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Off The Top Of My Head: Week Three

Columns

What’s covered:

• Cambria Classic Primer: UNC, NC State, Duke, Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue
• Five East Coast/West Coast Matchups To Watch
• Five Surprising Losers So Far This Spring
• Eight for Omaha


MINNEAPOLIS — When the college baseball calendar came out, this was one of the biggest weekends that jumped out at me. There are a bunch of good non-conference matchups and tournament hoe-downs going on that should make this the best weekend of the season before conference play kicks in.

The biggest of those will be the Shriners Classic down at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where SEC bullies LSU, Arkansas and Missouri will take on Big 12 ballyhoos Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor. Kendall Rogers will be there to pump out all the details, so be sure to check in throughout the weekend.

Also going on is the Frisco Classic, played in the town of Frisco which is about an hour outside of Dallas. In that one, Texas A&M, UCLA, Oklahoma State and Illinois. This will be the first stern tests of the year for the Aggies and Bruins, who face each other on Saturday. Aaron Fitt will be reporting from there, and probably hoping for warmer temperatures than last week in Starkville.

One of my favorite Classics that I have yet to make it to over the years has been the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, North Carolina. Host East Carolina will bring in Ole Miss, Indiana and High Point for this year’s edition.

In addition to those, Florida State will be hosting Florida Atlantic and Texas Tech in a very interesting three days of baseball. Something tells me this is one of those “oops, we accidentally scheduled two teams on the same weekend… aw screw it, let’s just have them both come to town and we’ll play a round-robin.”

But the tournament/classic I am most looking forward to is the one I will be attending in person: the Cambria Classic in Minneapolis. Yes, baseball in Minnesota, in February. How, you ask? Well, in case you don’t recall, this is the old Dairy Queen Classic that gets played inside U.S. Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings. It does have a configuration for baseball where they push a large section of seats in to form right field. The fence is just 295 feet at the fair pole but there is a 30-foot wall. So left hand hitters could have a field day. That’s why I am looking forward to seeing if North Carolina’s Aaron Sabato can take advantage.

Here is how the facility normally looks for a Vikings game and how it sets up for baseball…

With all this in mind, I’ll go ahead and follow Kendall’s lead from last week where he previewed the Round Rock Classic and do the same for this Cambria Classic inside the giant Viking ship….

 

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