April 1, 2011


Pac-10 battles in Arizona highlight weekend slate


As we turn the calendar to April, weekends get more interesting as most leagues have begun conference play. We’re going to spotlight a pair of Pac-10 series, as the teams from the Beaver State visit the schools in the Grand Canyon State.


Oregon will play a three-game set at No. 6 Arizona State. The Ducks are 14-9 as they get set to open league play. Oregon’s RPI is 75 and would get a big boost with a series win against the Sun Devils. ASU opened Pac-10 play this past weekend by taking two of three from No. 16 Arizona. The Devils are 18-6 overall and ninth in RPI.


Oregon State will head to Tucson to face Arizona. It will be the conference opener for the Beavers, who sport a record of 18-6 and RPI at 28. The Wildcats are looking to rebound from their series loss last weekend at ASU. Arizona is 19-7 and needs to raise its RPI of 58.


Also out West, we’ll keep an eye on the start of conference play in the Big West. UC Irvine (15-6) goes to Cal State Northridge (14-11) and Long Beach State (12-11) visits Pacific (7-14).


In the Southeast, the only match-up of Top 20 teams is in the ACC as No. 20 Clemson (4-5, 14-9) travels to No. 11 North Carolina (7-2, 23-4). In the SEC, No. 18 Arkansas (2-4, 18-6) visits Alabama (5-1, 19-8), while Georgia (3-3, 11-14) welcomes surprising Mississippi State (4-2, 19-6). Two of the top teams in the Southern Conference will battle as first-place Elon (8-1, 17-9) goes to second-place UNC Greensboro (6-3, 14-9). In the Big South, desperate Coastal Carolina (1-2, 15-10) entertains first-place Liberty (5-1, 15-11). The Sun Belt has Florida Atlantic (5-1, 17-8) going to Louisiana-Lafayette (3-3, 13-11). In the Atlantic Sun, ETSU (6-4, 14-7) plays host to FGCU (7-5, 13-13).


There are some strong match-ups in the Northeast this weekend. Xavier (2-1, 16-10) goes to Charlotte (2-1, 20-6) in a key Atlantic 10 series. Connecticut (2-1, 11-10) welcomes St. John’s (3-0, 13-9) in an important Big East set. Marist (2-1, 17-5) goes to Canisius (3-0, 11-14) in the MAAC. In the NEC, CCSU (5-3, 8-8) travels to Monmouth (5-3, 10-11). In the CAA, Georgia State (4-2, 21-6) heads to Delaware (6-3, 13-12).


In the Central, there are two huge series in the Southland this weekend as Stephen F. Austin (8-1, 19-7) goes to Texas State (8-1, 17-7) in a first-place battle and Lamar (6-3, 18-10) travels to Southeastern Louisiana (5-4, 17-9). In Conference USA, Southern Miss (2-1, 19-5) heads south to UCF (2-1, 19-6). Texas Tech (4-2, 17-8) goes north to No. 9 Oklahoma (2-3, 19-6) in the Big 12. Two of the preseason favorites tangle as the Big Ten starts conference play with Indiana (16-8) at Michigan (6-16). In the MAC, Kent State (2-1, 12-10) heads up to Western Michigan (3-0, 13-12).


Enjoy the games this weekend!