even match-up. Batting averages (Tampa .347, Flagler .335) and team ERA's (Tampa 3.53, Flagler 4.07) are nearly even, opponent batting average is slightly in Flagler's favor, .306 to .280, while power numbers and base-stealing numbers are a wash.
The difference in looking at this match-up on paper might just be looking at who they have both faced thus far. Tampa's toughest competition so far has been Southern Indiana, who they took two-of-three from, and they needed a late-inning comeback against Barry (and Southern India, for that matter) to avoid a series loss. Flagler performed well against quality opponents in Eckerd and Palm Beach Atlantic.
However! The most intriguing result comes from the one common opponent they have already. Tampa took two-of-three from Georgia College in the second weekend of the year, defeating the Bobcats 8-1 and 6-5 before falling 8-7 in the final contest. Flagler, meanwhile, swept the Bobcats, 4-2, 11-9 and 6-5. Scores were comparable and all contests were competitive for the most part.
My prediction? Good baseball.
Meanwhile, here are a plethora of other series' to keep your eye on throughout the weekend between the top teams in the nation so far this year.
#6 Emporia State (11-2, 3-0 MIAA) at #23 Quincy (5-2, 0-0 GLVC)
Game One (Saturday, 3/4, 12 p.m. CT): Live Stats
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 3 p.m. CT): Live Stats
Game Three (Sunday, 3/5, 12 p.m. CT): Live Stats
#2 Nova Southeastern (11-2, 3-0 SSC) at #16 Lynn (10-4, 3-0 SSC)
Sunshine State Conference
Game One (Friday, 3/3, 2:30 p.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 11 a.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Three (Saturday, 3/4, 2 p.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
#3 USC Aiken (12-3, 3-0 PBC) at Armstrong State (13-3, 0-0 PBC)
Peach Belt Conference
Game One (Friday, 3/3, 1:30 p.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 1 p.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Three (Sunday, 3/5, 1 p.m. ET): Live Stats | Live Video
Hawaii Pacific (11-3, 0-0 PacWest) at #10 Point Loma (6-3, 0-0 PacWest)
Game One (Saturday, 3/4, 11 a.m. PT): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 2 p.m. PT): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Three (Monday, 3/6, 11 a.m. PT): Live Stats | Live Video
Game Four (Monday, 3/6, 2 p.m. PT): Live Stats | Live Video
Union (15-1, 6-0 GSC) at #25 Delta State (10-3, 4-2 GSC)
Gulf South Conference
Game One (Saturday, 3/4, 12 p.m. CT): Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 3:30 p.m. CT): Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
Game Three (Sunday, 3/5, 2 p.m. CT): Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
Barton (14-4, 1-2 CC) at Mount Olive (12-4, 3-0 CC)
Game One (Friday, 3/3, 4 p.m. ET): Live Stats
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 12 p.m. ET): Live Stats
Game Three (Saturday, 3/4, 3 p.m. ET): Live Stats
UC San Diego (12-2, 4-0 CCAA) vs Cal State East Bay (11-5, 2-2 CCAA)
California Collegiate Athletic Association
Game One (Saturday, 3/4, 11 a.m. PT): Live Stats
Game Two (Saturday, 3/4, 2 p.m. PT): Live Stats
Game Three (Sunday, 3/5, 11 a.m. PT): Live Stats
And here are the weekend schedules for the teams in the most recent PerfectGame.org Top 25:
1. Tampa (9-3, 2-1 SSC): The Spartans will face their biggest test of the season so far as they hit the road to take on surging #15 Flagler for three non-conference games.
2. Nova Southeastern (11-2, 3-0 SSC): After dropping two games to North Georgia in mid-February, the Sharks have won six straight, scoring 73 runs. They face a very busy week coming up, playing five games between tonight and Wednesday. They'll hit the road for a three-game conference series against #16 Lynn, and then head home to play Notre Dame (Ohio) on Monday (Mar. 6) and Felician on Tuesday (Mar. 7).
3. USC Aiken (12-3, 3-0 PBC): USCA took a 9-8 loss to North Greenville on Wednesday (Mar. 1), but won five straight before that. They'll try to keep that up this week on the road with three conference games at Armstrong State. They'll also face Saint Rose on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
4. North Georgia (10-3): The Nighthawks are still looking stellar, and they'll begin their assault on the Peach Belt Conference this weekend, facing Lander in three games on the road. They'll also play a single game at Anderson on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
5. Dixie State (11-3): Dixie is quietly hanging around the top five, and they have a chance to buoy their record this weekend, when they begin PacWest play with four games at home against Holy Names.
6. Emporia State (11-2, 3-0 MIAA): The Hornets picked up an 8-6 victory over Newman on Wednesday (Mar. 1), and they'll travel to #23 Quincy this weekend for three non-conference games, before finishing up their week with another single game against Newman on Tuesday (Mar. 7), this time at home.
7. Minnesota State (2-0): MSU began its week-long trip to the RussMatt with a 10-0 victory over Virginia-Wise, and they'll have a busy week ahead of them as they take on Florida Southern @ FSC on Friday (Mar. 3), Ashland on both Saturday (Mar. 4) and Sunday (Mar. 5), Lewis on Monday (Mar. 6), Grand Valley State on Tuesday (Mar. 7) and Walsh on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
8. Colorado Mesa (7-5): The Mavs might be happy to get in to RMAC play this weekend after a very challenging non-conference schedule to begin the year. CMU will face Colorado Christian four times at home to begin its conference slate this weekend.
9. Angelo State (9-1): Angelo will be welcoming in to town what has, so far, been a very good Eastern New Mexico team. ENMU is 14-1 so far this season, so Angelo will have an opportunity to pick up some quality victories in the early season with four games against ENMU in non-conference action, despite being a fellow Lone Star Conference foe.
10. Point Loma (6-3): PLNU, after a week off, begins PacWest play with four games at home against Hawaii Pacific, a team that is 11-3 so far this year.
11. Cal Poly Pomona (8-7, 4-0 CCAA): The Broncos may have found their footing last week with four straight wins to begin conference play, and they are back at it again this weekend with four games against Cal State San Bernardino, the first two games at home and the last two on the road.
12. West Florida (8-6, 4-2 GSC): UWF has went 2-1 in each of its first two conference sets, and if they can replicate that yet again, it will be a success, as they are welcoming in to town North Alabama, who is 5-1 in conference so far. They'll also face Auburn-Montgomery on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
13. Mercyhurst (5-1): The Lakers are on the road four three games coming up, with a doubleheader against Urbana at a neutral site on Sunday (Mar. 5) and a single game at Ohio Dominican on Monday (Mar. 6).
14. Franklin Pierce (3-3): FPU began its weekend slate with a victory at Adelphi on Thursday (Mar. 2), 7-3, and they'll continue with another single game at Adelphi on Friday (Mar. 3). They had a game scheduled at Pace on Saturday, but that contest has been cancelled.
15. Flagler (13-3, 3-0 PBC): After a big weekday victory over, the Saints welcome their biggest opponent of the year in to town, as #1 Tampa will stroll in for three games. They'll also take on Valdosta State on the road on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
16. Lynn (10-4, 3-0 SSC): Lynn made its presence known in a big way with a three-game sweep of Florida Southern, and they'll try to keep that momentum going with an even bigger test when they face #2 Nova Southeastern at home for three games this weekend. They'll also be the recipients of some teams traveling to Florida for spring break, as they'll face Winona State on Sunday (Mar. 5), Wilmington on Tuesday (Mar. 7) and Chestnut Hill on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
17. Azusa Pacific (10-1): The winners of nine straight, the Cougars will try and keep that going with three games in Arizona when they take on Concordia-St. Paul on Thursday (Mar. 2), Malone on Friday (Mar. 3) and St. Cloud State on Saturday (Mar. 4).
18. Wayne State (Mich.) (4-2): The Warriors are heading to Georgia this weekend for four games, where they'll face Missouri-St. Louis early on Friday (Mar. 3), then face Illinois-Springfield in three games over the rest of the weekend.
19. Southern Indiana (2-3): USI will try to rebound from a sluggish start with three games on the road at Trevecca Nazarene this weekend, before heading to Georgia for a pair of games. They'll face a to-be-determined opponent on Tuesday (Mar. 7) and take on Young Harris on Wednesday (Mar. 8).
20. Central Missouri (11-2, 3-0 MIAA): The Mules have finally broken in to the rankings! UCM has won eight straight contests, and they'll try to stay undefeated in MIAA play this weekend with three games on the road at Pittsburg State.
21. Millersville (8-3): The Marauders continue non-conference play for a couple more weekends, and this weekend it will be four games against Shepherd, with the first doubleheader on the road and the second doubleheader at home.
22. Lubbock Christian (10-6): LCU will try to stay afloat in the rankings this weekend with four games on the road against a formidable St. Mary's team.
23. Quincy (5-2): The Hawks are another team with a busy week, but they're all at home. They'll face Emporia State for three games and then take on Upper Iowa in a doubleheader on Tuesday (Mar. 7).
24. Henderson State (9-4, 4-2 GAC): The Reddies will face Harding on the road in three GAC games this weekend, then play Ouachita Baptist on Monday (Mar. 6) and Union on Tuesday (Mar. 7), both of which will be played at Harding. That Union game will be interesting, as Union is already sitting at 15-1 on the year.
25. Delta State (10-3, 4-2 GSC): DSU will continue GSC play this weekend against a bit of an unknown opponent that was just mentioned above. They'll welcome Union in to town for three games, a team that is 15-1 on the season, and they'll also face Arkansas Tech on both Tuesday (Mar. 7) and Wednesday (Mar. 8).