College baseball returns with a high-profile game weekend February 17-19 at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The teams in the field are No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Vanderbilt, No. 15 TCU, Texas and Missouri.
Globe Life Field is home to MLB’s Texas Rangers and can accommodate more than 40,000 fans at full capacity. The College Baseball Showdown has welcomed no fewer than 17,000 college baseball fans in its short history. Nine games are scheduled and all will be streamed on FloSports (subscription required).
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Here’s the schedule for the event, entering its third season (all times ET):
Friday February 17th
Saturday February 18th
Sunday February 19th
Here’s a breakdown of some of the teams you can watch this weekend. It’s taken from this article, which features some of the other best early-season non-conference games.
Arkansas will be welcome on multiple transfers as coach Dave Van Horn seeks to retool an Omaha team that has lost its initial midfielder and midfielder. This team’s strength lies on the mound, even with the recent loss of flamethrower Jaxon Wiggins to an operation by Tommy John. But the Razorbacks are still very talented to fight for SEC dominance, led by returners Brady Slavens and Jared Wegner on the plate while Hagen Smith and Brady Tygart cheer on the teams on the bump.
TCU is a team full of experience at this level. A few players to watch out for are junior third baseman Braden Taylor (a preseason pick for the All-American first team) and junior center fielder Elijah Nuñez, who are perhaps the most important hitters in the Horned Frogs’ roster. On the hill, expect Cam Brown and Ryan Vanderhei, the expected 1-2 thump at the top of the TCU starting rotation.
Vanderbilt wants to return to the glory of his 2019 CWS winning season and has one of the best pitchers in the country to help him. Carter Holton is the undisputed ace of the bunch, but the bullpen is just as good, if not better. Outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. is, to put it bluntly, one of the best players in college baseball, and the Commodores can count on his bat as much as his excellent defense.
State of Oklahoma comes into this season with stability in the lineup and anything but on the mound. While the batting order may look fairly similar to last year, the starting rotation and bullpen have been revised. That being said, the Cowboys have plenty of arm talent (led by 6-foot-8 sophomore Ryan Ure) that could help them clinch their 10th straight NCAA tournament.
Texas, meanwhile, has many questions to answer about replacing last year’s tournament team’s production. Here are two names to keep an eye on: Dylan Campbell and Jalin Flores. Campbell is an all-around slugger who can bat for average and power, while Flores is the Longhorns’ star in the incoming freshman class and a solid third baseman who brings big pop to the plate.
Alberto Camargo is the senior reporter for NCAA men’s and women’s soccer. He has worked at the USF Oracle and the Knoxville News-Sentinel. His writing has appeared in several newspapers in the southern region of USA Today. Follow him on Twitter @albaretoe.
The views on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.
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