Feb. 19, 2010


Cavaliers and Pirates battle to start the season


There are two series, one on each coast, that are the most intriguing match-ups of this opening weekend.


Two teams ranked in our CBI Preseason Composite Poll take the field in Greenville, N.C., as No. 3 Virginia visits No. 17 East Carolina. The Cavaliers made their first trip to the College World Series a season ago and look for a return trip. The Pirates won the Greenville Regional in 2009, but lost at North Carolina in the Super Regional. ECU also has its sights set on Omaha.


On the left coast, No. 5 Rice plays a three-game set at Stanford. The Owls fell short of another trip to the College World Series in 2009, dropping two at LSU in the Super Regional. The Cardinal is looking to return to the national spotlight, and a series win over Rice would be a great first step.


No. 16 Oregon State is the only other team ranked in our Composite Poll to play a road series to open the 2010 campaign. The Beavers will play a four-game series at Hawaii.


Ball State, the favorite in the Mid-American Conference, has a three-game series at No. 19 Arkansas.


The Caravelle Resort Tournament in Conway, S.C., has an interesting field. No. 15 Coastal Carolina will host West Virginia of the Big East, Kentucky of the SEC and Virginia Tech of the ACC.


George Horton makes a return trip to No. 4 Cal State Fullerton with his Oregon Ducks on Friday. Horton coached the Titans for 11 seasons, posting a record of 490-212-1 (.698) with seven Big West titles, seven regional crowns, six super regional titles and the 2004 national championship.


USC will play a three-game set at Cal Poly. The Mustangs made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament a year ago and hope to build on that success. The Trojans continue to work their back onto the national scene.


Rhode Island just missed an at-large bid a year ago. The Rams have another challenging non-conference slate, starting with a three-game series at Mississippi State.


Kent State, one of the favorites in the MAC, visits Western Kentucky, one of the favorites in the Sun Belt.


Wake Forest has an intriguing gathering in Winston Salem. The Demon Deacons welcome Army, the pick to win the Patriot League, and Dayton, the favorite in the Atlantic 10.


If you hear “Fear the Turtle” in Miami this weekend, you’ll have to ask “Which one?” The Maryland Terrapins visit head coach Turtle Thomas and FIU.


Enjoy the games!

(photo by Jimmy Jones)