Off The Top Of My Head: Week 8Columns
Here in the good ole USA, we love a story about redemption. Someone who gets knocked down, then gets back up and regains glory. It’s American as it gets.
We love a Rocky. We love a George Foreman. We love a Josh Hamilton. We love O.J…. oh wait. Sorry, bad example. Anyway, last week saw plenty of upsets and wild results that caused a massive shakeup in the D1baseball Top 25, which lost five members from its ranks the previous week. It seemed a microcosm to the season we’ve had so far with crazy unpredictability. But on the flip side of that, we also look to this weekend and see a lot of teams that are now OUT of the rankings getting a shot at a team that is currently IN the rankings.
So here we go. Here are five Redemption Teams that have had their ego knocked to the floor and are looking to restore their season with a big opportunity against a ranked opponent this weekend.
Record: 19-9, 5-7 ACC
Previously Ranked: No. 20 on March 25th
This Weekend: Home vs. No. 8 N.C. State
There is a fresh amount of pain for the Cardinals as they just dropped out of the rankings after losing two of three at Florida State last weekend. In fact, they’ve lost each of their last three lid lifters in ACC play including last week’s 9-4 loss to the Noles where UofL ace Adam Wolf didn’t make it out of the third inning, giving up eight runs on eight hits and three walks. He and the rest of the staff will have to bear down this weekend as the Pack comes in with seven regulars hitting .309 or better, led by Brett Kinneman’s .336-12-36 numbers and Brock Deatheradge’s .324 with 14 stolen bases.
– SOUTH ALABAMA
Record: 16-11, 6-2 Sun Belt
Previously Ranked: No. 15 on February 26th
This Weekend: at No. 24 Coastal Carolina
The Jaguars have fallen off a lot of radars the last few weeks since making their exodus from the rankings after an 0-5 second week of the season. They’ve done better in SBC play and now sit a game-and-a-half behind Coastal in the East Division. While pitchers have been trying to avoid Travis Swaggerty like the plague (30 walks in 27 games), Dylan Hardy has reaped the benefits, hitting .367 and leading the Sun Belt with 15 stolen bases. But going to Springs Brooks Stadium is a tough chore, especially when facing the best offense in the league and their 41 home runs hit.