For the past week, the St. Peter’s University Peacocks men’s basketball team has won the hearts of so many during March Madness. Their magical run included victories over No. 2 seeded Kentucky and No. 3 seeded Purdue.
In college baseball, there already seems to be countless teams who could do the same when Omaha rolls around this summer.
Florida Gulf Coast
Each year Florida Gulf Coast is incredibly competitive in the Atlantic Sun, and a strong non-conference schedule this season may only help them in conference play. So far, through the first two weekends of the conference season, FGCU went on the road to sweep Stetson and won two-out-of-three at home against Jacksonville.
Head coach Dave Tollett has been down this road before, but he put together an incredibly competitive schedule in the early season.
FGCU split a four-game series with Cincinnati, won weekend series over Bethune-Cookman, Seton Hall, and Fairfield, and already has played Florida State and South Florida in the mid-week.
Junior Alejandro Figueredo has been unbelievable so far this season for the Eagles, as he sports a .412 batting average through the first 24 games of the season for FGCU. For the Eagles, Ian Farrow who has provided the power. He has nine home runs while sporting a .392 batting average. It seems like this happens every year with FGCU, but the team has a .323 batting average and seven of their starters have batting averages over .311.
Jason Woodward has been fantastic as the Friday night starter for the Eagles, as he owns a 1.93 ERA through his first six starts. All three of FGCU’s weekend starters have ERA’s under 2.81 so far this season.
FGCU’s mid-week still features three more contests against Miami, so for the team that was projected to finish second in the Atlantic Sun, they need to continue their strong start.
No. 50 College of Charleston
So far this season, the College of Charleston has been a fascinating team to watch. After starting the season 7-1, with the one loss being a one-run loss at Clemson, the Cougars lost five straight between High Point and Penn.
Since then, Charleston has won three straight series, including home series against East Carolina and Northeastern, while beating No. 10 Texas in a mid-week game.
It was big for Charleston to get started on the right foot when it came to CAA play, and that’s exactly what they did with their sweep over Northeastern.
JT Marr and Trotter Harlan have been two dominant forces in the lineup for Charleston, as they both have batting averages over .325 and OPS’s over .990. Preston Hall brings power to the lineup, as he already has six home runs on the season.
As a team, the Cougars are hitting .280 collectively. This past weekend, they had at least seven runs in all three games, including a 14-run performance on Saturday.
While their approaches at the plate have been fantastic, their pitching has served well too, especially their bullpen. Charleston’s top arms out of the bullpen have been William Privette (0.74 ERA in 25.2 innings) and Reed Parris (1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings).
Heading into the 2022 season, Charleston was projected to finish third in the CAA behind Northeastern and UNCW. The Cougars are already 3-0 against Northeastern, but don’t play UNCW until the beginning of May.
No. 29 Southern Miss
It’s been an interesting season so far for Southern Miss. After beginning the season ranked No. 20, the Golden Eagles have started 17-7.
Since getting swept by Dallas Baptist, the Golden Eagles have turned it around for the time being. They immediately came back home and took a mid-week game over Alabama and have started conference play off 5-1 with a sweep of Western Kentucky and winning two-out-of-three against Florida Atlantic.
But, Southern Miss has a big five day stretch ahead of them that may determine what the rest of their season will look like.
First, this upcoming weekend they will host Louisiana Tech.
If you’re a college baseball fan, you will remember the late-night epic battles between these two teams last year in the Conference-USA Tournament. Two teams that are incredibly talented, Southern Miss enters this series looking for revenge from their heartbreaking defeats last season.
Louisiana Tech is just one spot behind Southern Miss in the College Baseball Nation Top 50 at No. 30.
Just two days after that series concludes, Southern Miss and No. 11 Ole Miss will meet in Pearl, Mississippi for their annual game at Trustmark Park.
It’s a big weekend for Southern Miss, and they’ll need to continue their momentum from this past weekend to roll with that. That will start with Slade Wilks.
Wilks has five homers in Southern Miss’ last four games. The sophomore is hitting .341 so far this season after struggling mightily a season ago when he hit .158.
The pitching for the Golden Eagles has been fantastic all-around, as they will need to continue that with two high-powered offenses coming up this week for them. A big week for Southern Miss begins on Friday.
There are 16 mid-major teams ranked in this week's top 50.