Jan. 15, 2013
A Look Ahead to Opening Weekend
By Phil Stanton
are now officially one month away from the start of the college
baseball season. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Arizona was
crowned national champion, but we now prepare for the quest for
the best in 2013.
The top match-up has Stanford playing a
three-game set at Rice, led by junior right-hander Austin
Kubitza (right). While many strong teams face much weaker
opponents to kick off the season, this is not the case for the
Cardinal and the Owls. This series could impact these programs
being a regional host or even a national seed. The teams will be
meeting for the fourth straight year and the third time to open
the season. Stanford took two of three at home in March this
past season. Rice opened the 2011 campaign by winning two of
three in Houston. The Cardinal swept the Owls in Palo Alto to
begin the 2010 season. This should be a terrific series.
Another key series will have TCU traveling to Ole
Miss for three contests. The Horned Frogs will play their first
season in the Big 12 and a trip to Oxford will serve as great
preparation for conference play.
Six of last year’s Omaha octet will open the year
at home. National champ Arizona will entertain Coppin State in a
three-game set. Runner-up South Carolina welcomes Liberty for
three in Columbia. We’ll have a Big Ten-Pac-12 match-up in Los
Angeles as UCLA will host Minnesota for a three-game set.
Florida State will face Rhode Island for three in Tallahassee.
Florida plays host to Duke for three. Arkansas, the top-ranked
team in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll, welcomes
Western Illinois for a three-game series.
The two College World Series first-timers, Kent
State and Stony Brook, head south to start the season. The
Golden Flashes will play in UNC Wilmington’s tournament, facing
the Seahawks and Virginia Tech twice each. The Seawolves will
head to southern Florida for a three-game series at FIU.
Other intriguing series on Opening Weekend
include Long Beach State at Vanderbilt, Oregon at Hawaii,
Tennessee at UNLV, Appalachian State at NC State, Baylor at UC
Irvine, Georgia at Georgia Southern, Virginia at East Carolina,
Creighton at Dallas Baptist, Nebraska at CSU Bakersfield,
Bethune-Cookman at Arizona State, and San Diego State at San
Diego as the Toreros open their new stadium, Fowler Park and
There will also be several interesting
tournaments to start the season. A smaller Big East-Big Ten
Challenge has Louisville, Connecticut, USF, Indiana and Purdue
playing in Florida. Elon will host Boston College, VCU and
Marist in the Country Inn & Suites Elon Invitational. The
Centurylink Bobcat Invitational has Texas State entertaining
Missouri State, Tulane and Sam Houston State. Nebraska will head
to southern California to face USC, Cal State Fullerton and CSU
Bakersfield. The Palm Springs Classic brings together Oregon
State, Utah Valley, Gonzaga and UC Riverside.
(cover photo by StanfordPhoto.com,
Kubitza photo courtesy of Rice Media Relations Office)