A busy weekend for CUSA Baseball set the stage for a chaotic finish to the regular season during the final weekend.
Notable weekend results
1. Rice makes a statement (more)
It’s been a back and forth year for Rice coach Matt Bragga in his first season at the helm. His team has had it’s low points, but the Owls took two of three from league-leading Southern Miss over the weekend. With series wins over the Golden Eagles and Louisiana Tech, Rice has proven they can hang with the conference’s best when they bring their A-game.
2. Blazers poised for big breakthrough?
UAB has sat at the bottom of the conference standings since the conference slate began. It’s been nearly a foregone conclusion the Blazers wouldn’t be playing in the postseason, but a series win over Charlotte has kept the door open. Entering the final weekend UAB is one win out of the eighth spot, the final postseason eligible team. It’s going to take some work, but there is hope in Birmingham.
3. Marshall swept
As UAB surged, Marshall swooned. Rather than position themselves for a low-pressure weekend against Rice, Marshall firmly in must-win mode after being swept by Old Dominion. Four CUSA teams have 11 wins and two of them aren’t going to Biloxi. That’s not where Marshall wanted to find themselves, but here they are.
Upcoming series of note
1. MTSU vs FAU
MTSU hasn’t won a conference series since taking two of three from UAB on the weekend of April 12. Still, somehow the Blue Raiders have real postseason aspirations. They’ll have to go through FAU who needs to outperform Southern Miss to clinch the No. 1 seed.
2. Old Dominion at Western Kentucky
For the first time in school history, Western Kentucky has clinched a spot in the CUSA Baseball Tournament. WKU can secure the No. 3 seed and potentially knock Old Dominion out of the postseason. At the minimum, the Hilltoppers want to pick up momentum entering Biloxi.
3. UAB at Southern Miss
Losers of back-to-back CUSA series for the first time this season, Southern Miss is in danger of losing the No. 1 seed. To clinch the top spot, they’ll need to best UAB and finish a game ahead of FAU who beat USM two weekends ago. It’s a tough bar, but this is a team talented enough to do it. A sweep of UAB would be a good start.