March 11, 2011


Clemson-Virginia kicks off ACC schedule


There are some great match-ups as we get ready for the fourth weekend of the 2011 campaign, including several West Coast squads heading east.


The ACC starts conference play as a pair of Top 10 teams tangle. No. 7 Virginia visits No. 6 Clemson in a tremendous early-season series. Both teams were picked to win their divisions in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Cavaliers are 13-1, with the lone loss coming to East Carolina. UVa won three at Auburn’s tournament to open the season and then enjoyed 11 straight games at home. The Tigers are 7-3, with one defeat at the hands of Eastern Michigan and a pair to No. 4 South Carolina. It will be a great battle between the Virginia pitching staff and the offense of Clemson. The Cavaliers own a team ERA of 1.50 and opponents are hitting .197. They have 146 strikeouts and 23 walks in 126 innings. The Tigers are hitting .343 and averaging 8.9 runs per game.


No. 10 Cal State Fullerton heads east for a three-game set at No. 12 LSU. The Titans are 8-3 after sweeping USC this past weekend. Fullerton also owns a series win at No. 8 TCU. The Tigers are 12-1 and have yet to leave Baton Rouge. LSU suffered its first loss this past Sunday to Princeton.


No. 9 Arizona State travels to Auburn for a three-game series. The Sun Devils (9-2) will play their first games outside the Grand Canyon State. ASU was 3-1 this past weekend at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, with the lone loss coming to Cal State Bakersfield. The Tigers (10-3) went undefeated this past weekend at the College of Charleston Classic, with a 7-4 win over the host Cougars on Saturday.


Cal State Bakersfield, the current CBI National Team of the Week, visits No. 4 South Carolina. The Roadrunners (11-3) had won 10 straight before a loss at Fresno State on Tuesday. The Gamecocks (9-1) took two of three from Clemson recently.


Other intriguing series include FIU at No. 17 Texas A&M, Wichita State at Tulane, Louisville at Pepperdine and Bethune-Cookman at Oral Roberts.


As some conferences start league play, we’ll keep an eye on FGCU at Mercer in the Atlantic Sun, Elon at Appalachian State in the Southern Conference, Southeastern Louisiana at UTSA in the Southland and Jackson State at Alcorn State in the SWAC.


The Dodgertown Classic will be held in Los Angeles, with No. 13 UCLA, USC, Georgia and Saint Mary’s. Sunday’s games will be played at Dodger Stadium.


The Cal Baseball Classic will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Along with the host Bears will be No. 19 Rice, Long Beach State, San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara and Louisiana-Lafayette.


The Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., has a solid field. Liberty, Monmouth and Rutgers join host East Carolina.


Enjoy the games this weekend!


(photo courtesy of Virginia Media Relations Office)