Who would have thought that after wins over Florida, Ohio State, Florida State, South Florida, and Miami, the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast would be struggling in conference play. Alas, they are 4-5 in Atlantic Sun games with series losses to Stetson and Jacksonville. The Eagles seemingly steadied course in taking two of three versus USC Upstate, but are now sitting outside the top 25 nationally.
The development at FGCU does not even hold a candle to what is happening in the AAC. Connecticut is proving that last season was no fluke in earning a spot in last week’s top 25 poll. While it was a short stay, the Huskies are for real. On the other end of the spectrum, East Carolina was a top 10 preseason team by every poll and are sitting dead last in the AAC after nine games. The Pirates are 19-18 overall and 0-9 in AAC play, meaning that the preseason favorites will almost certainly need to win the postseason tournament to make the NCAA Tournament this season.
Current Top 25 Programs (Baseball America Poll):
- Cal State Fullerton (23-11, #8): The Titans are again on fire in April, sporting an 8-1 record since the beginning of the month. The offense has been outstanding with three games of 13+ runs scored and at least 5 scored per game in eight of nine games. The final seven games of the month are very winnable and could shoot Fullerton back into the top five nationally.
- Long Beach State (22-12, #12): The Dirtbags have gotten lots of love nationally for playing an ambitious schedule and looking very good in conference play. At #12 nationally, it has been quite a while since Long Beach State was this highly ranked by a national publication. We will find out soon whether they are overrated at this point in the season with a trip to UCLA, a three-game series with UC Irvine, and a return visit from UCLA coming up quickly.
- Southern Miss (28-9, #20): Outside of Ole Miss, very few teams know how to slow down the Golden Eagles offensive onslaught. They are sitting at 12-3 in Conference USA play after taking two of three versus Florida International and Rice. USM gets a couple of non-conference matchups to warm up for a huge CUSA set with Old Dominion this weekend.
- Houston (25-10, #24): It is seriously like musical chairs in the AAC with the Top 25. From East Carolina to Connecticut, to South Florida and more I am forgetting, it seems like there is a representative every week of the poll. This time the Cougars make another stop at #24 after obliterating East Carolina in a three-game sweep. Trey Cumbie won yet another game and sports an impressive 1.40 ERA and a 6-0 overall record on the year.
Others to watch:
- San Diego (25-9, #24 D1Baseball.com), Houston (25-10), Florida Gulf Coast (28-10), South Florida (29-7), Coastal Carolina (22-13-1), Louisiana-Lafayette (21-14-1), Mercer (32-6), Sam Houston State (25-11), Missouri State (22-13), McNeese State (26-9), Saint Mary’s (22-13), Florida Atlantic (26-10), Wright State (25-8), Illinois-Chicago (24-8), San Diego State (26-11), Tennessee Tech (29-9), Oral Roberts (26-9).
- Erik Ostberg, Hartford: .500
- Ben Fisher, Eastern Kentucky: 17
On Base Percentage:
- Erik Ostberg, Hartford: .596
- Jackson Ware, Mercer: 16
- Robbie Podorsky, McNeese: 25
- Ben Fisher, Eastern Kentucky: 47
- JP Sears, The Citadel: 87
Strikeouts Per Nine Innings:
- Seth Romero, Houston: 15.43
- Danny Marsh, Wagner: 0.49
Toughest To Strike Out:
- Caleb Webster, UNCG: 32.3 AB/K
- Nate Harris, Louisiana Tech: 0.66