Feb. 18, 2011


Opening Day finally arrives!


After much of the country had to deal with extreme cold and snow this winter, it’s time to think warm thoughts as the college baseball seasons begins.


What to watch for this weekend:


Will Garrett Wittels make history?

The FIU junior shortstop (pictured right) brings a 56-game hit streak into the 2011 campaign, two away from Robin Ventura’s record of 58 set in 1987. Southeastern Louisiana provides the opposition, a 40-win team from a year ago that was snubbed by the NCAA selection committee.


Will new bats drive hitting coaches batty?

We will watch to see if offense and home runs are down significantly with the new bat regulations. A season ago, teams combined for an average of nearly 13 runs per game on opening day.


Will the clock rules speed up games?

It worked during the SEC Tournament a season ago, knocking off between 20 and 25 minutes per contest.


Will No. 13 Stanford win at No. 18 Rice?

In the only matchup this weekend of teams in the preseason CBI Composite Poll, Stanford travels to Houston to tangle with Rice. This is a series which will help both teams when they start conference play.


Will Hawaii have success with No. 10 Oregon?

The Rainbows won the WAC tournament a year ago but will look to help their RPI early with a four-game set with the Ducks. Oregon is in its third season of competition since the reinstatement of the program.


Which tournament will produce the most interesting results?

The Big East-Big Ten Challenge?

Auburn’s, with No. 15 Virginia, Arkansas State and UAB?

USC’s, with North Carolina, Cal Poly and Missouri?

Coastal Carolina’s, with Virginia Tech, Boston College, Indiana and Tennessee Tech?

Texas State’s, with Nebraska, Missouri State, Washington and Air Force?


Which person will we be most happy to see back in uniform?

Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter at LSU, minus one kidney?

San Diego State head coach Tony Gwynn and Alabama senior outfielder David Kindred, both minus cancer?

Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, healthy and hitting?

UCLA second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla, with no broken bones?


You can also watch some games on TV:

2/18 USF at Florida 7 pm Sun Sports

2/18 Kansas at TCU 7:30 pm Mountain West Sports Network

2/18 Wake Forest at LSU 8 pm Cox Sports TV

2/20 Kansas at TCU 2 pm Mountain West Sports Network

2/20 Southeastern Louisiana at FIU 7:30 pm ESPNU


Enjoy the games this weekend.


(photo courtesy of FIU Media Relations Office)