By Noah Darling
Omaha, NE- Welcome to the 2nd edition of “Coffee on the Corners”.
Each morning of the College Baseball season I will be bringing you a recap of the previous day in our sport. With that, will also come details of can’t miss games each and every day of the season. There is no better pairing with your morning coffee, than a brief, yet filling, recap of the latest in the greatest sport on this planet.
Follow College Baseball Central and all of the writers across the country for in-depth, live, coverage and analysis of games across the country from Opening Day to Omaha.
Winners of Opening Day:
TCU- The Horned Frogs got a tough draw with Vanderbilt on the first day of the College Baseball Showdown. Instead of getting Missouri’s best, or Arkansas’s banged up and modified pitching situation, TCU had to face Carter Holton, Vanderbilt’s best. This is probably exactly what Kirk Saarloos wanted, though. With TCU’s gauntlet of a non-conference schedule, the Frogs aren’t afraid of a challenge. They weren’t afraid on Friday. What was for five innings a very close and roller coaster of a game, turned in to a TCU hitting clinic in the sixth inning. It was Brayden Taylor’s home run in that sixth inning that really set the Frogs apart. Capping off a five run inning, Taylor drove in teammate Elijah Nunez on an impressive, big league homer to make it a 7-3 TCU lead. It was all cruise control from there, making it look easy, TCU finished off Vanderbilt 11-4. Next up: TCU takes on Arkansas on Saturday night.
College of Charleston- What a gutsy win for the Cougars. In a game that featured just seven base hits, it was COC that made them count, thanks to a grand slam from Khyree Miller. College Baseball Central’s own AJ Sessions was all over this upset earlier this week. The Cougars will have to keep taking advantage of their opportunities to win this series.
Arizona- Taking on #2 Tennessee, the Wildcats showed that they’re incredibly underrated. Did enough to win and silence the Vol bats. Tony Bullard isn’t getting a Christmas card from Tony Vitello and neither is that umpire crew.
America- College Baseball is back and we got a great helping of baseball to kick off the 2023 season. Whether you watched on FloSports, ESPN+, the SEC Network, or a singular camera behind home plate streaming on a website you didn’t trust, you enjoyed the greatest game our country has to offer. You won. And you’ll continue to win at this rate.
Arkansas- With all of the question marks offensively, and the loss of Jaxon Wiggings early in the week, the country might have been okay giving Arkansas a pass in the College Baseball Showdown. Instead, the Razorbacks defeat rival Texas in a gritty pitchers duel, while also showing the potential of their young but talented lineup. Arkansas vs TCU is going to be appointment television.
Losers of Opening Day:
Oregon State- The Beavers just did not look ready to rock and roll outside of freshman Gavin Turley. Turley offers a beacon of excitement, after electing to be a Beaver over playing professionally in 2023. The rest of the Beaver lineup left much to be desired. A sleepy game and great pitching performances from New Mexico’s Riley Egloff and Brian McBroom made Oregon State look like a shell of the team that was a few plays from Omaha in June. Oregon State is a prideful program, and the Beavers will be just fine, but the lack of identity from the team on Friday offers concern for the observer.
LSU/Tommy White- Tommy White, highly touted transfer from NC State, left LSU’s season opener early after re-aggrevating a shoulder injury diving back in to first on a pick off attempt. White is doubtful to play on Saturday and his long term prognosis is a mystery at this time.
Stanford- The Cardinal, despite their loaded lineup and superior starting pitching were manhandled by Cal State Fullerton. College baseball is better when the Titans are good, but Stanford, a top 5 team, left a lot to be desired on Friday.
Oklahoma State- The Cowboys defeated Missouri with relative ease on the first day of the College Baseball Showdown.
Maryland- The Dirty Terps fell to South Florida, a late grand slam from Maryland really made things interesting, but USF held on to win by one run.
Wright State- Playing in the middle of the night, Wright State beat Hawaii 8-3 and looked great while doing it. Raiders are a threat, and a wagon.
Arkansas- Are they a wagon?
Other News/Notes from 2/17/23
#15 North Carolina falls to Seton Hall
Wake Forest is an Omaha team
Tennessee’s Maui Ahuna may not play this weekend, due to a holdup with the NCAA eligibility process
South Florida defeats #17 Maryland
Virginia looked GOOD
Campbell took it right to a very good Rutgers team, the Camels are still top notch
Southern Miss has a star in Tanner Hall
Texas Tech looks like Texas Tech again
Mississippi State’s future is VERY bright
We will look back at Hagen Smith vs Lucas Gordon as one of the best pitching matchups of the entire season
Best Games of the Day 2/18/23
Oklahoma State vs Vanderbilt 11:00 CST (FLOSports)
Maryland at South Florida 1:00 CST (ESPN+)
Virginia Tech at College of Charleston 1:00 CST (FLOSports)
Gonzaga at Texas Tech 1:00 CST (ESPN+)
Illinois at Wake Forest 3:00 CST (ESPN+)
Penn State at Miami 7:00 CST (ESPN+)
TCU vs Arkansas 7:00 CST (FLOSports)
Tennessee at Grand Canyon 7:00 (MLB Network)