RoadTripSports.com’s Baseball Update: March 11

We love college football at RoadTripSports.com. But we can’t deny we love college baseball, too. If you haven’t hit our Facebook page, you should. Kendall Webb, our publisher, is in full update mode and here’s his weekly missive. Don’t forget — College Football American 2013 is coming this summer. More on that soon.

By Kendall Webb

We head into mid-March with conference play already underway or getting started in most of the remaining conferences this weekend. Four teams are still undefeated with three of those ranking in the Top 5 of the latest NCBWA Top 25. The fourth – the Dartmouth Big Green – have only played one weekend series going 3-0, and they are also receiving votes in the poll.

Top 25 (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)

How the Top 5 fared: Top-ranked North Carolina (14-0) just refuses to lose so far in 2013. This week’s victims were Davidson last Tuesday and Wake Forest in the ACC opening weekend series for both teams. The Tar Heels beat the Demon Deacons a combined 30-8 in three games including a 20-6 romp on Saturday. No. 2 Vanderbilt (15-2) kept the heat on despite a loss Sunday at the Oregon Ducks (11-5). Oregon was No. 11 headed into the weekend, however, so Vandy’s performance taking two out of three on the road in Eugene was enough to keep the Commodores at No. 2 despite No. 3 LSU’s (15-1) strong 4-0 week which included a three-game weekend sweep over visiting Washington. No. 4 Oregon State (15-0) completed another unblemished week to stay undefeated for the season by sweeping Texas State at home over the weekend. Finally, No. 5 Florida State (15-0) joins North Carolina as one of two undefeated ACC teams through four weekends of the 2013 season. The Seminoles were 5-0 last week with two midweek wins over Presbyterian followed by a weekend sweep of Boston College in Tallahassee.

Upcoming schedules for the current top five:

No. 1 North Carolina: 3/12, Gardner-Webb; 3/13 High Point; 3/15-17 Miami (FL)*

No. 2 Vanderbilt: 3/13, Buffalo; 3/15-17 at Auburn*

No. 3 LSU: 3/13, Nicholls St.; 3/15-17, at Mississippi St.*

No. 4 Oregon St.: 3/12-13, San Francisco; 3/15-17 at Arizona*

No. 5 Florida St.: 3/12, at Florida; 3/15-17 at Maryland*

* – Conference series

The rest of the updated Top 10: No. 6 South Carolina (13-2), No. 7 UCLA (11-3), No. 8 Ole Miss (16-1), No. 9 Kentucky (13-2) and No. 10 Mississippi St. (17-2)

The other unbeatens: RV Dartmouth (3-0)

Best results: Vanderbilt’s 3-1 week included a 2-1 trip to then No. 11 Oregon; Central Arkansas (14-2) lost the Friday opener at Mississippi St. before taking the final two against the 17-0 Bulldogs – the Bears were rewarded with the No. 30 ranking in the latest poll; Arkansas put its Arizona ‘Surprise’ visit behind it with a 4-0 sweep over San Diego St. back in Fayetteville; UNLV (13-3) stunned Stanford by sweeping the Cardinal on its own home field.

Biggest surprise: We’ll go with the UNLV Rebels’ sweeping at Stanford. Not that UNLV was a complete unknown – they were receiving a lot of votes already, but to win three in a row at Stanford one week after the Cardinal had swept perennial national power Texas on the very same field definitely got the college baseball world’s attention – they moved into the No. 28 ranking in the latest poll and they won’t be able to surprise anybody else in the near future.

Break out the brooms: Joining the aforementioned Top 25 teams that swept unbeaten through the second week, the following Top 25 teams got through the week unbeaten:

No. 6 South Carolina over Ball St. (midweek, 2-0) and Rider (weekend, 3-0)

No. 7 Ole Miss over SE Louisiana (midweek, 2-0) and Lipscomb (weekend, 3-0)

No. 15 Louisville (12-2) over Alabama (weekend, 3-0)

No. 19 Arizona St. (10-2-1) over Long Beach St. (weekend, 3-0)

No. 25 Florida Gulf Coast (13-3) over Michigan/Bowling Green (midweek, 2-0) and Western Michigan (weekend, 3-0)

Best series matchups this coming weekend:

A lot of good matchups in the ACC, SEC and Pac 12 as we head to conference play, but nothing looms larger than No. 3 LSU’s visit to No. 10 Mississippi St. The Diamond Dogs are a little shell-shocked after losing their first two of the season to unheralded but now No. 30 Central Arkansas while LSU’s final weekend tune-up was a big sweep past Pac 12 foe Washington. For LSU, two out of three at Starkville would be enough to hang on to No. 3 whereas Mississippi St. could make the bigger statement by taking two of its own. No. 4 Oregon St. has a dangerous trip to Tucson to face No. 21 Arizona, and No. 22 Cal Poly and No. 23 Notre Dame is an interesting interregional matchup and one of the last big opportunities for those two teams to make a really big statement on the national level.

The rest of the weekend’s Top 25 matchups are here:

3/15-17: No. 29 Miami (FL) at No. 1 North Carolina

3/15-17: No. 3 LSU at No. 10 Mississippi St.

3/15-17: No. 4 Oregon St. at No. 21 Arizona

3/15-17: No. 8 Ole Miss at No. 11 Arkansas

3/15-17: No. 17 at RV Clemson

3/14-16: No. 23 Notre Dame at No. 22 Cal Poly

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