We here at Southern Slams Baseball are dedicated to bringing you coverage surrounding all of the College Baseball landscape. While conferences like the SEC, Big 12 and ACC often garner the coverage of television crews around the nation, there are many teams outside of the Power 5 making plenty of noise. After 7 weeks of intense action across the nation, here are the movers and shakers in the Mid-Major scene.
It would be remiss of me to not start this list off with the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech (20-7). After a rough three game stretch to open the year, LA Tech has been on a tear, going 19-4 and having taken games from great programs like Arkansas, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tulane.
The Bulldogs have been led at the plate by Redshirt Senior Hunter Wells.Alongside solid defensive performances at the Third Base bag, Wells posts a .330 AVG and 5 home runs. Wells has started every game for Louisiana Tech this season, and has been key in their big upset victories.
While the road ahead for the Bulldogs is not easy, it certainly does not appear to be very challenging. Their toughest midweek comes against a falling LSU ballclub, and their toughest 3 game set left comes against a Southern Miss team they have already defeated. Things appear to be in good shape for the boys led by Lane Burroughs, and if they can keep this pace up, they might be a challenger for a top 16 NCAA Tournament seed.
The other team threatening for a top 16 seed, and possibly a national seed, are the East Carolina Pirates (22-5). Coached by Cliff Goodwin, the Pirates have not shied away from playing some of the best teams the East Coast has to offer. Alongside their stellar record, East Carolina boasts wins over both Duke and North Carolina, having established themselves as one of the premier ball clubs in the Carolinas.
The Pirates have relied on their aptly numbered #1 Conor Norby. Norby has proved to be trouble for anyone who pitches towards him, particularly with deep threat power. Already with 8 HR’s and 28 RBI’s to his record, Norby has shown no signs of stopping and will look to continue the hot streak he has been on so far this year.
ECU sits at #9 in the D1 Baseball polls, just outside of a top 8 national seed. Those seeds come few and far between for Mid Majors, but it is no secret that Greenville would be a tough place to play at. ECU has only lost once at home in all of its games this year, and provides a hostile environment for visiting players. Expect the Pirates to provide a push and become a top tier team in the eyes of the NCAA.
Last up is a team who has flown under the radar this year, and quietly won 15 of their last 17. The Terreros of San Diego (18-5) are perhaps the hottest team in College Baseball, and have the wins to prove it.
San Diego has had a strong team effort en route to their current record, with no real player standing above the rest. However, the entire ball club has been incredibly consistent, leading them to 4 wins out of 6 against traditional program powerhouse Cal State Fullerton.
West Coast Conference play is just around the corner, and if San Diego can keep up their current mark out of conference, they could make noise as the winners of the WCC garnering them an automatic tournament bid. Obviously there is still a lot of season to play, but keep the Terreros on your radar as the season continues.