Feb. 27, 2009


Houston College Classic Highlights Second Weekend


All eyes will be on Texas on this second weekend of the season as five nationally-ranked teams will compete in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. No. 8 UC Irvine and No. 19 UCLA head east to join No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 7 Rice, No. 12 Baylor and Houston in a great three days of competition. This will have the feel of an NCAA Regional.


Three series involve pairs of ranked opponents. No. 13 Stanford will play three at No. 10 Cal State Fullerton. No. 17 Miami (Fla.) heads to Gainesville for a three-game set at No. 14 Florida. No. 25 TCU continues to tackle a strong schedule with a three-game series at No. 20 Ole Miss.


Other intriguing series include No. 5 Georgia at Arizona, No. 23 Fresno State at Oregon, No. 9 Florida State against Auburn and Illinois-Chicago at Alabama.


Two other tournaments have strong fields. The Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., includes No. 15 Oklahoma State, College of Charleston, St. John’s and host East Carolina. The DeMarini Classic in Tempe, Ariz., includes Missouri, Oregon State, Northern Illinois and host No. 6 Arizona State.


Two teams take the field after learning their sport will be cut at the end of this academic year. Vermont begins its final season with a three-game series at Vanderbilt. Northern Iowa heads south for a four-game set at Centenary.


Four conferences begin league play this weekend. Campbell plays at Kennesaw State in the Atlantic Sun. Elon travels to Appalachian State in the Southern Conference. Texas State goes to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Southland. The SWAC has four conference series: Alabama A&M at Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Southern, Jackson State at Alcorn State, and Southern at Prairie View A&M.


Want to start the weekend early? VCU has an 11 a.m. doubleheader Friday morning with Long Island.


Enjoy the games this weekend.