The 2020 college baseball season is in full swing and Week 3 has some big matchup. Three SEC and three Big 12 teams converge on Houston, Texas, for the 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic while two top-25 teams clash for bragging rights in the Peach State.
Let’s take a look at 10 weekend showdowns you won’t want to miss.
The 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic | Feb. 28 – March 1
The 20th anniversary of the Shriners College Classic brings one of the best fields the tournament has ever seen. Three top 25 teams — No. 6 Arkansas, No. 11 LSU and No. 22 Oklahoma — are joined by NCAA tournament regulars Texas as well as Baylor and Missouri. Arkansas comes in red-hot, a perfect 7-0 on the season and one of 17 remaining undefeated teams. The Razorbacks will get their weekend started with a showdown against Oklahoma at 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
Complete schedule for the 2020 Shriners College Classic
|Feb. 28||Missouri vs. Baylor||noon|
|Feb. 28||Arkansas vs. Oklahoma||4 p.m.|
|Feb. 28||Texas vs. LSU||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 29||Oklahoma vs. Missouri||noon|
|Feb. 29||LSU vs. Baylor||4 p.m.|
|Feb. 29||Arkansas vs. Texas||8 p.m.|
|March 1||Oklahoma vs. LSU||noon|
|March 1||Missouri vs. Texas||4 p.m.|
|March 1||Baylor vs. Arkansas||8 p.m.|
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 17 Georgia Tech | Feb. 28 – March 1
Get ready for a trip around Georgia as the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets condense their annual three-game season series into one weekend. Friday starts in Athens before heading to Atlanta on Saturday before heading out to Gwinnett to play the finale at Coolray Field, home of the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate. We know what’s in store: Georgia boasts two of baseball’s most exciting pitchers in Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox while a transitioning Georgia Tech team rolled the defending Big Ten champion Ohio State to improve to 6-1 this past weekend. This should be a good one from first pitch to the final out.
No. 5 Texas Tech at No. 9 Florida State | Feb. 29 and March 1
Both teams open the weekend with matchups against Florida Atlantic, but the big showdown is Saturday and Sunday at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee. The Red Raiders offense has been a juggernaut, ending last weekend hitting .358 as a team and scoring more than 11 runs per game. While some familiar faces — such as Dylan Neuse — from last year’s College World Series team are leading the charge, freshmen Nate Rombach and Jace Jung are turning heads. Florida State has a score to settle. The last time these two faced was at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in 2019 where Texas Tech eliminated the Seminoles and in doing so ended the storied career of Mike Martin, Sr. Now, with Mike Martin, Jr. at the helm, Florida State is off to a 6-1 start looking to deliver a major statement this weekend.
No. 8 Mississippi State at No. 25 Long Beach State | Feb. 28 – March 1
The Bulldogs head out to California amid a two-game losing streak, losing a midweek stunner to then-0-9 Texas Southern. They’ll have to recover against a new-look Dirtbags team under the guidance of first-year head coach Eric Valenzuela. He has this Long Beach State team off to a red-hot start after a big weekend sweep of then-No. 17 Wake Forest. This is a huge road test for Mississippi State, but could be an even bigger statement for the Dirtbags if they can pull off consecutive weekend series wins against top-20 foes.
No. 10 UCLA, No. 18 Texas A&M clash at Frisco College Classic | Feb. 29 – March 1
The undefeated Bruins head to Frisco in quite the four-team field, joined by the nationally ranked Aggies, formerly ranked Oklahoma State and Illinois. UCLA gets the weekend started at 4 p.m. ET against a 6-2 Oklahoma State team that looks to be back on track after a surprising opening series loss to Grand Canyon. Saturday’s showdown against UCLA and Texas A&M could be between two undefeated teams and the game of the weekend.
Complete schedule for the Frisco College Classic
|Feb. 28||UCLA vs. Oklahoma State||4 p.m.|
|Feb. 28||Texas A&M vs. Illinois||8 p.m.|
|Feb. 29||Oklahoma State vs. Illinois||3 p.m.|
|Feb. 29||UCLA vs. Texas A&M||7 p.m.|
|March 1||UCLA vs. Illinois||noon|
|March 1||Texas A&M vs. Illinois||4 p.m.|
Nebraska at No. 12 Arizona State | Feb. 28 – March 1
The new Will Bolt era of Nebraska baseball looked like it was going to get off to an exciting start with an impressive 19-9 opening day victory over Baylor. The Huskers haven’t found the win column since, however, and could certainly do wonders if they right the ship out in Tempe. Normally, the Sun Devils are must-watch baseball simply because of star slugger Spencer Torkelson, but he’s been getting the Barry Bonds treatment of late. He’s drawn at least a a walk in all nine games this season, and with 11 intentional passes already, his on-base percentage in a whopping .605. It’s time to see if the bats of Gage Workman, Alika Williams and Hunter Jump can come alive and maybe the slumping pitchers of Nebraska are the cure.
No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 21 East Carolina | Feb. 29
This is the middle game of the LeClair Classic, hosted by the Pirates. Both teams actually have to deal with an intriguing Indiana team as well as High Point, but this is the main attraction. The Rebels are off to a great start, taking two of three from preseason No. 1 Louisville on opening weekend before sweeping Xavier last weekend. Junior Anthony Servideo is leading the way on offense with a cool .429 average and four home runs Doug Nikhazy heads an impressive rotation. East Carolina is, well, East Carolina. The Pirates have another team that looks tough to beat but Ole Miss will be the first big test of their season. ECU has three pitchers that have made two starts each this season and the trio has allowed two earned runs.
No. 16 Michigan at Cal Poly | Feb. 28 – March 1
Michigan opened the season with a bang going 3-1 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament with wins over Vanderbilt and Arizona State. Their lone loss was against UConn, the team which they faced last weekend in Port St. Lucie Florida, and consequently lost the series. The Wolverines continue their brutal stretch away from Ann Arbor now heading to San Luis Obispo in a showdown with a Cal Poly team they defeated 8-5 at the MLB4. Cal Poly is struggling, but with a win against Vandy under its belt, the Mustangs can’t be taken lightly, especially at home.
Clemson vs. South Carolina | Feb. 28 at South Carolina; Feb. 29 at Columbia; March 1 at Clemson
The battle for the Palmetto State starts at Founders Park and then heads to Segra Park (home of the New York Mets’ Columbia Fireflies) before closing the weekend at Kingsmore Stadium. Both of these teams look solid early, South Carolina enters the weekend 6-2 while Clemson is 7-1. For Clemson, it’s about the pitching, its staff combining for a 1.23 ERA and starting pitchers Davis Sharpe and Sam Weatherly allowing just one earned run between the two of them so far while striking out 34 total batters. South Carolina brings a balanced attack into the series, and this is the first big test for both.
Grand Canyon at Stanford | Feb. 28 – March 1
The stunning start for The Cardinal continued last weekend, getting swept at the Round Rock Classic and falling to 1-7 after a midweek loss to Cal. Add to the fact that star lefty Jacob Palisch is on the bench with an injury, and Stanford is in some trouble early. But this team is still better than 1-7 and Grand Canyon is a solid test. The Lopes head to Sunken Diamond amid a 5-3 start after taking the opening weekend series against Oklahoma State. You never know what you’re going to get from this offense — hitting just .199 as a team so far — but the pitching keeps them in ballgames. A three-game sweep on the road would be a big one for sure.