Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports
After opening weekend of the college baseball season there were some surprises and disappointments.
The big winner from opening weekend was Cal Poly. The Mustangs under head coach Larry Lee went into the MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona as the clear underdogs. Well, the Mustangs ended up going 2-1 on the weekend, beating No. 1 Vanderbilt and UCONN. Meanwhile, their only loss was to No. 11 Michigan.
Cal Poly’s pitching staff was the highlight of the tournament after two good starts by Taylor Dollard and Drew Thorpe. Offense was also a key with the Mustangs scoring 19 runs in 3 games. After this performance, Cal Poly looked to continue the success this week with a midweek game against Pepperdine on Tuesday before a four game series with BYU starting Thursday. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the good times would not last long, however. Cal Poly got pounded in its home opener 9-2 by Pepperdine, but the Mustangs are still our winner of Week 1.
Of course, we can’t end this discussion without giving the Ole Miss Rebels an honorable mention though. Ole Miss played host to No. 2 Louisville over the weekend and took the series in thrilling fashion. With a gauntlet of games coming up for the Rebels, taking 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals was a massive step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, the loser of opening weekend was the Vanderbilt Commodores, who also played in the MLB4 Tournament alongside Cal Poly. The Commodores were the clear favorites in the tournament, but finished with a 1-2 record before getting back to .500 on Tuesday.
Vanderbilt’s biggest struggle of the tournament was its pitching staff, especially the bullpen. The bullpen blew the lead in the last inning of both losses to No. 11 Michigan and Cal Poly. The Commodores and their bullpen bounced back this week winning the first of a two game midweek series against South Alabama 3-0, before hosting a three game weekend series with UIC.
Of course, it would be foolish to count the defending national champions out of any race in February, but Vanderbilt’s disappointing weekend in Arizona is a minor cause for concern. Luckily for the Commodores, they could easily by 4-0 with a few more outs from the bullpen. All is well in Nashville, but for the time being, the former No. 1 team is our biggest loser from Week 1.
Make sure to check back next week for our latest edition of winners and losers from the weekend.