Mid-Major Top 10 - April 25th

This could be one of the greatest weekends in Mid-Major history coming up. The marquee matchup sees No. 15 Pepperdine play a huge three-gamer at cozy Cunningham Stadium, where No. 21 San Diego calls home. Not only that, but the much-anticipated Evansville-Wichita State series will also help shake out the Missouri Valley race too.

And just in case you were wondering about the quality of these mid-major programs, Baseball America this week called Wichita's Travis Banwart and Aaron Shafer as the best one-two starting mound combo in the country. No. 2 behind them? USD's Brian Matusz and Josh Romanski. Bitchin' stuff man.

I personally can't wait 'til Friday afternoon where I'll make the arduous drive down to San Diego for the Brian Matusz vs. Barry Enright mano-a-mano mound matchup. That should be freaky tasty.

So with this huge weekend ahead at the top of our minds, here are the Top 10 Mid-Major teams in the country:


1- Pepperdine (30-13)
Last week we lamented the performance of Brett Hunter. How'd he respond? He went 7.0 innings, struck out seven, gave up two hits and walked one to improve to 6-3 on the season. Jason Dominguez picked up his 11th save.
Last week: No. 1
Next: Three games at San Diego

2- Wichita State (34-11)
With the NCAA's release of the official RPI, does this mean that the No. 11-rated Shockers are now playing for a national seed? With two mid-week losses already, this weekend will be a big test at No. 49 Evansville.
Last week: No. 2
Next: Three games at Evansville

3- San Diego (32-14)
Tied with Pepperdine at 10-2 in WCC play and awaiting their arrival. See the interview with Rich Hill and why it's a good time to be a Torero:
http://slog.cstv.com/extrainnings/2007/04/my_qa_with_san_diegos_rich_hil_1.html
Last week: No. 3
Next: Three games vs. Pepperdine

4- Minnesota (27-7)
Michigan State is not a bad team, yet the Gophers ran roughshod through them. With the mid-week win over South Dakota State, the U has won 17 of its last 19, since it's win over Pepperdine in Malibu.
Last week: No. 6
Next: Four games at Illinois

5- Michigan (26-8)
Bad day at Black Rock for Zach Putnam in Friday start vs. Purdue, lasting only 4.1 innings on the mound (to drop to 4-3) and going 0-for-4 at the dish.
Last week: No. 5
Next: Four games vs./at Michigan State

6- Coastal Carolina (34-8)
May have put together their best weekend of the year in the sweep of VMI. Still tied at 11-1 in the Big South with Winthrop. The 3rd-place Flames of Liberty (27-14) won't be easy.
Last week: No. 7
Next: Three games vs. Liberty

7- Louisiana-Lafayette (30-12)
They were really only in one game all weekend at Arizona State, Sunday's 9-6 loss. That behind them, nice mid-week win at Lamar, where Brent Solich improved to 4-0 with 7.0 innings of five-hit work.
Last week: No. 4
Next: Three games vs. Arkansas State

8- TCU (31-10)
BYU shut the Frogs down in game one (a 5-0 loss), but TCU rebounded nicely with two wins over the Coogs and a mid-weeker vs. Texas Tech. Now it's their chance to put the rest of the Mountain West down for the count as SDSU visits Lupton Stadium.
Last week: No. 8
Next: Three games vs. San Diego State

9- Western Carolina (28-13)
Watch out for the Catamounts, a nice series win over Elon vaults them into the MMT10 and second place in the SoCon behind College of Charleston. Okay, so they shouldn't have given up those eight, 8th-inning runs in the mid-week loss to Georgia (12-7).
Last week: Not rated
Next: Three games at Furman

10- Stetson (32-11)
Although the Hatters have a four-game lead in the A-Sun standings, this off-weekend is no time for R&R as they'll play East Tennessee, Lipscomb and Belmont to close things out - that's the two-through-four teams in the A-Sun standings.
Last week: No. 10
Next: One game at Central Florida on May 2nd.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert